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Published on November 20th, 2010 | by Matthew Ogborne

20

Possibly The Worst Customer Service Experienced Ever? MobilePhonesDirect.co.uk

MobilePhonesDirect

MobilePhonesDirect

What is to follow is exactly how you should not deal with your customers and probably not how you should deal with being a customer either.

Let’s Set the Scenario.

I finally decide that I need a new mobile phone, I had already decided that I did not want an iPhone, but a Android based phone. So I go through the classic buying phases, research(involves lots of Google and asking friends), home in on a brand or few handsets (happened to be HTC), research some more, then flop the wallet out and buy.

Now literally 10 minutes before I stopped haunting the four or so major phone sites, I got an email from Which? saying that HTC had just released two new HTC Desire phones, the HTC Desire HD and the HTC Desire Z. Now the Z has a flip out keyboard like that old Nokia lump, nice, but I was dazzled by the 8Mp camera, 4.3 Screen and HD recording. I have two young children and my previous phone coupled as the family camera and thus these attributes stamped SOLD on my head immediately.

Here is the promo video for the phone, I personally love this style of storyboarding:

Soo now I have the big phat SOLD sign dangling from my head, its down to network, price and data usage. After scouring the net I finally settle on a 24 month contract from T-Mobile called ‘T-Mobile £30 Mobile Internet’ which had a decent amount of minutes (900), some texts (500) and for me crucially 1Gb of net transfer.

While I don’t actually anticipate that I would clear an entire Gig in a month, I would not put it past me and yes I know most places I got have wifi, but still I wanted 1Gb of transfer.

Anyway, I settle on a company called mobilephonesdirect.co.uk, I do my usual checks (ok I suffer from web paranoia), whois check on the domain, phone a store, use their live chat (which is now gone, you’ll find out why soon) and verify their other two stores on Google maps. OK I am comfortable.

Now a secondary clincher was this, noting that its still on thier website almost two months later:

We are an HTC ultimate partner and are receiving stock weekly during November and will supply Desire HD on a first ordered first delivered basis. Order Now and receive a Free 8GB memory card.

Bingo, this phone was not to be released for another week or so, they’re a premium partner, I’ll be one of the first. O-Happy-Days, or soo I thought.

Then Things Started to Go Wrong

I contacted them using their live chat, which was offline, but left a message and shortly afterwards I receive a reply that the phones have not been delivered yet, but would be notified when they had more information.

Now knowing this is a new phone and they’re reliant upon the manufacturer (HTC) to deliver, I wasn’t really concerned, hey they are[?], as they still quote:

We are an HTC ultimate partner

Another week passes, so I email, no response, I email again the next day, no response and again the next day, yep you guessed it no response.

So I phone. After five minutes of waiting, ‘Sarah’ answers the phone and to be honest I felt sorry for the girl, I am not the best customer as I ask bloody awkward questions and can be very blunt when rattled by poor customer service. The up shot from the call that the Manager (who would not talk to me) would be emailing ‘The Customers’ the next day.

From her tone, you could tell that she had obviously been beaten up several other times that morning and feeling sorry for her for verbal onslaught I had just given her (that sounds bad, I am always polite honest!), so left it to wait and see what happens in the email.

So I get the email, another week. Another week passes, another email, another week. WTF (remember what this means?) I thought these were:

We are an HTC ultimate partner

Ok, now I’m getting narked, after no reply for two days since I replied to their email saying it was not in stock for an indeterminate amount of time (yep its their standard address webshop@) I decide to ring.

At 6.37 , I get the message to email (no chance) or use the live support.

Now interestingly, I noticed two weeks prior to that, that the live chat was removed from their website. I am sure this probably to do with the number of customers that have been chasing their HTC Desire orders because they quote:

We are an HTC ultimate partner

I ring again and again and again, this is going no where. I ring the stores, no answer. I flip.

You WILL Answer me

Up until now I have been quite relaxed, but now, when I flip, I get noticed and I get results no matter the cost in time. Trust me, you really do not want me as an angry, paranoid, scared customer, you’ll find out why next.

Enter iMacros

I use iMacros for everything, I have plans to document this amazing tool at some stage, but for now, understand the following:

Anything you do in a web browser can be scripted

So with that in mind and the new knowledge that I iMacro almost everything, I put this to good use.

Here is my first proper published YouTube Video:

I think you’ll understand from my tone in the video how pissed I was at the time, I look at it now a day later and laugh at it. I amaze myself at times.

Yep thats right, I set it to send 1000 times.

Now if this had not yielded results, I would have driven to the stores, or used companies house to find the directors and knocked on their doors at 8:30 on a Saturday morning (after ringing them before of course, they might be miles away). Do you get a sniff of the idea of the psychopathic eBay buyers that are out there yet?

Enter Awful Customer Service Part 2

Now I am only guessing here, but they have an auto responder script that looks for the word ‘cancel’ and sends the following back.

MobilePhonesDirect Auto Responder

MobilePhonesDirect Auto Responder

Your reading that right, this company has such a fundamental customer services issue, it needs to respond with lies.

You’ll see from the snap-shot of my email box this was an auto responder and it was sent numerous times, to the point that I got this too:

MobilePhonesDirect Recall Request

MobilePhonesDirect Recall Request

Ok, this is getting somewhere (remembering that I had minimised the browser that is still set to loop 1000 times), so I reply with:

Hello,

I strongly doubt that this order has been despatched, as if it had been it would not be in its current status, nor if it had left the building you would not be readily able to stop the order.

Sick to death of no replies, cancel it as the mail suggests.

Kind regards,

Matthew Ogborne

More Insulting Customer Service

I face-palmed when I read this, they’re blatantly lying:

Mobilephonesdirect Insulting Customer Services

Mobilephonesdirect Insulting Customer Services

YAY Humans at Mobilephonesdirect

I’ve hit the jackpot, Mobilephonesdirect have humans working for them. There is a cheer from the ‘Matt Ogborne’ camp. Ore at its beauty:

MobilePhonesDirect Have Real Staff!

MobilePhonesDirect Have Real Staff!

Now, after composing myself, because at this point I have gone from one end of frustration, to practical answers and now to potential resolution.  I think about this whole experience for a few moments.

MobilePhonesDirect said and still say that they are:

We are an HTC ultimate partner and are receiving stock weekly during November and will supply Desire HD on a first ordered first delivered basis. Order Now and receive a Free 8GB memory card.

But now they ‘magically’ offering me a the phone. Do I really want to deal with this company? What if it breaks? What if I have a service issue? Why the bloody hell was it not delivered to me before, this order had been outstanding since the 5th October?

I really do not like (as your customers similarly do not like either):

  1. To not be informed regularly on their order, especially if its a pre-order item
  2. To be address by name, explicitly not as ‘The Customers’
  3. To be insulted by still failing to deliver the item though still showing it for sale
  4. To be lied to
  5. To be automatically lied to.
  6. To be bullshitted by customer support staff.

So The Reply Was?

Polite, but clear, I’ll let you relish in a well formed reply:

Hi Phil,

I appreciate the response and you must also appreciate the nightmare that I have had trying to contact you over the past few weeks.

Being referred to as ‘The Customers’, not being answered to when calling, unhelpful when I do and no answers to previous email is not good for customer service.

I am really tempted to say I would like the phone, but unfortunately I am gravely concerned at what the outcome may be if I ever had an issue with the phone, contract or yourselves in the future, as spamming contact forms is hardly an appropriate method of provoking communication (the same as your awful auto response emails) and are amazed that you actually have these (even if just one) in stock and not fulfilled my order, sadly I regret I have to decline the offer.

Shortly afterwards, I get three emails and the order has been despatched, returned and refunded.

What awful customer service experience that was. I only hope that your customer services are nothing like these muppets.

Warning, Your Customers Are Empowered

I only used iMacros to spam a contact form, but you must be extremely aware that like never before your customers are empowered with some deadly tools at their disposal, its called social marketing. If just one customer is pissed with your service and they are smart, they will cause untold damage.

I’ll leave it here,  make your own decision on the company in this article, a customer should never have to result to the extremes that I had to go to to provoke a response & I only hope you learn how not to deal with customers from this article.





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20 Responses to Possibly The Worst Customer Service Experienced Ever? MobilePhonesDirect.co.uk

  1. @posquitto says:

    RT @DJDove_: Possibly The Worst Customer Service Experienced Ever? http://t.co/bn1ztDPvZI http://t.co/SmogTvtymR via @lastdropofink

  2. carl says:

    thanks everyone
    just about to order a note from mpd after reading all the post ive aborted the order

  3. Paul says:

    Ditto I ordered a phone which their website says has been completed and connected. I have not recieved the phone. I managed to find their head office number 01635588777 rang it and got hung not once or twice but 5 times the 6th time they managed to get it to switch to answerphone.

    Ive now got a text from t mobile thanking me for activating the account , to say im concerned is an understatement. Im going to give it 2 days after which I will be contacting Tmobile my bank to cancel anything to do with them.

    Ive documented everything Ive done and just wish there is a way to get back at their lousy customer service. Posting the experience on the net is hopefully just the first step.

  4. Ruth says:

    Oh no! Dec 2013 and they are still doing this. I can’t log in onto the website either even after using the password I knew to be correct and then using the one that their automated reply gave me when I tried to reset it. I just know my daughter is not going to get her Christmas present. I think I am going to cry. I so wish I had seen this post before ordering it. Is there nothing that can be done about this company?! They have clearly been getting away with these lies for some time now!

  5. Will Algie says:

    Entertaining read. Wish I had stumbled across this before foolishly placing an order. best part of a week later I am yet to encounter any signs of life at “Mobile phones not very direct”. I will probably be hearing their hold music in my sleep for a while after spending a total of more than 5 hours now tying to get through to a human…hello…hello…,mobilephonesdirect is there anyone there with a Pulse, please pick up the phone!

    They do however have a freephone number 0800 8881000 which if anyone has a penchant for Hold music should help whine away the hours as you wait, hoping that someone will answer.

  6. NigelP says:

    We purchased a Twighlight Pink Galaxy S4 from their website on the 8th Sept 2013. The next day we received a Purple one. We called them and they advised they did not sell purple, were we sure this was correct.

    They asked us to send the phone back recorded delivery. When they received it they called us to say they don’t do pink Galaxy S4′s and would we like to keep the purple one. We agreed to exchange for the White one. That evening we received an email asking us to return the phone.

    Several calls and days later they confirm again they have received the phone, we requested they cancel the order, Several more calls and days later they still have not cancelled the order.

    Because they have not cancelled the order we can not get a new phone with that network provider as the original account is deemed as being open still.

    11 Days after the original order and we are still waiting for them to sort this out

    STAY WELL AWAY FROM THIS COMPANY, THEY ADVERTISE PHONES THEY DON’T EVEN SELL. AND THEM MESS YOU AROUND BECAUSE OF THEIR ISSUES.

  7. remmyqe says:

    First clue is that their website has dead end links with no info…these guys are smug muggers.

  8. Rajesh K says:

    Wish I had read your report before. April / May 2013. Nothing has changed with this company. Ordered HTC One at the start of april and after two weeks after following up with emails, my delivery date is 30th of April. Neither received a phone nor an update. Followed with one email & 3 calls of 30 minutes waiting time each. No one picked the phone and I did not want to waste my phone credit for a music tone further. So sent a strong mail asking for response. They played the delay tactics for a day/two by asking me for more details but never committed on the delivery. I asked for cancellation which they promptly did with no apology whatsoever. They are still looting from many I guess.

  9. and yes the login details are correct, I wrote them down as I registered and logged in 2 or 3 times before I placed the order.

  10. I wish I had read this before I placed an order because I am now going through the same thing, I ordered a phone from these ****** and every time I ring I am on hold indefinately, also since placing the order I have not been able to get back on their website. Every time I try to log in it says “we cannot log you in with these details”. Worst site I have ever been on. What makes it worse for me is that on the site it has 3 awards for best online consumer website (bollocks). I would strongly recommend taking your business elsewhere, rant over.

  11. Michelle says:

    So glad I read your story/experience before placing an with MPD order tonight. Needless to say I wont be ordering from them! Would rather pay a bit more and deal with a reputable company; saving a few quid isn’t worth the hassel you’ve had with them! Thanks for posting.

  12. kelly says:

    thanks for the invaluable info on this company I will get my phone from a more reputable supplier. cheers

  13. Possibly The Worst Customer Service Experienced Ever? http://t.co/uT1xCaqohttp://t.co/IdwB2g0X

  14. @dave_furness @john_w_hayes hahahahah I forgot about that. John have you seen this? http://t.co/46lhPPTJ (blatant abuse of #iMacros)

  15. @matthewogborne Wow what a nightmare. I read read this http://t.co/zSmYdbrL I would get my money back and take my custom elsewhere!

  16. Rob Abdul says:

    I would get my money back and take my custom elsewhere!

  17. http://t.co/VMBq7Wjq i never saw this before @matthewogborne but this could well be my new fave post of yours…absolutely brilliant

  18. Hi Mark,

    Are you referring to 3 or mobilephonesdirect?

    Matthew

  19. Mark Woods says:

    Respected consumer magazine Which recently named 3 as having the worst customer services in the UK mobile phone industry.

    They ranked 69th out of 75 across all industries.

    Having endured several nightmares with this company, I’m honestly surprised they aren’t bottom.

    Truly awful.

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