All the nonsense from years ago, faithfully reproduced and preserved for posterity. Click here for my latest stuff



How to get a free phone

How to get a free phone

It was with firm conviction that everyone’s favourite Jim phoned the O2 customer services department to cancel his mobile phone contract. When the girl on the other end answered the phone as the ‘Rentention Centre’ Jim laughed, there was no way they were keeping him as a customer… or was there.

I have two phones. One of them I use a lot, the other I don’t use at all. Fed up with paying £30 a month for something I didn’t use I decided to cancel.

I thought phoning O2 would be an absolute nightmare, but I only had to go through two stages of their IVR system before I was through to a real person. The girl who answered, Dawn, announced that I was through to the O2 Retention Centre. This made me laugh out loud, because to get through I had to “Press 2 to cancel your contract” and had every intention of doing so.

Dawn asked me why I was looking to cancel, and I told her I hadn’t used the phone at all for over 4 months, and did in fact carry the sim around in my wallet as opposed to an actual phone. My wallet, not being equipped with a GSM chipset or indeed any buttons, was quite useless as a piece of telephony equipment.

“No problem” she says.

Well that was easy, but… she went on.

“You qualify for a free contract”

A what now?! Free contract. This was indeed news to me. Here I was paying £30 a month for something that I could have for free. After a bit of chatter I discovered that as I had been with O2 so long, they would leave my SIM enabled, but downgrade the tariff to a free contract, thus enabling me to keep the telephone number I had so long, and to come back when I need to. With the free contract I was entitled to 25 minutes of free calls, and 25 text messages a month. Wow!

“Wow!” I said. “Do I get a handset with that then?” I tried my luck.

“No.” Bollocks. “But for only £6 a month we can get you a handset.” Whoohoo!

Great stuff. I tried my luck again:

“Great stuff.” I said. “I’d like the Nokia 8800SE in black please.”

“Unfortunately I don’t think we can offer you that phone.” She was being polite. Bah.

She listed a few phones that were available, I asked if they did a couple of particular handsets and clarified that I didn’t “want any of that 18 month contact nonsense” and by the end of it a decision was made. I hung up the phone a very happy chappy having ordered a Sony Ericsson Z710i.

The very next day the handset arrived. The very next day!

Before you all start commenting “but you’re paying £6/month for the phone” let’s do some simple maths:

6 x 12 = 72. So for £72 I am getting a handset which is going for £150 on eBay. Interesting.

Now at one time or another I have been with all of the networks at one time or another, but I must say that O2 outshines the rest if this is a typical example of their customer service.

So there we go. Want a free contract and a free handset, and possibly make some money? Cancel. It’s the way forward.

Notify of
Wow - it's you!
Wow - it's you!

Hey, hey,

Jimmer you actually know what you’re talking about for a change.

Anything to do with the fact you’re the secret Editor of Mobile Business Magazine?

Check out the link JimmerUK fans –

An expert in our mists me thinks.

PS if I type that code in below am I allowed to post about viagra and stuff?