I have had a roller coaster ride over the last few days; more on that shortly. But, a rant ensues.
I look after the mobile phone contract at my firm. After getting my (our) fingers burnt a few years ago by some appalling sharp practice, I vowed I would never use a private third party supplier, choosing instead to go directly to the ‘big boys’ – o2, Orange or Vodaphone. At the last renewal we were tempted away from o2 to Vodaphone.
This time we gave all three the opportunity to pitch for the work. o2 clearly CBA* and put as little effort in as they could muster. So it was a choice between remaining with Vodaphone or moving to Orange (now Everything Everywhere). And the latter put a lot of effort in, including sending two people to see me. There then followed a detailed proposal and a number of calls. We were at the point where they were about to issue a contract. They checked where I was for signing. All seemed to be going well.
Then they reverted to their old ways (I blogged about them before here) – and adopted that trick of saying that they had taken it to the main man (a Director no less) who decided that my business wasn’t profitable for them and so they couldn’t do the deal we had negotiated.
To cut a very long and boring story short – I renewed the contract with Vodaphone.
EE sent me a grovelling email offering to stand by their original offer (which was presumably now profitable?) – in fairness they did apologise. They explained that their original offer (I emphasise their) was aggressive. Too aggressive.
ALl too often we seem to see this now – people not empowered to make decisions. And then hiding behind big organisational processes. And the customer being made to feel like they have done something wrong? Or made to feel guilty that these poor behemoths aren’t making enough profit out of us?
The future isn’t Orange – but then again, nor is it Omnipresent (a much better name than Everything Everywhere?)
*Couldn’t be arsed.