Monday, July 17, 2006

Dean Bubley: Carphone Warehouse and customer (dis)service

Dean Bubley complains about his recent customer experiences with Carphone Warehouse at his Disruptive Wireless blog. He writes that he's "had an account with O2 via Carphone Warehouse for more than 4 years. It's been reasonably OK, but otherwise unremarkable. The guys in my local CPW store (actually the one where the company started out) are pretty decent blokes & helpful. I've spent quite a bit of money over time."

Bubley recently decided to try out a proper, up-to-the-minute, operator-customised 3G phone - and also try & lower" his bills at the same time. He outlines the hoops he had to jump through and the lack of service he received.

In the end he finally got what he wanted but said, "given the handset subsidy, a rebate & the cost of the customer service peoples' time, I estimate that collectively CPW & O2 will make roughly zero gross margin out of me over the next 12 months, if that."

On a side note, Bubley concludes with:

Interestingly both O2 and Voda now seeing to be using big SMS bundles as a "sweetener" - perhaps unsurprising as the internal cost of these is near-zero, and presumably it enables them to fudge the data ARPU percentages.