Stymied By The System or The Failed Migration

Another young woman at O2 had the doubtful pleasure, early this morning, of being the seventh person I have spoken to about the ongoing ‘farce’. Without going into too much boring detail, especially of the music I listened to whilst on hold, I can report that the culprit department has been identified, and the problem should be resolved in 24 hours. I said I was going on a two hour journey and would be camping in an O2 office if it was not resolved by the time I reached my destination.

Our destination was Mat, Tess, and Poppy’s home in Upper Dicker.


En route we noticed that a pink magnolia, that blends so well with the blue wash on the wall of the elegant Georgian terraced house to which it belongs, is burgeoning. We always enjoy it when we are stopped at traffic lights on leaving Lymington.

The phone problem was not resolved when we arrived at The Village Shop, so we spent a little time in the flat with Mat and Poppy then repaired to the cafe for massive reinforcing fry ups, for we were going camping and might be some time.

Paintings on wall

The walls are adorned with the paintings that Jessica and Imogen executed there on New Year’s Day.

Suitably fed, Jackie drove me to O2 at the Arndale Centre in Eastbourne. We were to spend the next two hours there.

Rooftops from car parkRooftops and car park

First we had to find our way to the centre car park. Road works by the station didn’t help matters, but eventually we parked on level 1 and made our way into the shopping mall. The views over the rooftops of this large seaside town were fascinating.

The stores location information was actually very helpful and we were soon at the mobile phone outlet where I was immediately assisted by a young woman who identified the problem, made phone calls, and set the correct procedure in process. She did, however, tell me that implementation could take up to 48 hours and there was nothing she could do about it. Like me, and the telephone advisors she was, as I said, stymied by the system.

I am sure everyone would agree that having a diagnosis for a mystery ailment is, in itself, quite healing. Today’s advisor pronounced that my phone was suffering from a Failed Migration, apparently a very rare event. This has meant that a different, random, number has been transferred to my phone and is currently listed to me, not to another person who has a similar name. Assuming she is right, and her treatment correct, it may be cured in a couple of days. In the meantime, if yours is one of the many contact numbers I have lost and you do wish to remain in touch, I would appreciate it if you would send me an e-mail with the details. Thank you.

There wasn’t much point in occupying the shop overnight, so we returned to Upper Dicker to spend some more time with the family before returning home. On my final check this evening, I found a text message asking me to complete a questionnaire about how satisfied I was with the service I received when I contacted O2 yesterday. I don’t think I need detail my responses. A final text assured me that my views were important to the company and would help them to improve their service. It is hard to see how.

After our earlier slap-up meal, I needed nothing more this evening.


  1. Oh dear. I can assure you that this isn’t peculiar to mobile phone companies (though your situation sounds unusual) cos., at least not in my experience. I have been on the phone several times for far too long the past couple of weeks dealing re: medical insurance, vision services and billing issues…they need good customer service trainings! –I do appreciate the magnolias and the paintings in the cafe, however!

  2. Oh gosh. I feel for you, having just been through a similar system in the failed migration from copper to fibre. So many hours spent in the queue even waiting to speak to someone. On one call I could hear celebrations in the background. It turned out to be staff awards for having survived the last few weeks of turmoil and reduced the backlog. That part was true. I only had to wait five minutes to get through to someone, and that person was able to resolve that particular problem. But as soon as one is fixed I discover another. Our home phone, for example, is not allowing callers to leave a message. But rather than automatically disconnecting after several rings if unanswered, it now rings, and rings, . . . And rings. Sigh, I have to call the technician again. The local shop does not handle these problems. And the automatically generated satisfaction surveys? I have given up answering them . . .

  3. Re the company’s service – if feedback includes the words ‘dismal’, ‘unhelpful’, ‘unresolved’, ‘inconclusive’ and ‘time wasting’ then surely the only way is up………… I wonder if there will be any offer to waive fees for the lost days?

    1. Thanks, Pauline. The service was as stupid and uninformative as these things always are – just pick a number. Of course they won’t offer compensation and I doubt that I can be bothered to take it up, but we will see how long it takes

      1. The best revenge is to change providers. Your 30 years doesn’t matter to THEM. Why should it matter to you? After all, if you’ve lost all your contact numbers, it’s not as if they’ve got anything that another company couldn’t provide. And you’d get the chance to find out if another one (perhaps a smaller one) is better at customer service (they could hardly be worse).

    1. Isn’t it Tantalus, when they toy with you? Derrick’s not even making any progress each time.

      1. Tantalus tempts, entices… and I doubt the petty bureaucrats are intentionally toying with anyone They’re just stupid and annoying. Sisyphus, on the other hand, is one who makes no real progress; he always just starts over. It seemed to me that Derrick, like Sisyphus, was for a time experiencing the difficult rolling of a stone uphill, only to have its rolling back down, forcing him to start over again….

  4. Love the pink magnolia. πŸ™‚

    “Americans are divided on many issues, but resentment against these telecom giants is so pervasive that it may just be the most heartwarming symbol of national unity.”

  5. First off – I’m loving the pink magnolia (ours will bloom in several more weeks), a real beauty. Second, can’t live with telecom and can’t live without – sorry to read about your troubles. I do like your way of getting the problem resolved – awesome Derrick!

  6. That music was meant to encourage you to hang up. When they do that to me the first thing I say to the person who answers is “that music was torture”. The other thing I do is to lie down and get comfortable while talking to these people. It’s a superior position from which to speak πŸ™‚

    A real estate agent estimated that a house would sell for tens of thousands more if it had a magnolia tree outside.

    I do like that lofty view of the town.

  7. Wow! A lot of days to solve a little problem, a number migration. So, now you’re somebody else and somebody else is you. Good job, O2!
    Hahaha! This is just funny. To ask you if you were satisfied by their services.
    I look forward to see what’s happen. How many days will be needed to solve your problem?

  8. There is really nothing funny about the situation however, I do giggle like a silly schoolgirl at the name Upper Dicker. Reverse the words and you have good description of the phone problem.Sending you positive ring tones from far away.

    1. Many thanks, Susanne. Mat is quite pleased he doesn’t live in Lower Dicker. Phone problem miraculously resolved this morning. I’ll explain my ultimate tactic in tonight’s post

      1. How could anything get lower than Lower Dicker? Do you know on this side of the pond “dick” is also a nickname for a private investigator? If I stop to think about this too long I am spastic with laughter. Carry on, Derrick. Looking forward to tonight’s post.

        1. Great laugh Susanne. When Mat and Tess moved to Upper Dicker, I had just bought a house in France’s Sigoules (pronounced See Goolies by many English people) – so we had fun with that

  9. Son of a biscuit! What a pain. At least you had a good meal and a visit with loved ones to take the edge off your phone woes. Good luck!

  10. Love the picture of the Magnolia, a beautiful flower and a pleasure to the eyes.
    I think your problem is part and parcel of technology and the times we live in, meant to torment the mind and stretch our patience.

  11. There are worse-sounding places to live than Upper Dicker. (I used to ‘collect’ such un-romantic sounding placenames to see if I couldn’t come up a concatenation of the worst, as a single fantasy address, that no estate agent would touch. The results, as you might imagine, are unprintable on a “family show” like this one.
    The “district” section of the address would have included the tiny hamlet in Dorset (this is a county where the river Piddle was renamed Trent by prudish Victorian mapmakers: it’s still marked as “Piddle or Trent” on most maps) whose name looks so rude that pranksters were always making off with the village sign. So the residents (who were collectively offered the chance of renaming the place, but they were perfectly happy with the one they had) clubbed together to buy two enormous stone blocks which were sunk into the ground and engraved with the name. This saw off the sign-stealers: they’re still there. You’ll not be surprised to hear that the media LOVED this story: any excuse for the broadsheet press to “legitimize” printing rude words on their pages is not lightly passed up [careful on that keyboard, Paul]. Should you wish to look it up, the hamlet is just West of Bere Regis.
    Derrick’s enjoyment of these questionable placenames reaches back to his father’s “unusual” (to say the least) sense of humour. Perhaps not as juvenile, but pretty quirky. (You may recall, readers, that his favourite joke was to get his kids to spell tricky words).

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