Thursday, 28 July 2011


In my previous post I featured a letter I wrote to the chairman and founder of Carphone Warehouse.

I have already mentioned that a very helpful member of the CEO's team has been on the phone to me and trying to sort things out. He has emailed me and called me a couple of times.

He found the recording of the sales call I had and he noted that the call centre worker made errors in the call and I am being offered just over £120 to compensate me, to go to my "New York improv fund".

Needless to say I'm very impressed with the way they've sought to resolve this, their honesty with me in dealing with my complaint and the sum of money I'm receiving.

I've also had a few people suggest I offer amusing complaint writing as a service. I'm more than happy to do that for a small fee - especially if it gets people results like this!

Thursday, 21 July 2011

My letter to the founder and chairman of Carphone Warehouse

Dear Mr Dunstone

Re: my Carphone Warehouse contract for phone 07XXX XXXXXX

I’m sorry to have to contact you but I’d like you to confirm whether the experience I’ve had is in line with the values your company holds.

I had an iPhone 3GS for two years. Two very happy years. I think it might be going a little far to say the phone revolutionised my life, but I’ve never been shy of taking things a little further than I ought.

As soon as my contract was about to run out I had a call from one of your call centres. A lady with a rather whiney voice (not her fault but in my experience voice training can be a wonderful thing) called me to tell me I could have the iPhone 4 if I changed my tariff slightly. I wouldn’t have to pay for the phone, she said. Well, as you can imagine, this seemed like a good offer. The extra money on the tariff was only due to be paid for a year and, if I sold my old phone, I’d still be in profit from this deal. This is an offer I think many would find hard to turn down. Even a vicar would feel the pull of such temptation.

My mind, with superhero-like precision, thought to itself “Wait, there may be a catch”. I own a Macbook and someone had told me that because I was running the old Tiger operating system, an iPhone 4 wouldn’t sync with it as I needed the latest version of iTunes (which doesn’t work on Tiger). I asked if this was so. The lady put me on hold, asked a co-worker, and then told me that I’d be fine using Tiger.

I also asked if I would still have unlimited data on my new plan. She said that I wouldn’t, but that I didn’t have it in the first place. I was sure I did have unlimited data so I asked again as I regularly listen to the radio on my phone while aimlessly wandering from coffee shop to coffee shop. Apparently I didn’t and if I had been going over my 500mb limit, I would have been getting texts about it. Oh well then, as long as I kept using my phone the same way I wasn’t going to have problems was I?

Now I’m sure, like me, you can’t resist a good guessing game. Oh, you’re one step ahead here aren’t you? Well, you guessed right. Whiney Lady was wrong (sorry, I don’t recall her name so I’m doing my best here – shall I just call her Betty and be done with it?). Despite telling me how good her customer service training was, she got it about as right as I did in my German GCSE oral exam when asking for the vegetables (apparently it’s NOT “Wo ist die veggies?”).

My iPhone 4 arrived. I was very happy… until it didn’t sync with my Macbook. I called my local Mac retailer who told me what I suspected. I needed Snow Leopard on my computer to make it work. Well, I had the iPhone 4 in my hand. I didn’t want to send it back. That would be like being offered a night with your favourite movie star but having to turn them down because you’d lost the key to your apartment. So, I spent just over £120 upgrading my computer to the latest OS. I then sold my old iPhone for about £130. I guess I was a few quid up. Except, of course, I wasn’t as I’m now paying a few pounds extra on my price plan. Foiled my mathematics once again. (much like in my Maths GCSE – are you seeing a pattern here? I did better at English and Drama).

But that’s not all. Towards the end of the last two months I’ve been getting texts from 02 telling me I’m about to use up my data allowance. These haven’t happened before. Is it because she lied to me about already being on a restricted data plan when I was really on an unlimited data plan? Surely not! Oh.

So, I’m just checking that this is what you intended all along because otherwise I imagine you won’t be happy at all, will want to look into the matter further and will probably want my perceptions about your company to change.

Some of this letter is tongue in cheek – well sarcastic I guess but I never pretended my wit was highbrow. I’d like to be a little better at creating comedy. I’m hoping to go back to New York to do another improvised comedy course next year. I’ve even set up a little website to help me raise the cash: A donation there would be amazing. It would not only show wonderful good will but it would also ensure that if I ever had to write you another letter of this nature, that it would be so much funnier.

I hope you’ll be able to help resolve this matter. I’ve posted a copy of this letter to my blog and Facebook in the hope that you’ll be spurred on to find a method of resolution that paints your company in a good light.

Warm regards

(my voice isn’t too whiney most of the time)


I've just received the following reply:

Dear Mr Lloyd

Many thanks for your email, I am extremely sorry to hear of the problems you are experiencing and concerned that you have had to contact to me in search of resolution.

I have got someone investigating what has gone wrong and we will be back to you shortly.

In the meantime, please accept my sincere apologies

Charles Dunstone

Very swift response so far - I'm wondering what the next step will be. I'll keep you posted.


Impressed. Someone from the CEO's office called me and chatted things over with me. He's going to see if he can find a copy of the recording of the sales call. He's going to call me back on Monday, and has put all this in writing too, in the following email...

Dear Mr Lloyd
Thank you for your email.
I am sorry to hear of the problems you had had since your contract was upgraded with our Outbound Sales Team.
Your complaint has been logged as a high priority case. I will be investigating this and will be contacting you as advised on Monday 25 July 2011..
In the meantime if you need to contact me, please email me at Alternatively you can contact my direct line which is 01772 xxxxxx.
Kind Regards
[name not published out of courtesy]
CEO Team
Carphone Warehouse