As consumers we are regularly encouraged to switch service providers in a bid to find a better deal and are led to believe that not only is it the norm, but quick and simple. Thus, on setting up my new company I opted to change my mobile carrier.
I applied for a Porting Authorization Code (PAC), selected my new carrier and waited as instructed for the signal to literally die on my phone prior to inserting my new sim card.
It is never as simple as it sounds of course and despite duly following the instructions my iphone did not work.
My first port of call was my new carrier who told me it would need to be unlocked via my old carrier. On contacting them, however, I was told an interesting tale. They said that for iphones they would have to contact Apple, who would provide them with a National Unlock Code (NUC), which I would then have to use when I plugged my phone into itunes to reset it. This process I was told could take up to two weeks, which surprised me in this instant world.
Two weeks later and after multiple follow ups of the kind that keep Paul Lewis and MoneyBox thriving there was no answer. So I decided to see if the Apple Store could help.
There I was put through to the Apple Helpdesk who told me that Apple never lock phones, and don’t even have the facility to do this as all handsets are sold unlocked by them.
This put Apple in direct conflict with the carrier. The carrier was vehement in their conviction that it was an Apple issue. Apple were categoric it was a carrier issue.
My priority was getting my phone up and running and resuming business as normal. Someone had to be in the wrong and I needed a solution.
Perhaps inevitably it was the carrier. Quick and simple marketing messages are after all the fallback position of many a service provider in their bid for new business.
My new carrier had the phone to their sim, which prevents people when travelling from using local more cost efficient sims, even if the phone (like mine) was personally owned and not part of a contract.
This seems wrong on many levels, especially with the charges these carriers make in markets like the Middle East where I do the majority of my business and where local data is very cost effective.
Having spent two weeks thinking Apple were in the wrong and like all consumer getting increasingly agitated, the end experience had the opposite effect.
I now think more of Apple, their ethics and approach than ever before and will as a result of my bad experience never use that specific carrier again. In a bid to secure my business and make more money for themselves they have lost my custom.
Simply put, having insidious money-making policies and apportioning the blame elsewhere is not a long term way to build and maintain reputation.
Strong moral values and quality customer service equate to a better commercial proposition in today’s interconnected world.