Wanted a new mobile. The Orange phone packages were expensive so looking around Vodafone seemed to fit what I wanted. Placed an order online and got the email saying the phone would be with me soon, they’d send an email when it was despatched. It was close to 5pm. Next day no email, no phone. Next day no email no phone. Moments after 5pm I rang and was told I would have to ring the warehouse. It shut at 5pm though. Next day (that’s today) I ring them up. They are out of stock but are getting some in today. Great I say because I wanted it by Saturday. Can’t get it to me that quick though – it has to be Monday. They don’t deliver at weekends. So they let me buy something that is out of stock, they do not work weekends. I cancel the order.
I phone T-Mobile. They also have what I want (it was better actually) and I get through the credit check. (Moments after this Jacqui gets a call from the bank. The 2 credit checks have set off alarms on our account because we never apply for credit anywhere. Anyway..) The woman on the phone then says I have to answer 2 questions from my credit record because I am not there in front of her/in a shop. I check I can ask Jacqui as I head downstairs and am told that’s okay. I forget the first question but my answer was quick and correct. Then she says that there is a home shopping catalogue on the account and in what year did I make the first purchase. Jacqui knows masses about our finances, I know nothing but this is a total non-event to ask about. I have the choice of 4 different years. I say I am guessing and I say the second choice. It’s wrong. The woman on the phone apologises, gives me the credit check reference number and says if I go into a store I will not need to answer those questions.
In the city I walk into the T-Mobile store with plastic cards, passport, utility bill. I am told I have to answer exactly the same questions. I say I was told I would not have to but this is the manager telling me I must. I get the year wrong again. She tells me I cannot try again for 3 months at T-Mobile. She tries to sell me a phone that does not need such a check. Screw that.
Wandering back to the car park I pass an O2 store. I remember that not only are they more than I want to pay but that another credit check will also set off alarms probably. Skip past there. Vodafone store appears and despite their incompetence previously I walk in. Ask for the phone. Deputy Manager says No, sorry, sold the last one an hour ago. One of the assistants – as I am almost outside – says No, we have 2 over there…. and I get to buy the contract phone I wanted.