Mobile phone companies are notorious for absurd customer segmentation schemes, but a mis-placed phone call by O2's PR department yesterday showed exactly what they think of The Register and its readers. We've been talking to O2 a lot lately, and clearly our interest in their "allocated bandwidth" has got them flustered. So …
Oh dear O2. How are you going to explain this one away?
Yay! Another Quality Cock-Up From The World Of PR People.
Just makes you so happy to be someone other than them today.
Puts me in mind of the answering machine message I encountered when calling a now defunct technical support department at 2am one morning..
Click. Clatter. Clunk..
"..uck's sake Steve, don't fuck around with that - if you screw up the messages we'll get a fucking bollocking."
"Don't worry Dave, I've not.. Oh, for fu.."
Clunk. Clatter. Click.
What is with PR people? First Phorm and now this - I'd call them muppets, but that's unfair to Gonzo.
Paris, for the usual reasons.
How dare they! It's simply not true. Only last week I was discussing with my mate Ziggy the finer cultural points of that classic,THX1138!!!
And I'll have you know I would have almost had a girlfriend a few years back, if she'd not objected to my Richard Stallman poster in the bedroom! Women, eh? Pah!
Got to go now - have to repair the elbow patches in my cardigan.
Before we get too indignant
We actually are all techy nerds.
Did they not realise they had goofed like this?? What did they say when they realised you were listening? I love watching PR types backtracking desperately when they realise they've f#cked up to the nth degree*....
Sic 'em, El Reg!!
*to any O2 PR readers - "f#cked up to the nth degree" is a techie-nerd term for "huge, career-busting balls up with no apparent end".
What a bunch of total *******s
To "El Reg"
You forgot to post the names of these half-wits so that they can be fired.... or do you want to let them persist in the hope of getting more "inside info"?
Paris, because she knows how to deal with a good shafting.....
That's a story that writes itself ..... there is something to be said for being a geek. Geeks know how to use their communication equipment. I'm sure things are icy around that office today.
News just in!
Big company thinks users disagreeing with their policies are idiots! Film at 11.
I was leaving them in May, anyway. Suppose i'd best call the Retentions line to see if I can get a LUDICROUS renewal term out of them, or i'm off somewhere else.
Either way, I have a Nokia E51; I may just go PAYG instead and use VoIP for voice calls, and hell any Symbian-compatible IM client for SMS replacement. Fring would be ideal if they could get the volume and Skype functionality sorted, but Truphone looks promising too.
O2 lose every way.
was going to join O2...
Was thinking seriously of switching to O2 next week from Orange. Might go give 3 my business instead now.
O2 PR staff in can't-use-telephone-equipment shocker
Presumably Bill Ray has forwarded a courtesy copy of this article to the PR droids' boss, so he/she knows who should be up against the wall first when O2 begins to haemorrhage customers?
I believe this coat belongs to O2...
We are not afraid of Bill Ray!
Thing is, even with the hilariousness of the situation aside, the target market for mobile internet IS 'techie nerds', as they put it... surely they should be marketing their products to the target market?
Am I being a Gullible Bastard or did this *really* happen?
If so it's the most serendiptitous accidental dial in history. And now, of course, those fuckwits will have the pleasure of finding out what prats they've been here on El Reg - as, indeed, will thousands of the chortling 'nerds' they despise.
Did you tape it? If so, let's get an MP3 circulating pronto!
BTW, O2 - as a 'geek', I've made a note to never buy any product or service from you.
I have an O2 phone, and it is quite a good bit of gear.
If they have that much contempt for people voicing concerns though, i am leaving them when my plan is finished. I am more than happy to go somewhere else that provides better customer service, let alone cheaper prices.
Oh I nearly fell off my chair laughing
And it's got arms on it!
Come on O2, you're a bloody PHONE COMPANY. Do you think many people give a rat's ass about your view of the human race?
Old O2. So near, so far...
Oh that's just good. Fortunately the article about O2's 3G came out just in time :-)
I *was* going to consider a switch back to O2, but since T-Mobile have a capable 3G service that runs at a respectable speed, and, 3 (you know, the ones O2 scoffed at) *also* manage to run a respectable service (I have first hand experience of both), I shall think again.
Good old O2.
(Although they are right, we are techie nerds. Except they forget, we make the purchasing decisions or at least have strong influences in a lot of cases, so best not to upset us...)
Even Paris knows who to keep on-side.
Oh please publish their names...
PR people work entirely on reputation so publishing their names would make them pretty much unemployable after a gaff like this.
> Yes, O2's comms team was keen to avoid anything that might encourage subscribers to leave the telco.
Well naturally, 'cos it would be a /disaster/ if this caused their churn rate to go from 26.3% to 26.4%
iSteve 'cos Jesus phone owners are so locked-in they can never churn...
o2 are desperate to keep customers
I threatened to leave o2 for 3 the other week and they gave me a years free line rental.
Hurrah! I am a Muppet
I move from O2 to 3 late last year (I am actually regretting it but not because of the 3G speed issue).
I am starting to think it is O2 who are the muppets, my wife has moved from O2 Contract to Simplicty and they keep calling her to go on a contract.
I have now come to the conclusion that they are a complete bunch of fuckwits.
This is hilarious!
Sure, they're in PR and think we're all nerds (which I'm not, I don't even own an iPod!), but they're in PR and we know they're all arseholes, so it balances out.
It's been a good week for PR cock-ups
Who is next?
What a bunch of cretins...
...and I speak as one of their customers, though probably not for much longer, being as I'm on a monthly contract with them. 3, eh? Must go have a look...
whats the big deal
dont see what the big deal is...lets face it we are uber geeks anyone questioning that is just in denial. anyone offended really does need a life outside the virtual world...
and el reg, reporting it like we actually care or should be outraged, you take yourselfs far too seriously, not great reporting
Well I'm not afraid of PR wankers!!!!
Yeah?? Come on!! Think you're hard?? DO YA??? COME ON!!!! I'LL HAVE THE LOT OF YA!!!
Seriously, someone in PR making derogatory statements about any other group when they are only second to lawyers in terms of pond-life... really. Techie-nerd comes many, many levels above. And that's without counting the irony that they depend on "techie nerds" to develop the products that they're marketing - and thus give them employment!
Pirates because I've seen O2's tariffs...
So that's why the iPhone isn't 3G
What a hilarious screwup. Please, please tell me that the call was recorded, as techy nerds surely we're capable of that.
I deal with O2 bods frequently, and I can believe their stupidity.
Re: was going to join O2...
* was going to join O2...
* By Christopher Officer
* Posted Wednesday 9th April 2008 14:36 GMT
* Was thinking seriously of switching to O2 next week from Orange. Might go * give 3 my business instead now.
Chris, I was thinking the self same thing!
Isnt the "nerd" redundant?
I mean, if you are a techie, arent you guaranteed to be a nerd?
Can you be a techie but not a nerd?
Really, if you are going to call us names, at least get it right.
While I do know a couple of PR folks that are great, I'd have to say that by and large the genre are useless superficial a@@holes with few real skills. I think I'd rather stick to being a techie nerd. If nothing else, being in IT racks up less negative Karma, and people are actually GLAD to see me in the office...
They had it all wrong...
They act as if those of us who hang around here would consider being called "techie nerds" a bad thing! I am proud of my geeky techie nerd status!
As someone who left reporting for a local newspaper not one week ago, you've already managed to make me feel nostalgic over PR mess-ups! I'm glad you posted this today, because I'm reaching the end of my cash reserves and was wondering whether I could stomach soul-less PR for six months. Rest assured I've changed my mind on that.
Flame icon because you burnt them good :)
I know it's sad, but ....
How do we order t-shirts with "I'm not afraid of Bill Ray" on them?
O2 - You just lost a lot to '3'
I work for a US based corporation and a quite a few staff travel to the UK regularly. I've been looking to recommend a wireless broadband network for people to use rather than pay massively expensive hotel internet charges. I had debated O2 but given the coverage by El Reg, was having second thoughts.
Now I can see the insane way in which O2 are behaving and the fact that I personally don't like being labelled a 'nerd' (Geek would have been fine), I have just recommended 3 as the network of choice.
Way to go O2, you just lost several thousand pounds of revenue every quarter.
Ludicrous retention terms? I just threatened to leave as my contract runs out next week - got myself 12 months free line rental plus 25 texts and 200 minutes per month. Considering I don't use my phone anywhere near that much, I now have an effectively free phone contract. They must be desperate to keep customers! :-0
Paris for the desperation angle....
A certain irony..
That people working at a phone company fail at basic phone operation skills..
Well I was looking at replacing my old O2 phone, but hadn't considered 3.. thanks O2!
Just in time
Great timing, I was just thinking of joining them this afternoon but after reading this article, my decision has been overturned.
Maybe 3 will want my custom ;)
I have nothing to say about O2 marketing
Why would I need to? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gDW_Hj2K0wo
Exactly how I've always described O2, funnily enough. And they can hardly brag about their data plans. Last year when I was shopping for a new phone they offered me, for £6 a month, a whopping - wait for it - 4MB of transfer! WOW! A WHOLE 4MB! Pinch me, I must be dreaming.
Went around the corner into T-Mobile. Yeah, no worries mate. You can have 1GB for £7.50 a month, and our network's faster too.
PR people !
Are the sort of morons who got a 3rd in media studies who don't have a clue how the photocopier works and when do actually grasp how to press the copy button
after a ten hour course from someone in tech support they leave it with a paper jam.
Enough said !
Why Paris ?
Because she is as thick as mince too !
@I'm not afraid of Bill Ray T-shirts
Actually that's a good point. I was meaning to email someone and ask to be able to share designs using custom cash+carrion urls. Can we get that please? Then people can reply to this kind of story with urls for 'O2 aren't afraid of Bill Ray' t shirt links featuring the BOFH phone.
I can officially say
O2 got OWNED.
3 here I come then.
Gotta love em
Lets face it, it's not a shock that they identified you lot as geeks. You are. I omit myself from that brand as I'm one of the few cool and trendy people who uses this site. I'm not a geek. I'm not.....
Gotta go, mums just said my tea's ready and she can't carry it up the stairs now she's ninety.......
But in reality, I love PR cock ups. I'm with O2 and am gonna guilt trip them into an awesome deal come May. I would switch out of revulsion for their incompetence, but 3 are shite and the less said about Orange the better. I also used to work for Vodabone, so will never go there again.
What makes you nerds...
think the PR guys were unaware? Huh? The classification is spot on, so they must know what they're doing.
Next time you want to break up, call a friend to discuss and just "by accident" conference your partner in.
@Isnt the "nerd" redundant?
No. I am a techie. I am NOT a nert. I don't have black hornrim glasses, held together with white tape. I do not have a pocket protector, I think slide rules are great for something, but I have no idea what. I think talking with my kids or my girlfriend is a helluvalot more interesting than playing with a computer.
Mine's the one without electronics in the pockets.