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BlackBerry or iPhone, Vodafone or O2

Buying business handsets with a well thought out voice and data contract should be a breeze. The original two big UK networks (Vodafone & O2 –BT Cellnet) have had decades of experience, but try as I might only Vodafone seems to have any idea of customer service.

10 business handsets on BlackBerry or iPhone will not make a network, but it is still a significant chunk of money over a two year contract. First up is Vodafone.

I want 10 BlackBerry 8900 and I was put straight into a business team. Since then it has been difficult to fault Vodafone’s response and willingness to help. But hey, the iPhone 3G is very nice, I have one and in spite of its faults it’s an inspirational mobile.

So I head off to O2. The experience is diametrically opposite to Vodafone. While the tele sales staff are very personable, they appear to lack any ability to talk about O2’s products.

For one thing there is no instant call pick up, secondly the person then wants to find out who you are, how you found them, be warned they are recording the call.

Then when you eventually can talk about the information you want, they have to transfer the call. The next person along then can’t deal with the enquiry either as you ‘must’ have a personal visit from a sales rep. Sorry all I want is basic information on services and prices.

So after being promised a call back, nothing. So I phone again and the same happens, with the who, what where. I feel that I have to bend to their sales process and please don’t ask for information as we won’t or can’t give it out.

So O2 has now left me with another call back before Friday, but could be Wednesday, to talk about a business sale of 10 handsets. Do I feel positive about O2, no. Do I feel positive about Vodafone, yes.

Trouble is Vodafone think data roaming is still a 2004 activity and priced accordingly. O2, according to their web site, is much more a 2009 concept. So I’ll grit my teeth a little more and see what O2 can do, but Vodafone wins by a mile in the customer service sweepstake.