Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Other than self-assessment tax forms, spiders lurking in clumps of fruit at Tescos, and stories about cuddly sharks that turn out to be April Fool stories, I don't really know what I'd put in my Room 101. Nobody would go for bananas, evil though they are, because they're such a good source of potassium and slow-release energy. Never mind the fact they're evil, covered in spiders and taste of mulched shite, they can do no wrong. They're the abandoned kitten of the fruit world: everyone loves a kitten, except those who are allergic, or own dogs.

So let's go for O2 then, those smug satisfied bastards who've been keelhauling Sean Bean into voicing their unbearable ad campaigns for the last few years. The unfortunate problem with their having booked Sean is that he is also the voice of the National Blood Service, which means that every time an O2 ad comes on you get the two colliding mid-brain. "Do something eh-meeez-ing t'day. Give… Give all your money to O2 because the shameless fuckers are too stingy to send out details of your promised upgrade and will quietly upgrade your tariff instead."

I used to love O2 with the passion only a former Vodafone Pay As You Go customer can muster. I loved it because of its total grasp of cheap web packages when the other providers was still working out how much money they could take before you had to go without shoes. I liked that I could send text messages off the internet. I liked its comforting dreamy isolation tank layout. Most of all, I liked the fact that the web deals were both at least £5 cheaper than anyone else and let you have more than 100 text messages in one go.

After four shiny happy years together, they offered me an upgrade that basically channelled Fisher Price's My First Mobile and I got fed up and decided to check out my sleeker, snazzier options. This is where the good bit comes in, because however much mobile phone companies charge you, they really hate it when you leave. It's like going around to visit your great-aunt Ethel and only staying for one cup of tea: you just can't. They hate it so much that they will quite brazenly wave all sorts of forbidden bounty in front of you to make you stay just that little bit longer: Swiss Roll, the "good" chocolate biscuits, £15 a month for 100 cross network anytime minutes and 500 texts.

I shouldn't have been surprised when I found out that when your 12 months are up, they don't tell you anything. Nothing. Zip. I didn't hear about an upgrade, but thought that was a good enough trade-off for such a cheap contract. No! They just cranked it up to £30 and hid all the chocolate fingers.

Screw the money (oh god, the money), screw the fact I wasn't even offered a walkie talkie in October, the bastards didn't even bother to tell me anything. That makes me mad. And when I get mad, I get middle-class. Having had a very tinny strop at the poor chap at the other end, I rang the cancellation line and fumed. And then she did it.

"Well, we do have some very competitive offers you see. As you've built up loyalty points…"

Jam tart.

"…you're now eligible for a cheaper tariff."

Custard Danish.

"I can do your current tariff for £20"

Lardie cake.

"…and you're due an upgrade as well so you could either choose an upgrade or get £100 credit to add to your bill."

French apple flan with perfect crème patissière and side servings of hand-carved chocolate swans that can actually fly.

So yes, I'm very cross at O2. I've also got sticky fingers, a tummy ache and no phone bill for the next five months.

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