Thursday, May 19, 2011
Your Call Is Most Definitely Not Of The Slightest Importance To Us. Now Get Lost.
Once, cars broke down and at the side of the road, you repaired them. Once, you had a telephone that occasionally malfunctioned and a bloke would fix it. Once, every negotiation didn't require lawyers for days on end and 500 emails. Once........
But enough with the nostalgia. Further to my last post about the shaky business end of mobile phonery I have an update. My mobile phone company, Nomi Mobile, did, in fact go bust, as can be confirmed here. I was right, their obfuscation and call avoidance was concealing an office emptied of employees, with tumbleweed blowing through it, and a lonely receiver sitting at a desk trying to pick all the pieces up to make an asset sale.
I know, I've been in there three times.
Why? Well I have a mobile number on which I'm pretty dependent and the rules of the game allow me to take that number and "migrate" to another network for any reason. All the mobile company has to do is tell you what your PAC Code is over the phone and.....well that's if they're answering their phones. Which Nomi aren't.
So I popped in and had a friendly chat. Aaah, they said, we don't have your PAC Code, sorry, that was "outsourced" to a company that doesn't appear to be answering the phone.
"The networks will be able to help" they offered, cheerily. Well, after several days of talking to customer service on Three, 02, Orange, and Vodaphone, let's just say that those charming people on customer services were not able to help. Dealing with callcentres is bad enough when you know what you're talking about.
No the company Nomi pointed me to are called LycaTel, who are another MVNO. I'm sorry, you don't know what an MVNO is? It's a Mobile Virtual Network Operator, you dolt, where have you been?
MVNO's are companies that don't have the infrastructure, the radio frequency, or anything really (except possibly the cash) to set up a mobile phone network. But what they do is come into the market and do a deal. Just like LycaTel, who did a deal. And for those of you who think this has been complicated so far, hang on to your hats.
Nomi, apparently, were with Vodaphone, the company becoming better known for their tax affairs than telephone services. The up popped LycaTel who - in conjunction with Plintron (don't even ask) - POACHED Nomi from Vodafone and took them to 02. Who, in the great scheme of things, are the Spanish Company Telefonica. But more importantly in the UK use the network owned by.....Vodafone.
Still with me?
So, if I want to retain my number I call....er, well let's start with OfCom, the Government Regulator who sorts out all this snaffoofery. I had complained to OfCom a couple of weeks ago when I thought Nomi were going South. "Yes" they said, "Um, you're a customer with, um, Nomi. What can we do for you?"
I explained, as best I could. "Nothing to do with us" was the essence of the reply, before uttering the immortal phrase, "Is there anything else we can do for you today?"
So I decide to call Lycatel to get my PAC Code (we'll be coming to Plintron in a moment. patience)
I have no idea who Lycatel are, but they're based in the UK in East London. I call and get switchboard and ask for the Managing Director, Mr Kangle.
"He's not at his desk" comes the reply.
Or his PA.
I ask for someone who deals with Nomi.
"That's Mr Jogan" I'm told, "He's not in"
OK, let's try, um, technical. An internal extension rings out somewhere in the building.
I call back a total of 7 times. I get nowhere.
Then I look up this article and discover that Plintron are a company in the middle of all this, that, according to their website, facilitate 'mobile number portability' and it is probably THEY who have my PAC Code, my number, and the answer to all my dreams.
But guess what? They don't have a phone.
Posted by Nationwide