Sharp End: Three PAC codes and Symbian

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Dealer Jez Harris discusses the frustrations caused by Three in customers obtaining PAC codes and how it could be the end for the Symbian operating system

Three’s PAC men

I can understand networks wanting to retain customers when they call in to cancel their contract but the doggedness of Three’s retentions department is unbelievable.

As a dealer, I obviously encourage my customers to leave Three and move elsewhere – just because customers hate the customer service from Three, along with the network quality. There is, of course, the issue of upgrade commissions, which make it impossible for dealers to offer any kind of upgrade and make a profit.

I have sat in on calls my customers have made to Three to request PAC codes and some have lasted in excess of 20 minutes, as its call operators attempt to refuse every request, or make other offers. And this 20 minutes does not include the hold period before the call starts.

Ultimately, if the customer is persistent, then operators must listen and grant them their PAC code. I’ve actually sat in when a customer barked frustratedly down the line at Three that they did not want a free phone, free line rental or free everything, just their PAC code. The operator still insisted on reviewing the account.

Contrast this with other networks: the customer calls, explains their reasons, hears the network’s best offer and then takes their PAC code. Simple.

Three is not doing itself any favours. And, amazingly, Three is the one network that wants two-hour porting. I believe it will have the most to lose when this change eventually happens.

Bye-bye Symbian?

It looks like the end of the line for the Symbian operating system with both Samsung and Sony Ericsson going on record to state they will no longer be bringing out handsets based on the antiquated Symbian platform. Nokia itself looks as if it will concentrate on its MeeGo system.

This move away from Symbian leaves us with Apple’s iOS, Nokia’s MeeGo, RIM’s platform and the new Windows Phone 7 going forward. Samsung Bada is also in the works but it’s unknown yet if this will be adopted by developers and expanded going forward.

Many analysts have suggested Microsoft has finally found a winning formula with Windows Phone 7. I’ve always liked the Window Mobile operating systems and I too believe Microsoft will see an upturn from it.

JV roaming

Anyone on Orange or T-Mobile can now register with your network to allow UK 2G roaming between the two networks. Customers can register online and then automatically roam between the two when one signal is down.

This inter-network roaming is free. This will greatly enhance each network’s overall coverage and can only be a good thing.

£55 HSC/Orange bonus

October sees the networks offering similar commissions to previously without many changes to report.

However, HSC has increased the bonuses payable on Orange business user new connections to an extra £55 per connection.

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