We all look to the nine circles of hell when drawing comparisons with experiences we take a disliking to and, I have to say, I considered that very association after my recent foray into the deeply dark world of mobile phone upgrades.
However, when I thought it through, following my second, 30-minute wait for an O2 advisor to speak to me, via telephone, ‘O2 Live Chat’ and Twitter, it was Dante’s volume Purgatorio that crept into the fore.
Through neither channel were my cries for help answered and I remain hovering in limbo somewhere between mobile phone network and handset choices.
But, upon reflection, don’t we all end up in limbo every time we come to upgrade our mobile phones, due to the fact that mobile phone providers are actually immobile?
During those ever-increasing contractual months, I dream of that divine day when my mobile phone bill will be reduced and that exorbitant new handset cost will disappear. And each year I somehow reach the vanishing point only to find that I am back to where I started all those months ago.
Yes, the handsets get shinier but the offer on the table renders no additional value and the nauseous feeling that comes with inertia sets in.
It’s a paradox: we move forward, yet we stay in the same place. But those phone networks keep getting richer.
So, what is to be done? Well, one might opt for a change in mobile network but the tariffs are so inflexible – immobile if you will. Or take up the gauntlet set down by the customer service agent and hunt out a tariff that the provider will then match.
Where with other industries, the voice of the customer is now what drives business; making the customer do the work is, once again, demonstrable of mobile phone network providers taking and not giving back; living in the past and failing to evolve to meet the customers’ needs, choosing, instead, to serve their own.
Dante wrote in Purgatorio: “This mountain is so formed that it is always wearisome when one begins the ascent, but becomes easier the higher one climbs.”
Maybe it’s time for us to push ourselves to climb and force a different view.