Sometime after 11am on Sunday morning, my mobile phone stopped working – though I didn’t realise this until the following day when I started getting occasional emails and tweets asking “didn’t you get my message…?”
My network provider is Orange, and after I tweeted my problem, I got a very quick response from “Andy” at @OrangeHelpers. He checked my account details at his end, then gave me a number to call, and has been monitoring the resolution of my problem – which seems to be a faulty SIM card (with luck, I should receive a replacement tomorrow, and resume normal service – meanwhile, apologies to anyone I miss). A couple of thoughts:
First, rather than relying solely on its telephone helpdesk service, I used Twitter to contact Orange customer services, and, via his direct messages, Andy has been friendly and efficient throughout. It is easy to get frustrated by long telephone help menus (“press 2 for ….”, etc), but having a second channel to communicate with the company has been very reassuring. It’s been a good practical example of the value of a responsive customer service operator on Twitter.
Second, being without a mobile phone has shown for a couple of days has underlined how much I use it for routine information and social interaction as well as voice or text communication. I was meeting up with a former colleague for a drink in Waterloo yesterday and obviously couldn’t call, text or email him when my train was delayed. But nor could I check the latest news on MyTaptu, or new updates on Twitter (things I do regularly on my commute into town), and I couldn’t check-in on FourSquare when we settled into our seats in the pub. Returning home, I couldn’t check train times, look up the football scores, or share via Twitpic or Flickr a photograph of The Shard (something I’ve done a couple of times when travelling through London Bridge).
I’m heading into town today without my phone – so a netbook, 3G dongle and digital camera will have to do.