I have a very old iPhone 3GS. I'm quite keen to replace it with an iPhone 5. I approached my service provider online. They have a chat system for immediate service. Here's the transcript of our conversation.


Thank you for choosing [mobile service provider]. Please wait for a site operator to respond.

Connected to [Operator's Name]

Me: Hi [Operator's Name]. I'm an existing [mobile service provider] customer with a very old iPhone and I'd like to upgrade to an iPhone 5 [1]

Me:  Hello?

Operator: Hi there, I'm an Online Sales Support rep.

Me: Cool.

Me: Where do we start?

Operator: Let me help you getting one.

Operator: Please provide me your mobile number.

Me: [number provided]

Operator: If I can have your full name, billing address and DOB, I can look into the account for you.

Me: [name provided]

Me: [address provided]

Me: [date of birth provided]

Operator: Thanks for providing the information.

Operator: I checked and found that you are eligible for free upgrade. [2]

Me: Excellent.

Me: What do I do?

Operator: You can upgrade for a new iPhone 5 with out paying any upgrade fee. [3]

Operator: Please let me know the plan you like along with the iPhone 5.

Me: Is there one similar to the plan I'm on? [4]

Operator: Let me check your current plan.

Me: I like the $80 per month because it includes 2GB of data.

Operator: I see that you are currently on a $59.00 plan. [5]

Operator: Not to consider data a concern.

Operator: I will offer you 1 GB free data every month.

Operator: How does this sound.

Me: That sounds great. Can I have that free data and remain on a $59 monthly plan? [6]

Operator: The $59.00 plan no longer exists.

Operator: We have $60.00 plan instead.

Me: That sounds good. So I'd effectively have 2.5GB of included Data?

Operator: Yes. I hope this saved you spend.

Me: I think it will. Thank you.

Operator: You are most welcome.

Me: What do I do next? Do you send a phone out to me?

Operator: Yes, the handset along with the SIM will be sent to your door step.

Operator: You will not be charged for delivery.

Me: Thank you very much.

Operator: You are most welcome.

Me: How do I ensure I don't lose data like phone calls and messages from my current phone?

Operator: Not to worry.

Operator: You will be receiving alerts based on your usage.

Operator: This will help you plan your data usage further.

Me: Thank you. I am referring to address book information and other information currently stored in my phone.

Operator: Yes, please.

Me: Is there an easy way to ensure none of that is lost?

Operator: Not to worry at all.

Me: Thank you.

Operator: I will be making a note in your account stating all the offers that was offered.

Me: One final question

Me: Am I eligible for the 8000 frequent flyer points bonus?

Operator: Please proceed.

Operator: Yes, you are eligible for 8000 QFF poins as well.

Me: I am very pleased indeed.

Operator: Thanks.

Me: You, sir, are most welcome.

Operator: Thanks for your appreciation.

Me: When may I expect the new handset to arrive?

Operator: The new Handset along with the suitable Nano SIM will be delivered in 3-5 business days.

Me: Thank you.

Operator: You are welcome.

Operator: Is all good to proceed to process the order?

Me: Yes please.

Operator: I would like to know your preferred colour of the handset and the storage as well.

Me: Black, please

Operator: Okay.

Me: Do you need anything else?

Operator: I would require your email and shipping address.

Me: [shipping address provided]

Me: [email address provided]

Operator: Thanks for providing the information.

Me: Thank you for being most helpful

Operator: You are welcome.

Operator: We would like to be helpful to our customers.

Operator: Do you wish to add on an Insurance to your handset?

Me: How much extra will it be?

Me: Per month, I mean

Operator: It will cost you $13.99/month.

Me: Yes, I will add insurance.

Operator: Thats an good idea.

Me: Is there anything else I should know?

Operator: It is almost done.

Operator: You will have to accept the Critical Information Summary.

Operator: The CIS outlines you the plan inclusions and pricing details.

Operator: This will appear next to your chat box.

Me: okay

Me: Waiting for it to appear

Operator: Please accept the CIS that is sent to you.

Me: I see the handset costs $11. How much would change (price etc) if I wanted a 32GB or 64GB phone?

Operator: If you go for 32 GB handset the fee will be $15.00/month.

Me: So when you say 'free upgrade', I'm still paying for the phone.

Me: Which part of this transaction is 'free'?

Operator: I meant to say that you are eligible for free upgrade.
That means you will be not paying any fee to upgrade the contract.

Me: My contract was for two years, and it ended.

Me: You're not actually giving me anything for free.

Operator: As few customers will not be eligible for free upgrade, they will have to pay the upgrade fee and proceed with the upgrade.

Me: The ones who are upgrading before their contract ended?

Operator: Yes, correct.

Me: I have to decline. You've not given me anything for free. You've not rewarded my loyalty at this time.

Me: You've been very polite about it though.

Operator: Let me offer you $100.00 credit.

Me: Let me offer you, I'm going to consider my other options with other service providers. Let me offer you, be honest up front. You almost had me.

Operator: I am sorry for any misunderstanding in this interaction.

Operator: I apologize if it is my mistake.

Me: I'm sorry I let you waste half an hour of my time.

Two days later my iPhone 3GS mysteriously died.

So who can tell me which company does the best deal on a 64GB iPhone 5?

I should be able to get one for free once the rumoured iPhone 5S finally appears, right?




 1: Note my use of the word 'upgrade' relating to my intention to procure an iPhone 5. At this stage, I'm happy to purchase one.

2: Oh joy! Did you hear that? I want to upgrade to an iPhone 5. My service provider tells me I can - for no charge! You know what I thought he meant. You thought the same thing initially, didn't you - unless you work for my service provider, or share my service provider and have been in my position.

3: It clearly sounds like I'm being offered a free iPhone 5.

4: I'm not actually on a plan; my last one expired. I'm still billed at the same rate, but I now own my own handset, and could take it to a new service provider and get on a cheaper plan. Or pay as I go. I've just been too lazy. And I figure, if I go back to this service provider, they may even reward my loyalty.

5: But I'm not really on a plan though.

6: Still not on a plan though.