Recently, I spent nearly an hour in one of the infamous O2 stores on Grafton Street in Dublin. My Nokia E51 had lost its mind, and I needed to get it repaired, or preferably a straight replacement.
After waiting in the queue they now get their customers to form for about 30mins, Derek finally nodded his head my way and asked what he could do for me.
The phone would need to be sent off for repair, he said. Fair enough, but I’d need a replacement. No problems, he said, while asking for a proof of purchase for the phone.
Don’t have one, I said. Oh, but you need one, he said, or else the O2 repair people will just send the phone back without doing anything to it.
Well, I don’t have one, but if you check your computer under my phone number, you’ll see that I bought the phone from an O2 store in January of this year. Chancing my arm, I said that since it was in warranty and if the repair people were going to be so pernickety, then maybe he could just get me a replacement.
Derek went off to his computer and 10 minutes later he came back acknowledging that he had the information, the proof of purchase, in his computer.
After going away into their little back room, he came back with the replacement phone, and after another 15 minutes of trying to register the loan phone to me in their computer system, it was all sorted.
A whole hour just for me to go in to leave in a phone to be repaired.
Moral of the story: you don’t have to have a proof of purchase when you go into the O2 store (assuming you did actually buy phone from O2 and not somewhere else), no matter what they say to you. Their computer system (albeit very slowly) will have the information linking your phone number to the IMEI of the phone, and then to the time and date when you bought the phone.
You don’t even have to have bought the phone in that same O2 store as the information is held centrally so the employees in one store can work out what’s been bought in another.