I've switched networks and moved my number several times in the past and have occasionally been offered mild enticements to stay with the current network, but I've never heard an operator directly lie about the capabilities of a phone on another network before. I suppose they feel free to do this because the iPhone is almost unique in being only available on one network in the UK. T-Mobile could hardly disparage the capabilities of phones that they also carry.
Anyway, the operator read me their script of what was, at best, quarter-truths and mostly outright lies.
Firstly, there was a warning that "there are lots of problems with the iPhone". What these "problems" were was left mostly unspecified, but I eventually extracted the claim that you "can't send an email from the phone". Then there was the claim that several features are "not compatible with O2's network".
Oh, be still, my aching sides.
Next, there was a hoary anecdote about a woman who switched from T-Mobile and then took the iPhone back after one day. The operator claimed that he had personally given this woman a PAC (number porting) code and then he somehow found out that she had retuned the iPhone. I don't know about you, but I've never had the experience of phoning a call centre and coincidentally happening to get the same operator twice in a row. I'm putting that story on the shelf between "Improbable" and "Untrue". We rounded off with claims that the iPhone was "expensive" and "not very good value for money" - which points are at least debatable - and finally some feeble attempts to explain that there are other phones that "are just as good". I could only laugh.
Now, there's the usual cut and thrust of salesmanship, but it's pretty surprising and quite disappointing to be outright lied to. Clearly, T-Mobile are very, very worried about the iPhone.
They ought to be.