Mystery Caller: Prepay phones for travelling

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Mystery Caller is off to Australia but doesn’t want to take his expensive smartphone. He has a budget of £80. Could the networks offer a cheap but effective prepay option?

6: Orange

I asked how much that would cost and was again put on hold. “Under £80,” came the confused reply. This was just too vague

Manner – 2/5
Understanding – 2/5
Knowledge – 0/5
Helpfulness – 0/5
Clarity – 1/5
Overall – 1/5
Total – 6/30

5: O2

“Sorry about this. The system runs extra slow because it knows I’m in a hurry”

Manner – 2/5
Understanding – 2/5
Knowledge – 1/5
Helpfulness – 1/5
Clarity – 1/5
Overall – 2/5
Total – 9/30

4: Virgin Mobile

“All I want to do is to make a sales enquiry,” I said, deeply frustrated

Manner – 3/5
Understanding – 1/5
Knowledge – 2/5
Helpfulness – 2/5
Clarity – 2/5
Overall – 2/5
Total – 12/30

3: Three

“You’re better off visiting your nearest Three shop.” I was getting really tired of that line

Manner – 4/5
Understanding – 3/5
Knowledge – 3/5
Helpfulness – 3/5
Clarity – 3/5
Overall – 3/5
Total 19/30

2: T-Mobile

Gemma was less helpful when it came to handset choice – the area she said she would help me with originally

Manner – 4/5
Understanding –3/5
Knowledge – 3/5
Helpfulness – 3/5
Clarity – 4/5
Overall – 3/5
Total – 20/30

1: Vodafone

I was on hold for 15 minutes and told 15 times: “Thank you for waiting. An agent will be with you shortly”

Manner – 4/5
Understanding – 4/5
Knowledge – 4/5
Helpfulness – 4/5
Clarity – 4/5
Overall – 4/5
Total – 24/30

Summary

This was a Mystery Caller of two sides and it was a challenge just getting through to some of the networks.

On the bad side of the coin, Pushpal’s knowledge at Orange drained quickly and he wanted to get rid of me. Stefan at O2 did the same and Virgin’s Anna made a couple of good points but asked far too many irrelevant questions.

On the good side, Three’s CSA stuttered but raised his game and it was a nightmare getting through to T-Mobile but Gemma showed a genuine ambition to save me money. Stephen, despite being the fourth person I spoke to at Vodafone, came out on top by dealing with my query with absolute minimum fuss.

Full review in Mobile News issue 477 (November 22, 2010).

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