Mystery Caller: Travelling needs

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Mystery Caller has bought a round-the-world ticket and needs a cheap phone that will work anywhere in the world, with a deal that allows him to call and text back to the UK without breaking the bank. Can the operators help?

6: Virgin Mobile

Maddening hold music, poor advice and little to offer

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

5: Vodafone

She seemed so convinced, but she should have known better

Manner – 4/5
Understanding – 3/5
Knowledge – 1/5
Helpfulness – 3/5
Clarity – 2/5
Overall – 2/5
Total – 15/30

4: O2

Andy’s grunting was off-putting, but he eventually did his best

Manner – 3/5
Understanding – 3/5
Knowledge – 2/5
Helpfulness – 3/5
Clarity – 2/5
Overall – 3/5
Total – 16/30

3: Three

Heather was businesslike, but not very persuasive

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

2: T-Mobile

Rian knew T-Mobile’s limits and recommended an appropriate handset with confidence

Manner – 4/5
Understanding –4/5
Knowledge – 4/5
Helpfulness – 3/5
Clarity – 4/5
Overall – 3/5
Total – 22/30

1: Orange

A motherly approach made me think I would be well looked-after on my trip

Manner – 5/5
Understanding – 4/5
Knowledge – 4/5
Helpfulness – 3/5
Clarity – 4/5
Overall – 4/5
Total – 24/30

Summary

None of the CSAs was able to o er anything that would help me significantly reduce the cost of phoning outside Europe, except Vodafone, which had pretty tempting arrangements for contract customers.

However, Vodafone’s CSA turned what could have been a good call into a poor one, by assuring me the handset she recommended would work anywhere: a major mistake that could have left an unwary traveller seriously inconvenienced.

This was what primarily split the operators this week, with only three of them able to authoritatively give me the correct information.

Full review in Mobile News issue 494 (August 1, 2011).

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