Mystery Caller: 4G-ready handsets

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Mystery Caller has seen the news and knows all the UK mobile operators will be in a position to offer 4G at some point later this year – however, she needs a new phone now. Can the operators persuade her to buy a ‘4G-ready’ handset in the meantime?

6: O2

The CSA clearly didn’t know anything about tariffs – he should have said so instead of raising expectations that could subsequently be dashed

Manner – 1/5
Understanding –

2/5
Knowledge – 1/5
Helpfulness – 1/5
Clarity – 1/5
Overall – 1/5
Total – 7/30

5: Vodafone

The first thing Richard told me was “we don’t have 4G at the moment on Vodafone”. While correct, it was not the attitude I had been hoping for

Manner – 2/5
Understanding – 2/5
Knowledge – 1/5
Helpfulness – 3/5
Clarity – 1/5
Overall – 2/5
Total – 11/30

4: Virgin

Mary claimed I would not pay any more for 4G than 3G – this is a dangerous promise for a CSA to make as customers may pay more

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

3: Three

Haider told me Three’s ultrafast mobile broadband “has the exact same speeds as 4G”. This isn’t true

Manner – 3/5
Understanding – 2/5
Knowledge – 1/5
Helpfulness – 2/5
Clarity – 3/5
Overall – 2/5
Total –13/30

2: Orange

He blew his chances of a sale by claiming surfing the internet uses up “pretty much” the same battery life as calling

Manner – 3/5
Understanding – 4/5
Knowledge – 2/5
Helpfulness – 3/5
Clarity – 2/5
Overall – 3/5
Total – 17/30

1: T-Mobile

This might be the compromise budget-conscious customers have to make if they want 4GEE – a less desirable device

Manner – 4/5
Understanding – 3/5
Knowledge – 4/5
Helpfulness – 4/5
Clarity – 2/5
Overall – 4/5
Total – 21/30

Summary

The UK’s four major operators spent £2.3 billion on 4G licences last month, so you’d think they’d be looking to sell the service.

For this reason it was particularly disappointing that Vodafone’s CSA didn’t even know which devices were ‘4G-ready’. Three also could have pushed the iPhone 5 harder, as only it and EE’s 4G’s spectrum is compatible with the device.

Orange and T-Mobile, who as EE’s counterparts had an immediate advantage, put in solid performances, with Donna from T-Mobile winning it by taking the initiative and checking the quality of 4G coverage in my area.

O2 were unlucky as I was put through to a particularly incompetent CSA, and the Virgin CSA was much better mannered but let down by its poor product offering and lack of knowledge.

Full article in Mobile News issue 534 (March 11, 2013).

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