Mystery Caller: rugged handsets

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Mystery Caller is looking for a rugged handset for her dad, who works as a builder. But can the smartphone-obsessed networks offer her anything that can withstand tough conditions?

6: Vodafone

An entire song played through before Glen briefly came back on to say: “I have not forgotten about you, I am still searching”

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

5: O2

Ideally, Shah should not have recommended a high-end phone at all, as I had requested a rugged handset

Manner – 2/5
Understanding – 2/5
Knowledge – 3/5
Helpfulness – 3/5
Clarity – 2/5
Overall – 2/5
Total – 14/30

4: Virgin

Without being left on hold several times (like I was by Vodafone and O2), I was able to get all the information I needed for my dad in six minutes

Manner – 4/5
Understanding – 3/5
Knowledge – 3/5
Helpfulness – 4/5
Clarity – 2/5
Overall – 3/5
Total – 19/30

3: Three

“There was a time when we offered indestructible-type devices, but not any more,” Neal said. I silently wondered why this was

Manner – 5/5
Understanding – 4/5
Knowledge – 3/5
Helpfulness – 3/5
Clarity – 2/5
Overall – 3/5
Total –20/30

2: T-Mobile

I don’t think Wayne knew anything about the device that wasn’t written down in front of him

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

1: Orange

The unnamed CSA recommended the Samsung Solid Xcover – a good start as it is a rugged handset, and I was relieved not to be offered another Sony Xperia Z

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

Summary

Most of the networks would have been at a complete loss for recommendations if it wasn’t for the Sony Xperia Z.

This is worrying when you consider it only came out a few months ago. Perhaps there is no demand for rugged handsets in the age of smartphones – or maybe the networks are missing out on a viable market only T-Mobile and Orange cater for.

Three’s CSA managed to come third purely for the way he conducted the conversation, although Virgin’s John also came across well.

Both O2 and Vodafone made the same mistake and left me on hold repeatedly. I wonder if the Sony Xperia Z is currently the go-to suggestion for CSAs, regardless of what customers want – it certainly seemed so this issue.

Full article in Mobile News issue 536 (April 8, 2013).

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