Mystery Caller: mobile use abroad

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Mystery Caller is escaping the temperamental weather in England and taking a short trip around Europe, stopping to visit family in Italy. She wants to call, text and use data abroad while keeping costs down. Can the networks help?

6: Virgin

Virgin’s data costs abroad are much higher than the other networks’ charges and its customers are getting a bad deal when abroad

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

5: Orange

I asked whether there was a way to buy texts, calls and data in one go, but they said no. I wondered why this was – having the same policy for domestic usage would be ludicrous

Manner – 3/5
Understanding – 3/5
Knowledge – 1/5
Helpfulness – 3/5
Clarity – 3/5
Overall – 3/5
Total – 16/30

4: Three

There wasn’t much more Adam could do as, in common with the other UK networks, you have to be on a contract to enjoy most of the roaming deals

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

3: Vodafone

Both CSAs had decent knowledge of Vodafone’s roaming deals but, again, prepay customers miss out on these

Manner – 3/5
Understanding – 4/5
Knowledge – 4/5
Helpfulness – 4/5
Clarity – 4/5
Overall – 4/5
Total –23/30

2: O2

O2’s travel plans are only available on contract, Rachel said. She was less confident when it came to prepay offerings

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

1: T-Mobile

Knowledgeable and helpful, Martin had the most thorough understanding of roaming tariffs out of all the CSAs

Manner – 5/5
Understanding – 4/5
Knowledge – 4/5
Helpfulness – 4/5
Clarity – 4/5
Overall – 4/5
Total – 25/30

Summary

It’s been almost a year since Brussels passed rules that were designed to ensure customers could ‘roam’ abroad without fear of bill shock.

However, the risk of overspending on mobile connectivity abroad still exists. The CSAs’ lack of knowledge was part of the problem, the other was the differences in the networks’ policies.

Kevin appeared not to understand my request and this, coupled with a bad sales manner, earned him last place this issue.

Orange and Three’s CSAs lacked knowledge, though there wasn’t much they could offer prepay customers anyway.

Vodafone and O2 both had deals that would make data roaming more affordable for customers, but they couldn’t beat Martin at T-Mobile’s knowledge.

Full article in Mobile News issue 538 (May 6, 2013).

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