Mystery Caller: Deals for uni students

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This month, thousands of students will be starting university for the first time. Some will need new phones. Mystery Caller is on the case to find out what the advisers are offering, what discounts are available and what advice they’re giving

5: O2

He was really unclear and difficult to speak to. Whenever I answered a question there was a long pause as he had to think about what to do next

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

4: Vodafone

He asked if he could put me on hold as he ‘needed to go and check something’. That’s call centre speak for ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’

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

3: EE

Christie said the iPhone was popular and I could get one within a reasonable budget so long as I could pay a little bit upfront – £79.99 to be precise

Manner – 2/5
Understanding – 3/5
Knowledge – 2/5
Helpfulness – 4/5
Clarity – 4/5
Overall – 3/5
Total – 18/30

2: Virgin

He’d committed the cardinal sin of a call centre employee – swearing on a call from a customer

Manner – 2/5
Understanding – 5/5
Knowledge – 5/5
Helpfulness – 5/5
Clarity – 3/5
Overall – 4/5
Total – 24/30

1: Three

She littered the conversation with a lot of buzz words – great, brilliant, excellent – and kept on asking questions

Manner – 5/5
Understanding – 5/5
Knowledge – 4/5
Helpfulness – 5/5
Clarity – 4/5
Overall – 5/5
Total – 28/30

Summary

Students have a lot of demands with limited funding so finding the right deal for them is a big challenge.

Our advisers didn’t seem to see the unique balance needed when selling to the student market. Too many of them went in high end without considering budgets.

The O2 adviser was completely disinterested and seemed to forget he only had a job because people call up to buy phones, instead of going online.

Fabian at Vodafone wanted me to give my bank details before he even offered me a phone whilst Christie at EE was polite but brisk.

Despite his slip of the tongue, Andy at Virgin was excellent. Unfortunately, swearing on a call is unforgiveable.
Our winner was Joanne at Three, who found the best deal and was delightful doing it.

Full article in Mobile News issue 572 (September 8, 2014).

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