Mystery Caller: Handsets for visually impaired people


Android and iOS devices both include a range of features for people with visual impairments. Mystery Caller wants to know what these are. Can the CSAs tell him?

5: EE

Dave’s first suggestion was that I go to an EE store to look at the phones. That’s right, a blind person should go and look at devices. Absolute genius there, Dave. When he put me on hold I decided to hang up.

Manner – 1/5
Understanding – 2/5
Knowledge – 1/5
Helpfulness – 0/5
Clarity – 3/5
Overall – 1/5
Total – 8/30

4: Virgin

She said that most smartphones came with stuff that would help a blind or partially-sighted user. I asked her to tell me about these features and she couldn’t, so back on hold I went.

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

3: Three

I was interested to know about accessibility features on the device and he didn’t know what that meant. He asked me to repeat it several times until eventually I said it was stuff like reading out texts.

Manner – 4/5
Understanding – 3/5
Knowledge – 1/5
Helpfulness – 3/5
Clarity – 1/5
Overall – 2/5
Total – 14/30

2: O2

John had an idea where I could find functions I needed for someone with visual problems, but was reluctant about giving incorrect info.

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

1: Vodafone

The information given to me from the member of staff was excellent. She explained that it was a very popular phone.

Manner – 5/5
Understanding – 5/5
Knowledge – 3/5
Helpfulness – 5/5
Clarity – 4/5
Overall – 4/5
Total – 26/30


The UK has an ageing population who need some accessibility features on smartphones.

So you’d expect sales staff to have at least some idea about what is out there to help those with visual impairments.

I’m not sure what annoyed me most about Dave at EE: the fact that he couldn’t answer any of my questions or the fact that he wasn’t that bothered about trying.

The girl from Virgin had a crackly line but she did at least try to answer my query. Unfortunately, she almost completely failed to give any useful information.

Matthew at Three did give some information but, for the most part, it was incorrect or misleading.

What O2 rep John did know was spot on but his knowledge wasn’t that broad and he didn’t do much to extend it.

Despite a poor start, Sam at Vodafone recognised her lack of knowledge and went about correcting it, winning her the task.

Full article in Mobile News issue 582 (February 16, 2015).

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  1. I have to say, if you are indeed a blind person you should know it is a lot easier to actually go into a shop and feel the phone for yourself. your first comment about EE slammed them when in fact what he said was correct. if you want to know what phone is best for you, go and try some. just because someone is blind or visually impaired it does not mean they cant get out and actually go to a shop. we don’t all just sit at home making baskets you know. if you don’t know anything about a subject you simply shouldn’t be writing about it.

    • I think you’ve entirely missed the point there, Marc. It’s not about telling someone to go out to the shop (although that often loses points any way as its rare someone calls up a telesales line if they want to go out shopping) and more the use of the words “go and look at the phone.” Our Mystery Caller felt that could have been an insensitive way of phrasing it.

      • your mystery caller clearly doesn’t have a clue what he is talking about. that is not insensitive at all. quite the opposite.

        • That’s your opinion, but it certainly wasn’t the best way of phrasing it. That wasn’t the only reason the EE advisor scored so poorly, which is made clear in the full review in issue 582 of Mobile News, but it was one of the ones that Mystery Caller flagged.