Mystery Caller: SIM card for European travel

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Mystery Caller is planning to go travelling in Europe over the summer. He already has a phone but needs a SIM-card that won’t cost a fortune when used abroad. What deals do the networks offer for roaming?

5: Virgin

John then told me it would be cheaper if I bought myself a handset, but this seemed counterintuitive. He said I may as well get a phone as I’d only have to pay a small amount extra and could sell the handset on.

Manner – 3/5
Understanding – 1/5
Knowledge – 1/5
Helpfulness – 1/5
Clarity – 2/5
Overall – 1/5
Total – 9/30

4: EE

I asked what offers there were and Cara said I should buy the SIM and then call up customer services to get a bundle added. Why didn’t she check them herself? This really angered me.

Manner – 4/5
Understanding – 1/5
Knowledge – 1/5
Helpfulness – 1/5
Clarity – 3/5
Overall – 2/5
Total – 12/30

3: Vodafone

Sarah recommended that I visit Vodafone’s website saying details of all the countries I could get for free were in there. I asked where and she found it for me pointing to the list of Vodafone’s Euro and World Traveller pages.

Manner – 3/5
Understanding – 3/5
Knowledge – 2/5
Helpfulness – 2/5
Clarity – 3/5
Overall – 3/5
Total – 16/30

2: O2

It was hard work getting to the bottom of what Louise was offering but once she made it clear, it was excellent, and she was very polite.

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

1: Three

She told me that Three had by far the best options for roaming as it was free in no less than 18 countries. It sounded good to me.

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

Summary

It is summer time so a lot of people will be planning to go abroad and taking their phone with them has become increasingly important.

So it was surprising how little some of the sales staff knew about what their network had on offer when they were quizzed about it.

John at Virgin never once told me about any roaming packages that the quad-play provider had on offer and tried to sell me a handset instead.

EE’s Cara wasn’t much better. She seemed to get confused when I asked her for the roaming deals and had to ask her colleague. That led to a long hold time and despite her apologies, that was frustrating.

Vodafone’s Sarah told me the cost of its roaming deals changed all the time but at least she got the SIM deals right.

The offer from O2 advisor Louise was complicated but, once she explained it clearly, it was a great deal.

Three had the best package, according to Lucy, and with her knowledge and cheery manner she really made me believe that was the case.

Full article in Mobile News issue 595 (August 17, 2015).

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