Having briefly met James Body, who is Truphone‘s rather grandly titled ‘Director of Networks’, at the Mobile Geeks of London beerfest a few weeks back, I figured it was time I paid him a visit at their plush new London HQ.
Truphone were, up until not that long ago, based on a working organic farm in deepest darkest Kent. They made cheese, developed cutting edge VOIP applications for mobile phones, and all was good. But then life on the farm got a bit cramped, and the cows were getting narked at sharing space with people on laptops sipping coffee, so they headed to the big smoke and got a rather plush office by the river at Tower Bridge, which is where I met up with James.
The first thing that strikes you about their offices is the view. I mean, where else can you get a view like this? OK, so if you move the random bloke out the way of the shot it’s pretty, isn’t it? The second thing you notice is the office is covered in cow prints and fake grass. They say never forget where you came from, and Truphone obviously haven’t. There’s even a bail of hay in a perspex box in reception – to be honest I was half expecting to see a few cows and sheep wandering around as well!
Having settled in with a nice cup of tea, and being introduced to the team, Katie – one of their very nice customer service people and a whiz with a mobile – had a good fiddle with my E61, tuned it up a bit, and made it all lovely. They certainly know their way around their handsets – it puts me to shame.
Talking to James and his colleagues, they’ve got huge amounts of cool stuff going on – and they’re certainly a company to keep an eye on in the coming months and years. They’re not just ‘another’ faceless mobile company either – they’re damn nice people and passionate about what they do. OK so the couple of beers and a pizza may have swayed me a tiny bit, but it’s true – they’re a great bunch.
I’ve used Truphone a few times since my visit (now that it’s all lovingly tweaked on my rather flakey E61), and it’s reliable as anything. Always been a bit wary of the quality of VOIP providers, but they’re top notch.. plus until the end of the year you can call free to 40 countries around the world – including the UK (01/02 landline numbers).