Here at SMS Text News towers we love the mobile phone industry – but we rightly criticise it when it doesn’t get things right. One of the areas that comes in for the most criticism is the general retail experience. Let’s be honest it can be pretty poor – handsets chained to the display, uninformed and sometimes downright rude shop staff, pain in the ar5e credit checks and once you’ve gone through all that the operator cannot activate your new phone properly (as happened to Dan Lane’s shiny new iPhone3G).
So to correct this and offer praise when praise is due I’m going to let you lovely readers know about the excellent experience I had with Vodafone this morning.
I set off with the intention of snapping up 3’s E71 white and laptop deals. But to be honest when I got there the E71’s looked a bit cheap and tacky in white (and they had none in stock at the shop I tried), while the laptops were aimed more at the home user market. So, I left the 3 shop disappointedly as I was looking forward to having some new toys to play with. But across the road was a Voda shop … might as well I thought.
At first things weren’t much better, I asked about a couple of handsets and was told, “No, sorry mate.” No attempt to see why I wanted those specific handsets, no attempt to sell me an alternative. But then it turns out they did have what I was looking for and Alex was sent over to serve me.
To put it simply Alex was brilliant.
He guided me through the multitude of price plans – finding the right deal for me. Helped me out with more information about international calls. Sorted out a usb dongle for me. Helped to port my existing mobile number over to Vodafone. Backed up my sim contacts. Was patient and friendly as my two-year son ran around the shop. And at one stage even got me a bottle of water from the staff room.
The whole process took about an hour, but at all times he was patient and explanied what was going on. We had a few glitches (his computer system, my PAC), but it didn’t matter – he just dealt with them and got the job done.
I left feeling like I was a valued customer for Vodafone and that is exactly how I should feel as I had just signed up to give them over Â£900.
Why can’t the other operators do this? Actually I don’t even know if this is common place for Vodafone. But what I do know is that without Alex I would have either left in the middle of the sign-up process or resented the time, effort and money I was spending with Vodafone and would have started my relationship with the big V feeling very negative. Instead I’m prepared to spend more as I feel ‘loved’.
So, if you are in the Nottingham area and want a pleasant mobile phone buying experience, go to the Vodafone store on Clumber street.
And if you’re listening Vodafone, give Alex a raise, a bonus, or at least some healthy commission from today’s sale.