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My Carphone Warehouse experience: Shockingly good.

Oh come on, another my-iPhone-hasn’t-arrived-save-me post?


Not at all.

I waited two weeks after the trauma of the Apple iPhone launch here in the UK before jumping in myself. The opportunity to review and test out the new 3G iPhone was excellent — thank you o2 for sending that over — I’ve been particularly enamoured with the Applications Store. The 3G helps when you’re about town. It was always slightly annoying waiting for map squares to load on Google Maps with the 2G device.

My current roster of daily handsets looks like this:
– Blackberry 8300 on Vodafone
– Nokia E90 on Vodafone
– Nokia N82 on Orange
– Nokia 6300 on T-Mobile

I can’t remember what I’ve done with my 3 sim. It’s somewhere. And after their appalling disregard of my demands to upsell me prior to the end of my contract, I haven’t bothered trying to locate it. It’s in a phone somewhere.

The iPhone, seminal moment (and so on) deserves a place on that daily roster.

So I ordered one via Carphone Warehouse on Sunday evening.

On Monday I got a phone call to call them about the order. I left a message for ‘Steve’ in direct sales.

Did the same on Tuesday.

Then at 5pm last night I thought I better sort it out. The transaction number I’d been given wasn’t accepted by the automated telephone line. Duh.

I got through to ‘Direct Sales’ and the effervescent chap couldn’t help me.

“I assume you’re calling about the iPhone, right?” he asked. He hadn’t even identified me yet. Oh dear.

I confirmed, “Is it that easy to tell I’m calling about the iPhone?”

“Trust me it is. I’ll, er, put you through to Web Sales,” he said.

Oh no.

Here we go. They’ve screwed up the order.

I got through to another chap.

“Ah yes. I have your order here.”

I didn’t actually establish what had gone wrong to prevent the order from being fulfilled. Instead, I allowed myself to be grandly upsold by an excellent telesales person.

When I’m put in this position, I find it very difficult to act normal. Offer me almost anything and I’ll probably say ‘Yes’ with the ferocity of a young child asked if it would like a bag of sweets, but only if it’ll promise to sit quiet and still through a wedding ceremony.

That’s because I work in the industry. Or, at least, we write about the industry here. And whilst we often do copious eyeball rolling and hissing at shockingly bad service, I feel a moral responsibility to reward good service.

Let’s set aside the fact that my iPhone should have arrived on Tuesday morning. I don’t know what went wrong there.

But when I got through to this chap, he was a demon.

“Ah yes,” he said. I could hear his eyes scanning the screen, finding out what had gone wrong with my order.

Kudos to the chap, he didn’t explain.

“Ohhhkayyyyy,” he said, allowing himself a little more time to scan his screen before presenting a result to me.

“So, you’re after the 8GB?” he queried. I confirmed.

“You do know we have 16GBs in stock? We just got a load about an hour ago,” he said.

“Oh really.”

“Yeah, would you like to upgrade to one of those?” he asked.

(Watch me)

“Sure, go for it.”

We sorted the tariff details. He confirmed my address and asked if I wanted it delivered to a local Carphone store or if I wanted it sent straight to my address.

Then he asked me about insurance.

“No,” I said. My automatic response.

“Ok, it’s just, they’re very valuable devices and…” he started.

“12 quid a month, over 18 months, is 216 pounds,” I pointed out, “I could probably by another iPhone for that.”

“Fair enough,” the chap said, “It’s month to month and you get the first month free?”

(watch me go)

“Er, ok. Add it,” I said. He’s good.

“And would you like this special protective case, for just 16.99?” he asked, giving me more specs.

“Errr. Ok.”

I’m like a robot.

Truth be told I feel like I have to experience these things (here’s a bit about me getting phonejacked, for, er, in retrospect, the experience). The chap did a good job at upselling me. He also left me oblivious to whatever issue was up with the order originally. I was getting ready to be quite annoyed prior to getting on the phone with him.

So it should arrive today.


  1. Ewan, sounds like we've got at least two sales people in the industry worth commending – your Carphone Warehouse guy and this guy from Vodafone –

    I'm not saying there aren't any more, but the default experience seems to be bad. It's a shame we have to highlight good experiences in this way – but I'm happy to do it.

  2. Don't you just hate it when despite your anger, telesales people always have this way of making you feel happier, and somehow buying more of their service.

    Glad you got the 16GB, it seems no one can at the moment.


  3. Ewan,

    I'm confused. You ordered an 8GB on Sunday, there was a problem with the order and they didn't return your calls for two days. Then when you call again, they don't tell you what happened to your order, don't attempt to explain where what you ordered is, and persuade you to buy something else instead????

    Which just happens to be more expensive…

    And they persuaded you to buy insurance as well!?

    And you're happy about it!?

    I agree, that is great selling.

  4. My phone experience was similarly good, but I wish they had offered me delivery to a store because the couriers they used were massively unhelpful.


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