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Mobile Shop staff… You amuse me!

No seriously! Despite how rubbish you can be (note, not all are that rubbish), you have this ability to make me laugh, even when it’s not funny!

You see, on Wednesday I took a trip down to my local high street, a busy one at that; in all I would hazard a guess that there are at least eight different phone shops – Carphone, Phones4U, T-Mobile, Orange, Vodafone all of that. With so many shops about you would have thought that the big retailers, mainly Carphone and Phones4U would at least hire staff who own basic knowledge on computers and mobiles, right?


I popped along to the O2 store to grab a SIM card for the iPhone, and the lady in there was helpful; I didn’t require much out of her, just a SIM, which she got. She couldn’t use the till though, so that took a little longer than I anticipated, but I got what I needed, and she was polite.

I then popped into the Carphone Warehouse. After my post about wanting a new phone I got quite a few responses, and e-mails. I got a particularly useful one from a chap called Mike (thanks), and he listed a few phones, namely the LG KS360. I was pretty interested in it – although not a fan of LG, it looked interesting.

A man approached me in the Carphone and he asked me if I needed any help, I replied I was looking for a phone, an LG, but I couldn’t remember the name of it. He pointed out one on display, and I said it had a QWERTY keyboard. The response I got…

“Huh, a WERTY keyboard? Oh look this one here has a keypad!”

Oh deary me.

I was surprised to say the least, seeing as I was standing next to a display of Laptops, and if my Mum and Grandma know what a QWERTY keyboard is (bearing in mind, my Mum is hardly the most technological-aware or apt person), I was left just a tad dumbstruck.

I proceeded to ask if he could check to see when the phone may be in. I was hoping he would go to the computer, and do a basic search or something.


He picked up the “Buyers Guide” and started flicking through that.

Maybe I was wrong to think this, but isn’t that produced for the benefit of the consumer?
I don’t know… At that point I asked for the guide myself and walked out.

I didn’t give up there though, all I really wanted to know was when this phone was going to be released, or if at all. Seeing as I’ve read quite a few reports that it’s due out around now in the UK, I wanted to see if this was true.

So I popped into Phones4U situated next door to the Carphone. There I was greeted by a lady this time, and I asked her if she knew if an LG phone with a QWERTY keyboard was out. I could tell by the “What-the-hell” face she had, she didn’t have a clue what I was on about, but she at least didn’t make up a word to repeat next to me. I did a gesture of “Air-Typing”, and she finally got what I meant, and took me over to the business mobile section. She pointed out some Blackberry’s (forgetting I asked for an LG).

I asked her again if she knew of any LG phone that fitted what I was asking for, and she pointed to an LG in front of me (not what I wanted), and then said no. No looking on the computer, nothing.

I said thanks, and left.

I’ve spoken to some very nice and helpful people in these shops before, but it just seems that on Wednesday they weren’t about. And yes, I had forgotten the name of the model, but wouldn’t it make sense to have a look on the computer?

What is more horrifying is the general lack of knowledge; the Carphone and Phones4U staff are not only just selling mobiles, but Laptops now too… Yet they don’t even understand basic terminology.

I’ll pop back soon and see if I can speak to someone who knows what they are talking about!

Also, I should praise Orange, I was speaking to a man in there, and he was very polite, and helpful. Thanks!


  1. “Air-Typing”…the new Air Guitar! Who's got the highest WPM score? Rock on!

    On a serious note, whilst most of the phone shop staff I have encountered have been friendly I have given up on expecting them to know the answers to any questions. Instead, I try to get clued up online before going into the shop. My biggest gripe is that they often carry on conversations amongst themselves (or answer calls/texts from mates) while they're supposed to be helping you as a customer.

  2. Oh yes, “Air-Typing” is catching on… Expect to see it in the next Olympic games!
    Not as easy as it sounds either; you have to remember where all the keys are!

    I agree, many are friendly, but lack any use. I normally know what I'm looking for, but I wouldn't have imagined that looking on the computer would be so difficult!

    As for when they don't listen! Ahh… A lot of them actually spend most of the time outside of their shops, smoking, and talking to the other phone shop smokers too. Now that's annoying!



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