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Brick-bats and Bouquets

I would like to share with you my recent experience trying to buy an HTC Desire mobile phone through the Virgin Media shop in Exeter. The first employee I spoke to couldn’t sell me one at the price I had decided was my maximum, as I wasn’t a Virgin customer for any other products… and they couldn’t move me to their voice and broadband package without a “MAC” code (which I had to get from my current Broadband supplier). He promised to put the last HTC Desire phone in the shop “on one side”, and reserved for me until the next working day. When I went in the next working day, another employee told me they had sold the phone which was supposed to be reserved, as “they could only be kept back for Virgin Media customers”! Unhappy, but still hopeful that I would get my phone in a short time, I tried to go ahead with the phone and broadband move. nearly an hour and seven phone calls later the employee gave up and said I would have to return the next day to try again when their computers were working better.

Now, contrast and compare that with what happened next. I returned to my works office and within 10 minutes had ordered the self-same model of phone, at the same price from mobiles.co.uk (a part of Carphone Warehouse). It was delivered to my home before 10:00 the next day. No fuss, no bother, and no need to change any other service to get that price!

When I bought my lovely HTC Desire I was automatically signed up for Geek Squad and mobile insurance, at a combined extra cost of £11 a month. Now you know I’m… well… stingy, and as a card-carrying Geek I don’t need Geek Squad to tell me anything, and my phone is already covered on my house insurance. So today, I got ready for automated phone system hell, and dialled the 0800 number on the GeekSquad paperwork. Three keypress selections and only about 30 seconds later, I got through to a person – yes, a real, English speaking (well Geordie, but I’ll let her off) flesh-and-blood person. I explained that I wanted to cancel, and she said “OK, from your mobile number that’s come up on screen we have your details, could you just confirm your date of birth as a security measure?” I did that, and she said it was cancelled!

Now, that was quite good service… but she then said “Do you want to cancel your ‘Gadget Cover’ too?” I thought this was through a different company, but no it was all through different branches of Carphone Warehouse. She immediately transferred me to the right department, where another person just asked me to confirm that I really did want to cancel. Total call time was 4 minutes and 45 seconds, and for free.

Now that was excellent service – well done Carphone Warehouse!