22 Sep 2012

Just been fishing for an iphone 5 as many will be I’m sure.

Always fascinating to try and research and buy without help.

Start point was with my existing supplier. To access my account I have to renew the password each time – weirdly it seems to not work more than once without reset. Anyway I identified that I’m locked in for another year. Weird as I know I didn’t want a 24 month contract after being locked in with my previous supplier. My daughter tells me she’s been told the same thing spuriously with another supplier so I’ll look in to that. I need the paperwork.

This is the point at which all the trust built up over the last year kicks in. Or not.

Needs are simple – a network that handles phone calls this time. Last one would more often offer voicemail even when showing a signal. And voicemail would often be delivered a day later. But 3G data was brill and heavily used so I still want that. I have a candidate network in mind – not the ones I used the last 3 times.

So a quick run round the sites  (full marks to all for making that easy) establishes that prices are near identical but unlimited data is only available on one. 12 month contract only available on a different one. Dig dig on the front candidate – ah a hint of a 12 month contract if you phone. So I ping the chat button. Here’s how it went:

Sofia: Hello, you’re chatting to Sofia. I am part of the dedicated xx Online Sales Team. How can I help you with your new order?

Sofia: Hello Peter.

peter: site mentions 12 months contracts on iphone5 but no pricing. What’s the pricing, unlimited internet, 12 month, 16Gb and 64Gb?

Sofia: I will certainly help you with that.

Sofia: You will get 12 months Iphone 5 sim only deal.

peter: ? no point to that…?? so you dont do 12 month PAYG

Sofia: And you will get Iphone 4 for 24 months contract only.

Sofia: You can call on 08000792000 to get the shorter contract

peter: what? you mean I can get a 12 month contract by phone but not by chat?

Sofia: Online we only sell Iphones on 24 months contract

Sofia: You can call our tele sales team to get the shorter contract

peter: Weird – why?

Sofia: We are just the sales advisor who can help you with the deal’s given on the website. Trust you understand.

peter: Not really. Bi

Can you hear the “not another one” in her voice? I wonder why the same offer isnt available? I’ll just give up as my half hour to sort this out is up.

Buyer inertia sets in – and they could have had my order. This “multichannel” stuff is not quite joined up. Loving chat at least instead of phones. So much more “in my journey”. And well done to all for getting the obvious things to do for iphone 5, very clear on the websites. Saved a lot of my time.

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