Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Phones4Me

Aka: A lesson in hard sell.

I am coming to the end of my mobile contract, and had my heart set on one of two phones. I decided to start looking at them in advance of my contract expiring.

I went into Vodafone, who were helpful.
I went into Orange, who were helpful.
I went into Carphone Warehouse, who frankly appeared to not notice my existence.

Then I went into Phones4U.

Having been a customer of theirs for several years whilst at university I was well aware of their hard sell tactics. I asked if I could take a look at the phone, and explained that I was looking for when my contract ran out.

So not only did they get the phone and give me as much time as I wanted playing with it, whilst I was doing this they checked with Orange to see if there was any way they could get me the phone before my contract finished. Guess what.

Orange would cut the last 3 months off my contract if I signed a new one, on the same money as I pay now but with better minutes and texts.

Orange could have done the same thing but didn't. Vodafone probably could have, Carphone Warehouse probably could have, but neither did.

So instead of waiting 3 months, I get a new phone now for free, and no longer have to pay the last three months of my old one.

Hard sell? I call that bloody good customer service frankly. They want my custom, they went to a lot of effort to demonstrate that to me; and thats why they have it.

5 comments:

Cynical Rob said...

I've said for a long time brands cannot sit back and rely on past experiences to ensure customer loyalty - they have to fight for it each and every day through all avenues of their business ... and it would seem you've just experienced a great example of it.

It's what helps make Tesco and Virgin stand out from Asda and BA - and whilst it might cost more from a 'bean-counter' perspective, the benefits easily prove it to be a cost effective method.

So the question is, what phone did you get? :)

Rob Mortimer said...

Agreed.
It's such a subtle difference between hard sell and customer effort, but it makes all the difference.

HTC Touch Diamond :D

Cynical Rob said...

The companies who get it right know it's not about selling, it's about making the person want to buy.

And I have one of those HTC Diamonds ... I bet you bought it just for the windscreen wiper weather forecaster, didn't you - or am I the only one that sad?

Rob Mortimer said...

Not an iPhone?
Hurrah!

No, though that is excellent. I bought it because it looks so stupidly cool and not many other people will get it in the UK.

Also the wi-fi and vga screen helped.

It's cooler than Andy's relationships with his ex wives...

Cynical Rob said...

Errrrm, I have an iPhone too.

But is was a pressie from Bazza so it doesn't really count. And it's crap ... the Diamond is way better.

And don't give me your WiFi/VGA Screen rubbish - it was the windscreen wiper :)

[I'll ignore the slur against Andy - he's with me and we're about to go on a plane journey together and don't need to hear him rant the whole way, ha!]