Thursday, November 27, 2008

Experience of buying a phone from the 3 Store Coventry

Ever since we arrived in the UK, I have always used prepaid mobile services or 'pay-as-you-go' as it's known here in the UK. I started with O2 and then moved on to Vodafone, followed by Tesco mobile and finally 3. So far, I have been very happy with the service provided by 3.

However, of late I have discovered that I have been reloading quite often and was shocked to discover that we sometimes spent more than £30 a month. This is despite the fact that most of my calls are to my wife who was also on 3 pay-as-you-go service. My wife went ahead and bought a Sony Ericsson K660i from the 3 site. The phone was delivered within a few days and she also received a voucher worth £20 to buy accessories from their website.

I too decided to get a phone for myself and I was still undecided on the phone. One of my friends told me that the stores had some greats refurbished phone which I might be able to get at a discount. So on Monday, I drove over to Coventry city centre and went to the 3 Store there. Unfortunately, according to the salesgirl, they didn't have any refurbished phones. So I went around and had a look at the various phone they had on display. I really want the Nokia N96 but it was way beyond my budget (cheapest deal was £30 per month). I finally went for the Sony Ericsson W595 for a 18 month contract for £17 per month. 3 has this promotion going on where existing members could recommend a friend (or family and both would receive a £30 credit. However, I discovered that I couldn't put my wife as a recommender because she had been with 3 for less than a month. Plus I didn't receive any vouchers.

I was really angry when later on back home, I discovered that I couldn't use Skype with the phone even though it was advertised as Skype compatible. Anyway, I went back to the store next day and the sales people were surprised as well, when they learnt that the phone was not Skype compatible. They were not very happy when I told them that I wanted to change the phone.

I was shocked to learn that unlike buying phones from their website, you were not allowed to return phones bought from their actual stores. However, in my case they were willing to make an exception as they realised that it was their mistake. The main reason I bought the phone was because it was Skype compatible (or so they said).

Gags (the guy who served me) was quite friendly but he seemed to be poorly trained. He told me that I could choose another phone but I won't be able to reduce the amount that I paid per month. The only phone there for £17 per month was the Sony Ericsson K700i. I should have taken only a couple of minutes to complete the whole process but the managers was busy or something. There was no way I was going to come back again and decided to wait until I got mad, raised my voice a bit and told them that I wanted out. The sales guy told me I couldn't and this went on for a while until their manager finally came out.

I finally got the new phone but was dissatisfied with the whole process. It took almost an hour for me to get the phone changed and that shouldn't happen. I am still loyal to 3 but my advice for anybody who want to sign up with 3 - buy it from the online 3 Store.

1. It's fast
2. You can return the phone if you don't like it
3. You get some nice surprises - like a £20 voucher.


Clairvoyant Magda said...

That is an awesome looking phone. Very sleek.

ummi said...

emmm..usually we bought our from the phone store such as phone for u or car phone warehouse or etc. Never from phone provider phone. Last year my husband got sony erricson with £9.50 and 1000 talk allowance. This year more higher payment because he go for O2 Pda. It's £30 but still with 1000 minute. With phone shop we can bargain and bargain. Not with phone provider. AS customer, we can play around. usually me and hubby try to get less monthly payment but with lots of talk allowance.

For me, this year conract, I don't really need new phone and not used much anymore as I'm not working. I got 50 minutes free allowance with 12 mths contract with £10 amonths. But, I got £100 cash back which means I don't have to pay anything for 10 months as long as I don't used more than allowance. Also with 25 text massage. Always shop around with phone shop, not phone provider shop. They can't do much.

fun fliffy said...

love reading ur blog..thanks for the thought and sharing everylife stories :)

Adam Dilip Mutum said...

Ummi: £10 pm is really cheap.

Fun Fliffy: Thanks for dropping by my blog.

Deanna said...

I'm looking to get an iPhone (a little late). Although I'm on the fence about it because it means renewing my contract and all that beautiful jazz. I guess we'll see though..

3 Store said...

In the stores defence you do have the option to get all the infomation there and then hence a no swap policy. Most online stores have to offer the customer a chance to return their products due to the fact you cannot touch or feel the products and make your decsion there and then. Sounds like they took into account it was their mistake and sorted it out for you. Personally I would have been greatful for that as most stores won't budge. Sound like they helped you out to me. :)

Adam Dilip Mutum said...

3 Store: I agree with you. I am happy they agreed to exchange the phone.

However, I will be buying my phones online from now on because of the advantages I mentioned in my post. Plus you get the chance to go over the various deals available which I am sad to say, sometimes the salespeople in the store fail to inform us.


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