A few days ago I went into my local cell phone providers store to look into upgrading my son’s phone as a birthday present. For the past few years, I have had the “fancy” phone (a smartphone), while my wife and oldest son just had freebie add on phones, because all they really needed or desired was the ability to call in case of an emergency.
I am always in the mood for a phone upgrade myself, and the new model of phone that I have used for a couple years had just hit the street. But alas, I am not eligible for an upgrade until April of next year, so I had to stay focused on the task at hand. It turns out that one particular phone model was on sale, buy one get one free. This was last year’s model and the newest version had just come out this month, so it made sense. So the decision was made to buy the two phones and upgrade both my son and wife to smart phones.
Still having my future phone purchase in mind, I began inquiring about the differences in the two hottest models that were just released (the upgrade for my model, and the upgrade for the model we were about to buy), and he explained all of the similarities and the few minor differences. This was all standard stuff, but was very helpful in the face of so many choices.
So, I took it a step further and asked for a comparison between last year’s models of those same phones. This would be a comparison between the phone I currently holster on my belt, and the one we were about to buy on the special. His initial response was a similar comparison, as well as a bit of what was upgraded in the newer models. Then I more specifically asked him which was the better phone, the one I have or the one I was buying my wife and son (since they were both last year’s models and came out at roughly the same time). His response took me back a little when he said my phone was pretty much a piece of junk in comparison. Now, the initial question was a comparison of the two new models, with no negatives said about either for the most part, but now the comment was a bit more personal since I specifically asked which was better.
I was surprised he would knock a large selling phone like the brand I had, but was very pleased that he was so brutally honest. He told me some of the downsides to the model, and why some of the other brand’s features were better and more reliable. The main reason I had asked this was because earlier in the conversation I had asked if it would be possible for me to swap phones, and give my wife’s line my current phone, and take this new phone as my own. This was possible and he told me how to do it without voiding the rebate or breaking my line’s contract; again, very helpful information.
The next day I inquired to some other techy friends of mine, and they confirmed similar things, saying that the company for my phone used to be a bit more near the top, but have fallen behind in their technology, and that the other brand was probably now one of the top contenders in the cell phone market.
If it were not for the honestly of that company employee, even though he was speaking out against a product his company was highly promoting and selling, I would still be on the path of buying the newer model to my current phone. I am sure the brand I use is still a great phone, but some of the problems I have had with it, and his information about it, put two and two together to open my eyes more. He could have simply given the typical comparison and left it at that, but he added the personal touch of being pretty honest about his own product, and to me, that is what I call great customer service.
Oh, and by the way – my wife won’t swap phones with me now; she doesn’t want my “piece of junk.” Guess I am stuck with it until next April.