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Topic # 27368 23-Oct-2008 15:26
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Ok so I bought the 8GB iPhone 3G today from Vodafone in Takapuna (in the mall), and wanted to share my interesting experience. It's not a complaint, but it just makes you wonder.

Anyway I go into the store, tell the guy I want to buy an iPhone and he gets my number to look me up on the system. He tells me that because I'm still within my current term it will cost me $150 to move onto an iPhone plan. I told him it is supposed to be free and he asked me how I knew that, so I said it was on the website.

He pulled up the Vodafone site and asked me to find it for him. So I jump on his laptop and pull up the box that shows it is free. He still wasn't sure so he asked a colleague, who confirmed that it was correct.

He carried on but then couldn't work out why the system wanted to still charge me the $150 transfer fee when he now knows that it is free. It honestly felt like it was 11th July and I was the very first person in the world moving to one of their plans, so I jokingly asked him if I was the first person to buy an iPhone from this shop. He laughed and said he's sold millions of them. I didn't ask but I was thinking "then why the hell do you not know what you're doing?!"

Anyway he then had to call over another colleague to ask about the fee, who told him that it appears as a charge then as a credit all on the same bill.

Once that was cleared up everything else went without a hitch.

It's a bit disconcerting when a customer walks into a shop and knows more about the plans than the employee, who supposedly has personally sold millions of them already. Then again, I guess if you were going to buy one of these phones you would do your research beforehand to find out the costs and so on to ensure you could afford it, but still, they should know all this already too.




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  Reply # 173089 23-Oct-2008 15:53
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I wonder if that what caused the {removed}



Too Soon?

{MOD EDIT : SP : I'm guna play it safe and say yes}




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  Reply # 173116 23-Oct-2008 17:16
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While it may have looked to you like a "vodafone" store, I think you will find that it is actually Digital Mobile, and to be honest the level of knowledge at stores such as this, DSE, Noel lemmings and Harvey Norman is usually directly related to the wage rates.
I generally try not to have high expecations and sometimes get a pleasant suprise, but most times I visit it just confirms that when stores advertise for ppl wanting "a career in retailing" they also probably believe in Mr Hanky.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 173126 23-Oct-2008 18:01
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If youre buying an iPhone, buy it from an actual Vodafone shop if your spending that kind of money..



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  Reply # 173128 23-Oct-2008 18:06
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I bought this from the actual Vodafone store, ground level, not the crappy First Mobile stall on the second floor. I know the difference and would always try and buy something from a proper Vodafone store.




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  Reply # 173130 23-Oct-2008 18:09
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corksta: I bought this from the actual Vodafone store, ground level, not the crappy First Mobile stall on the second floor. I know the difference and would always try and buy something from a proper Vodafone store.


Really not suprised with this though. Hope your happy with the actual iPhone though! Hows it working for you?



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  Reply # 173134 23-Oct-2008 18:15
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I've just activated it and am just setting it up now, so far it looks great! I've got it in a SwitchEasy Rebel case and it looks great.




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  Reply # 173154 23-Oct-2008 19:13
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Wish you all the best! Am actually lookng for an iPhone myself..

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  Reply # 173207 23-Oct-2008 22:07
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corksta: 
[...]

He carried on but then couldn't work out why the system wanted to still charge me the $150 transfer fee when he now knows that it is free. It honestly felt like it was 11th July and I was the very first person in the world moving to one of their plans, so I jokingly asked him if I was the first person to buy an iPhone from this shop. He laughed and said he's sold millions of them. I didn't ask but I was thinking "then why the hell do you not know what you're doing?!"

Anyway he then had to call over another colleague to ask about the fee, who told him that it appears as a charge then as a credit all on the same bill.

Once that was cleared up everything else went without a hitch.

It's a bit disconcerting when a customer walks into a shop and knows more about the plans than the employee.


It may be that the particular employee has sold quite a few iphones, but none for a customer in the same position as you, and/or that he may have been a part time employee. I think it's bad to draw conclusions unless you know the full circumstances behind a situation.
That said, it is entirely possible that the employee was clueless, too.




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  Reply # 173425 24-Oct-2008 19:31
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It's far better for the sales person to be overly cautious. I've heard of far too many occasions where the sales people have simply ignored or not known where to see the charge before the order is submitted, resulting in early re-sign fees for the customer (and lengthy arguments). I'm impressed he made sure you weren't going to have any nasty surprises before selling and collecting his commission. This shows integrity, even if he hadn't experienced your particular case before. I would shop there again.




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  Reply # 173428 24-Oct-2008 19:39
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JoeBloggs:

It's far better for the sales person to be overly cautious. I've heard of far too many occasions where the sales people have simply ignored or not known where to see the charge before the order is submitted, resulting in early re-sign fees for the customer (and lengthy arguments). I'm impressed he made sure you weren't going to have any nasty surprises before selling and collecting his commission. This shows integrity, even if he hadn't experienced your particular case before. I would shop there again.



Fair enough, but surely I can't have been the first person ever to have transferred from a You Choose onto one of the iPhone plans? That's the point I'm trying to get across. He's worked there a long time, and in his own words he's sold millions of them.




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  Reply # 173468 24-Oct-2008 22:17
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Customer service and product knowledge is generally very poor in this country.  I ALWAYS know more than the salesman - I am no guru either.  Sometimes I go in to test what they know before buying a product and my goodness, the rubbish they tell you is unbelievable.  It scares me how many people are being ripped off without knowing by mistake.

I can count on one hand the number of times I was surprised by the level of product knowledge and know-how by a salesman.

Anyway, have a look at this post regarding the same store:

http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=40&topicid=26050

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  Reply # 173470 24-Oct-2008 22:21
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heavenly_wild: Customer service and product knowledge is generally very poor in this country.  I ALWAYS know more than the salesman - I am no guru either.  


I very much doubt that you know more than every salesperson throughout NZ.It's possible that some that you have had experience with may have had poor product knowledge, or have had bad days - but really, who are you to judge other people? I could turn this around and say you're 'one of those annoying people that harrasses the poor people with things they really don't need to know' and probably be fairly accurate.

If I'm not, I apologize, but this is what your post comes across to me as.




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  Reply # 173474 24-Oct-2008 22:32
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munchkin:
heavenly_wild: Customer service and product knowledge is generally very poor in this country.  I ALWAYS know more than the salesman - I am no guru either.  


I very much doubt that you know more than every salesperson throughout NZ.It's possible that some that you have had experience with may have had poor product knowledge, or have had bad days - but really, who are you to judge other people? I could turn this around and say you're 'one of those annoying people that harrasses the poor people with things they really don't need to know' and probably be fairly accurate.

If I'm not, I apologize, but this is what your post comes across to me as.


OK I may have come across a little too big headed.  I don't know everything but most times when you want some answers to your questions in electronic shops, you get blank looks back at you.

"have had bad days" - this has nothing to do with product knowledge.

I never did say I "harrass" sales reps.  Please don't put words into my mouth.  I did state that I would ask to find out what they knew about a product I was intending to buy.  I don't just go in to test their product knowledge... I do have a life eh.

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  Reply # 173515 25-Oct-2008 10:19
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Personally, whenever I intend to purchase a piece of equipment of any significant cost I have already done all the research necissary before setting foot in the store (which is also rare as I'll generally find better prices online).

I have absolutely no expectation that the staff of these stores has any real knowledge of what they are selling - any more than I expect the kids on the forecourt of the petrol station to be really knowledgable about vehicles. They're often just school kids with part-time jobs at yet another branch of a huge retail chain, and are never going to be passionate about the job enough to excel at at.

There will always be exceptions, but really - It does boggle my mind that a lot of people walk into these shops and take what the staff say as gospel.

Anyway, sorry this has now gone off-topic pretty badly - and doesn't really relate to the OP's situation. Frown




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  Reply # 173520 25-Oct-2008 10:45
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Corksta, there are a lot of things which you don't get to see when an order is processed. For instance, on a 24 month term, the customer is elligible to re-sign after just 18 months. One day before 18 months and a $150 fee is generated. Now sometimes the fee doesn't appear on screen before submission and it is the SALES REPS responsibility to make sure the customer is aware of said charges - or the store [or sometimes customer] is held accountable. Sometimes the order stalls for no apparent reason leaving the customer on the old plan and a month later the angry customer demands compensation for a month without their new plan - again, often the stores' responsibility. Sometimes, when a customer moves down from a Choose 250 to a lower plan after 6 months (which they're technically entitled to do without penalty), a fee is generated - sometimes they're charged the 250 rate for cancellation thereafter, sometimes not. Sometimes a fee is generated on screen when it shouldn't be (either because Siebel is having another bad month or because the rules have recently changed).

All it means when the other sales person advised him of the change is that he wasn't aware of one comparatively tiny new system change or glitch - there are thousands. You may have had the time to research ad nauseum your phone purchase and Vodafone's advertised rules regarding this (as RedJungle points out). That sales person has to go through that process for hundreds of phones (updated almost daily) and hundreds of plans and structures (and each plan has a myriad of odd rules and exceptions) - and then use an often flawed portal to facilitate the upgrade - heaven help him if the customer has to wait a day for the upgrade to occur. From my position I get to see some of the havoc that rash decision making on the sales persons part can make, so it's nice to hear a story of caution. Remember, it's in their best interest to sell you a product and get you out the door as quickly as possible. Nothing about his actions were dishonest or lazy, he obviously genuinely wanted to make sure nothing bad happened.

I don't mean to lecture, Vodafone does a good job of creating a wall between the flashy advertising and the work that goes into facilitating it all - but there is work and it's not as easy as it looks from behind the counter.

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