I was visiting my mom on my summer vacation, and she needed a new phone to replace a broken one. Her phone was losing network connectivity all the time, so there’s was not too much time to look for alternatives. We ended up checking the closest local shops and department stores.
Even though we only got a small sampling of five shops, it was a very educating experience. I noticed it’s not that simple for an ordinary consumer to find a phone suiting your needs, because there’s often a very limited selection of devices. And you can’t take good service for granted.
In a couple of shops, they only had these wooden dumb samples which physically look and weigh about the same as the real phones. Except for they don’t work at all, so you can’t get any idea of the user interface, applications, performace, and so on. In two shops they had real working phones, but they were in closed cabinets and without battery power.
In one operator store, they had the model we had thought for her, Nokia E52; an easy to use basic candybar model with a large enough keypad buttons and screen. But they didn’t have this in white colour. The salesperson promised to send a text message afterwards to let us know when they would get new colours. Now three days have passed, and he hasn’t yet sent any message.
We ended up buying an affordable Nokia X3 at Sokos Wiklund department store in Turku, because they had many models and colours available, real working devices to try and when the battery was empty, the salesperson went to get a new one so we could try it.
I didn’t reveal what I do for work or that I have much knowledge of mobile phones. I wanted to see if the salesguy tries to sell my mom an expensive touch screen smartphone of which she would not learn to use, and almost all the advanced technical features would be useless for her. However, this didn’t happen, and he was very honest. The salesperson asked for the customer’s needs and understood that a basic device would be a good choice.
The looks, shape and buttons appealed to my mom, so she chose Nokia X3, even though this Series 40 device has a touch screen in addition to the normal keypad. The salesperson also said my mom should try the touch screen to try if it’s too difficult to use. I also tried it and noticed you can make phone calls, send SMS messages et cetera without needing the touch screen very often for basic functions.
This was a very good experience, since I have not bought a new phone since 1998. After that my phones have come from my work place or they have been temporary test devices couriers bring to my office from mobile phone vendors.
However, I have visited Nokia’s Flagship Store in Helsinki, and they have had an amazing, friendly and skilled service, even though you let them understand you are only looking. Although this was over a year ago, I don’t if things have lately changed for worse.
It would be nice to get some reader comments of your shopping experiences? Is there anyone out there? 🙂