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The web is a wonderful place, isn't it? You can get anything you want on there - I mean: anything! ;-) Have a look around, use Google, pick random website addresses and you're bound to come across a site that has something you're looking for on it.
Take mobile phones, for example. Being in the market for such an item, I decided to take a look around at what was available in the form of phones. I already knew what network I wanted to be on (Three) as my wife's job this year has been to research the mobile market place and I was fully apprised of the different tarrifs available to me. But I'd never used a 3G mobile before and was unsure as to what I'd be able to get - the easiest thing, therefore, was to pop into a few shops and actually get a feel for the things.
Carphone Warehouse were, to be frank, useless. The guy didn't know anything about the tarrifs and even when I asked to have a look at a specific phone he was unable to show it to me. Phones4U were able to show me the 3G phones available but their aggressive retail sales strategy put me off wanting to take out a contract via them. Still, I'd chosen the phone I liked and went off to read more about it on the manufacturer's website - I went for the Motorola E1000 and have written a review on that too.
So from the comfort of my own home I went to Three's website and discovered the E1000 on there for £79.00 on the tarrif I wanted: £30p/mth for 500 crossnetwork minutes and 100 texts per month. That was the same price as Phones4U had offered me the phone for and I was happy with that. (Carphone Warehouse only offered the E1000 on Vodafone's much more expensive 3G tarrif.)
You can't order off Three's website so I rang the customer service outlet where a sales person advised me that the website was wrong and the phone, on that contract, would actually be £99. I argued that they were advertising it at a lower price and he simply apologised but did offer to ring me back the following day if their prices updated overnight.
Good news! He did indeed call me back the next day but I politely declined to take up his offer. In a pique of frustration I visited Google straight after putting the phone down to the telephone sales person and typed in Motorola E1000. The result produced a string of online mobile phone shops all selling this model. Being as it's brand new to Motorola's range it was easy to spot the smaller sites to the bigger sites as the former were saying "coming soon" while the larger ones offered "available now" for the model I wanted.
I searched a few of them but e2save.com stood out from the crowd for a number of reasons. Firstly, it's layout is very clear and uncluttered. The home page focuses on the company's six best offers, and a simple click on any of these will take you straight to that promotion. Above the offers are the menu buttons that allow you to dig deeper into the site, below the offers a smaller menu that provides you with access to the company's legal standing, terms & conditions and copyright notices, amongst others.
e2save provide pay-as-you-go and contract phones for all the major network providers as well as SIM-only packages. They also provide TalkTalk home telephone services should you want to look at alternative telecoms for your home or business.
To the top right of the main section of the home page is a handset search drop-down menu. Knowing the phone I specifically wanted I simply selected it from this menu and the page quickly brought up the two network offerings: Vodafone and Three. From there I selected Three and was then given several tarrif options - I picked the one I wanted and was surprised to discover that, despite the phone being brand new and every other site and store offering it for at least £79.99, e2save offer the E1000 for *free* on this contract!
Having never heard of e2save before - and wondering how they could offer such a great deal over the major high street names - I did some digging, including checking the owner of the domain name, and discovered that e2save are part of Carphone Warehouse. Some comfort there then, and also explains the TalkTalk offering, as CW are one of the biggest high street names for mobile phones and I could feel safe in the knowledge that purchasing my phone should be straight forward and carry a good after sales service, but I was a little surprised at the same time as Carphone Warehouse shops, not to mention their own website, only offer this particular phone on Vodafone's 3G service...
Purchasing was indeed easy with just a straight forward form to complete that included personal details, credit card or direct debit details (depending on your chosen method for paying your contract) and then simply submit your details. You are asked if you'd like to keep your existing number but I declined this option. The site does guarantee that orders placed before midday will be delivered the next working day, subject to the usual network clearances, and you are provided with a login feature in order for you to track the process of your order.
As I placed my order at 6:15pm on a Wednesday I did not expect to get it the next day, but surely it should have been with me by the Friday? However, come Friday morning the order status still said "not completed" and I had received no correspondence to advise of the delay. It had all seemed too good to be true, but I dropped a polite e-mail to the company asking what the hold-up was and got one back within the hour saying there was a problem with my order and asking me to call them.
Why they couldn't have just called me has never been clarified but five minutes on the phone to a very polite (not to mention pretty-sounding) young lady resolved the issue and my phone was despatched. This could surely have been rectified on the Thursday morning but no reason for why it wasn't has been given; however, the phone did arrive the next working day, a Monday, five physical days after order.
Delivery issues aside, I must admit that the overall experience with e2save has been exceptional and their prices are incredibly competitive versus many of their online and high street opposites.
One added bonus of e2save is their Money4Me program. Simply put, Money4Me is an affiliate scheme that allows existing customers to recommend the website to friends and family and earn £20 in return for each successfully sold contract.
So, without further ado - and without any embarrassment at being so forward - please do visit the site and check it out. You can get to it by following this wonderful link. Which has nothing to do with my own Money4Me award. I promise. Honestly...
i have just ordered my phone on there! i was amazed at the offers for the phone i wanted, the samsung d500. it should be here today! the phone is totaly free and i have half price line rental for 12months, 200 free mins a month and 200 free text in 6 months! cant go wrong eh!
Delicate_Orchid 11.12.2004 17:31
As my phone is starting to act up, I may have look for replacement options here. Desiree x