Cheap deals on home phones - how genuine are they?

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Buying telephones online offers a real cost saving compared with buying direct from BT or other stores. So what are the catches? by Frost Telecoms

UNTESTED - Lets be honest, it does not take much to test a phone so if someone is offering something untested 9 times out of 10 it really means 'tested but faulty'. For example an untested phone may be worth £5 but by offering it tested the value is probably £15. No sane seller would lose £10 just by not testing it. So BEWARE - untested probably means FAULTY. You get what you pay for!!

NEW/USED - Catalogue returns are a large proportion of phones that are sold on EBay. Some sellers cheekily call these NEW when they obviously aren't. If the item is missing the original box or user guide then there is a very slim chance of the item still being New.

USER GUIDES - Sometimes these are original or sometimes offered on cd or online. Read the ad fully to make sure you are getting some kind of user guide. With todays technology there are so many features you will not be able to use or simply not know about without a user guide.

CAN YOU TRUST THE SELLER - Feedback is a great way to check out a seller, but remember to scroll back a few pages. With many sellers selling 10+ items a day it is always worth taking a good look to get a proper idea of what other customers thought. Also, always ask the seller a question before your purchase. If their customer service is any good then you will receive a quick & helpful response - if not, simply don't buy from them. Can you imagine how bad the customer service will be after you have parted with your money? (Exclude weekends from this trial as many sellers work Mon-Fri)

DELIVERY - If the item is cheap, have you checked the postage costs. I have regularly seen items that I offer to post for £4 being offered with £10 postage. This simply is not fair and is a way of conning people and avoiding EBay fees.

SMALL PRINT - Yes the item might sound amazing and you are hastily reaching towards the BUY IT NOW button - but slow down and read the small print. Here you will find the real truths about your item. It may be that there are big scratches, a handset is missing, the item will take 3 weeks to be delivered, the item is untested, you need to add VAT on the final price etc etc. The list is totally endless and I have seen some very scary things listed in the small print of some ads. Be Careful!!! If a seller is advertising thing with tiny tiny small print well below the main ad then you need to wonder how good the item is.

PHOTOS - Lots of sellers use stock photos of their items (including ourselves at Frost Telecoms) however some people could be using this as a way of disguising a rough item. The best way of finding out the true condition of the item is to ask the seller for a picture. Everyone nowadays has a digital camera or phone so there should be no excuses why you cant be sent a photo of the item. Again, if the seller won't oblige, can you really trust him.

WARRANTY - If there is no mention of a warranty then you sure won't get one. If the phone breaks in a week I really can't see you getting a refund. If you really want the item then ask the seller how much warraty he is willing to offer. If the answer comes back none or a week or two , then you really need to consider whether the item is likely to work for more than that time.

Paul Frost

FROST TELECOMS

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