Jobs-to-be-Done Radio is back this week with another sample interview for you to listen to and learn from. Tune in to hear us unpack how Becky from Red-Gate software came to decide that it was time to ditch her feature-phone and buy a smartphone.
This interview was conducted at the Switch Workshop that was held in Cambridge, UK in July of 2013, but it was such a good story that we couldn’t keep it to ourselves (thanks, Becky, for agreeing to let us share it!).
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Show Notes & Links
Here is a list of items referenced in this episode:Click to view episode transcript.
So you can think about . . . it’s like holding the camera. How do we film this whole thing? So no wrong answers, it’s your story, so whatever happened happened. If you can’t remember something, that’s fine too.
Interviewer: I know it’s fresh . . . just imagine it’s here.
Interviewer: You know all these people.
Interviewer: So when did you buy your phone?
Becky: It was about three months ago, just finished my three month evaluation period then I had to give another three months . . . this data trial, so I’ve just been . . . so April?
Interviewer: April? End of April?
Becky: Yes, mid April.
Interviewer: Mid April. And so was it a weekend? Weekday?
Becky: It was a weekend.
Interviewer: Weekend. Saturday? Sunday?
Becky: Saturday I think. Yeah, because it was a bank holiday when it should’ve been delivered and it had to be delivered on Tuesday.
Interviewer: Oh, so Monday was a bank holiday? What bank holiday would that have been then?
Becky: So that must’ve been May. No, it’d be Easter weekend maybe. Easter weekend. We got that . . .
Interviewer: So you went, Good Friday was that Friday and then Saturday’s a new phone?
Interviewer: And how long have you been . . . think about it. When did the first thought, like oh my gosh . . .
Interviewer: Wait, wait, wait. I want to . . . so did you go to the store and buy it?
Becky: No, it was online.
Interviewer: And . . .
Becky: I didn’t talk to anybody. No, I talked to people on the phone.
Interviewer: But not online?
Becky: I researched it online, then I talked to a few people on the phone. I had been planning to . . . I guess one of the reasons I hadn’t been doing it for a long time was because I had been planning to go into the store and try those phones, and that put me off because finding the time to do that, and also being accosted by people in phone shops put me off.
Interviewer: And so did you ever do that? Did you walk in a . . .
Interviewer: But you . . .
Becky: By other people’s opinions.
Interviewer: You said the word accosted at a phone store. What does that mean?
Becky: So I think in my head it was like if you go to a phone store, they want to make a sale; they want to make a commission. I didn’t know what I wanted enough, and I’m quite susceptible to the pressure from salespeople so I was just really worried. I didn’t like making a decision when I didn’t know what to make.
Interviewer: Why do you have that opinion? When’s the last time you were in a phone store and got accosted?
Becky: It wasn’t even me, it’s probably . . .
Interviewer: Do you remember somebody telling you about that or something? Oh, so you were with someone and you watched them like whoosh, right onto them?
Interviewer: So who was it?
Becky: So last time my boyfriend needed a phone which was two years ago.
Interviewer: So two years ago he renewed his contract and you said oh my gosh . . .
Becky: Just really hard sell, yeah.
Interviewer: What did you do? Like I can’t take this, I’ve got to like step out . . .
Becky: I just wandered around and looked at some of the other phones. Yeah.
Interviewer: Go ahead.
Interviewer: No, go ahead.
Interviewer: So who’d you buy it with?
Becky: So I went with Vodaphone, and it’s easier on my wallet.
Interviewer: And what else did you look at?
Becky: So I looked at the Samsung, I don’t remember what model it is, the newest one was just about to come out. And I’ve looked . . . I’d go, I can’t remember names, but the previous one that my friend at work has.
Interviewer: Which has?
Becky: Bryan, Bryan Harris.
Interviewer: Bryan Harris has a Samsung.
Becky: Galaxy, is that it?
Interviewer: Galaxy. Do you know which one? Big? Small? Colorful?
Becky: Big. It’s quite big. The screen’s quite big.
Interviewer: Bigger than that?
Interviewer: And you were able to use it?
Becky: Yes, he let me play with it. And showed me the features.
Interviewer: And what did you have before? What phone before?
Becky: So it was a Samsung. It was like a slidy thing. It was pretty old. I got it in like 2009, ’10? So it was like three or four years old, and it’s just like a little black and white thing. It had a bit of color on the screen, but . . .
Interviewer: But it slid up? What was that?
Becky: So the phone’s like this, here’s the screen, and you can slide up and it has a keypad.
Interviewer: Oh, it has a keypad. Oh.
Interviewer: Numbers? Or like a full . . .
Becky: Yeah, the numbers. Yeah.
Interviewer: It was like three letters on each one.
Interviewer: So you could text by pushing three three times . . .
Interviewer: Do you miss it?
Interviewer: But no Internet?
Becky: No Internet.
Interviewer: So what was going on around Easter?
Becky: I guess I was just getting to a point where . . . I don’t know, I was starting to use my phone a lot more. Then I had it out a lot more. Then a lot more people were saying to me why’ve you got that phone? That was actually the main reason, peer pressure.
Interviewer: So that was Easter. Do you remember the flight . . . tell me the first time you actually had a thought. Because it sounds to me like you didn’t mind this phone.
Becky: Yeah, I didn’t mind it. I didn’t mind it. It did what I needed to do, which was I texted people and I made phone calls. That’s what I did at the time.
Interviewer: And if you hadn’t had peer pressure, you would’ve stayed with . . .
Becky: I think so, although actually now that there’s a bit of retrospective, I guess it’s now I’ve got it. But I’ve started writing a blog and on my blog I do a lot more with social media and stuff like that, writing, stuff that I write for that. So now I use it a lot more. But whether that would’ve . . .
Interviewer: Yeah. Did you get a new job at that time or promotion or did you go on vacation or anything?
Becky: No, I don’t think so.
Interviewer: Okay. Tell me about he first time you had the thought, you looked at your old phone and just said I need to consider something explicitly different.
Becky: Explicitly . . . it’s hard because I think for a long time my phone was a bit of a rubbish phone. I was a bit embarrassed by it.
Interviewer: But you liked it.
Becky: Yeah, I didn’t mind it. I didn’t want to give into peer pressure.
Interviewer: So I want to know . . . everyone else is like come on, why are you using that phone? And you’re pushing back. I can hear you saying I like my phone. You use that phone; I’m going to use my phone. What was the first time you looked at it kind of like that? You know, it might be time for you to go?
Becky: I think I was out, a night out, and I was texting a friend quite a lot and a lot of people said to me what’s with the phone? And I did look at it . . .
Interviewer: When was that?
Interviewer: Yeah, when was the night out?
Becky: It was March.
Interviewer: Okay. It wasn’t that long ago. Friend’s birthday? So around Cambridge? Where were you?
Becky: I was in Cambridge, Old Spring.
Interviewer: What was it called?
Becky: Old Spring.
Interviewer: You there tonight?
Becky: Yeah, we should go.
Interviewer: So we can text other people.
Becky: Yeah, you can text other people while you’re out and be really anti-social and get in trouble with your boyfriend.
Interviewer: Okay, so boyfriend’s there. Was it his birthday?
Interviewer: It was his birthday? Who were you texting?
Becky: Just friends.
Interviewer: We’re going to uncover something. Who were you texting? Who’s your friend? What’s your friend’s name?
Becky: I’m not telling you.
Interviewer: Oh, it’s a he. Okay.
Becky: Oh, this is really embarrassing isn’t it? Hmm.
Interviewer: Okay, so . . .
Becky: Wait, did someone tell you the motive for getting my phone?
Interviewer: No, so at some point your boyfriend turns to you like . . . what does he say? Put that down?
Becky: Yeah, he’s like I’m being anti-social. I was. I was, but in my defense I was with all his friends and they were talking about fantasy and I was pretty bored.
Interviewer: You don’t have anything to say so you’re like I’m going to entertain. You can text on that phone and you can text on your old phone. Why do you care what phone you had?
Becky: I think it’s because I had it out and people were like laughing at it, and I just kind of thought you know what? It’s time . . .
Interviewer: His friends were laughing?
Interviewer: What were they saying?
Becky: Just like commenting on the phone I’ve got, commenting on the software in general. A smart phone . . . you work in marketing, you don’t have a phone . . .
Interviewer: Okay. So when’s his birthday? March what?
Interviewer: You better . . . okay, March 29th. When was the first time you looked? So like that night. I can see you, movie starts playing. It’s like there’s . . .
Becky: A whole saga. So I guess after that I did think it’s probably time to join the future.
Interviewer: But was it like Sunday morning? Or was it . . .
Becky: Oh no, I don’t think so. I think it was probably a week or so later. So another big thing for me was the cost. I was on pay-as-you-go, so that’s another thing, it was costing me like ten quid a month. I re-upped when I needed to and I guess I didn’t have Internet on my phone. I couldn’t really use it that much. So it was also a big decision for me to move to a contract. I’m a bit of a commitment-phobe, and I didn’t really want to have to sign up for two years with the same carrier. And I knew it would be a lot more money. And I knew I could afford it, but it was kind of a mental block I guess. This is how much I’m spending at the moment on it.
Interviewer: Tell me about re-upping as you . . . is that something you do right on your phone? Or do you have to call somebody? What do you do when you start to run them out? Does it tell you that you’re running out?
Becky: Oh, yeah, it will just like tell you. So you try to make a call it’ll say you need to tap up.
Interviewer: What did you do to tap up, though? Did you have to go somewhere?
Becky: Oh, just phone up an automated . . .
Interviewer: So it wasn’t that hard to do?
Becky: No, a bit easy.
Interviewer: So you were saying more . . .
Becky: It was, although actually now that I say that, it started to get to a point where I think I’d have to renew a card and the new card expires. That got really difficult. It locked me out of my account.
Interviewer: When was that?
Becky: So that was probably a couple months before.
Interviewer: Before what?
Becky: Before I started to think about maybe . . .
Interviewer: So before March 29th?
Interviewer: So you got locked out at some point. And how long were you locked out?
Becky: Only for like an evening, but I had to bring them up and I’d get through and talk to a person because it was quite an evening and I was trying to go out somewhere . . .
Interviewer: Were you missing texts and missing things?
Becky: No, no, I wasn’t missing anything. It was just frustrating because I had no money on my phone and I knew I needed to be out the weekend. That means I’m not making calls.
Interviewer: So give me kind of the timeline of that whole thing. So why not just re-up it before you go out? Call up, give them the new card.
Becky: Yeah, that’s what I had to do. It was just kind of annoying. They said something to do with . . . what was it? It was something to do with . . . I don’t know, it was some kind of fraud prevention day, so I had to go . . .
Interviewer: Oh, so the card gets locked or something?
Becky: Yeah, yeah, yeah. It wouldn’t let me like link my card to my account, so even when I ran out, I had to go through security without my card.
Interviewer: Did you try doing it before you went out for the weekend? Did you try to re-up or clear?
Becky: Yeah, that’s what I was trying to do and it just like . . .
Interviewer: Then it’s like I’ve got to go. I don’t have time to deal with this.
Becky: Yeah, it was just . . . because then I have to actually talk to someone.
Interviewer: But you had to talk to the credit union or something right?
Becky: No, no, it was just Vodaphone. I just had to bring . . .
Interviewer: A new card?
Becky: Yeah, give them my details. It was just annoying.
Interviewer: So let’s go back the 29th, you get teased. Not nice.
Becky: Not nice. You can’t be . . .
Interviewer: I can’t believe they were giving you grief.
Becky: I know, while they were talking about taxes.
Interviewer: And so a little time after that is when you said all right, I’ve got to look. Did you actually go online? Did you see ads in the papers? When did you really start to . . . like spend some time looking?
Becky: So, as I said, I thought about buying a phone.
Interviewer: So when did you notice Bryan’s?
Becky: Oh, I think as well, my boyfriend had just got the iPhone 5.
Interviewer: When did he get that?
Becky: Like maybe two months before I did. He just got it because . . .
Interviewer: Did he get it for his birthday or did he get it before his birthday?
Becky: No, it was before his birthday.
Interviewer: So he had the iPhone 5 and you didn’t.
Interviewer: Before you got locked out of yours? Or after? If you remember.
Becky: Probably after.
Interviewer: Was he trying to get a hold of you and he got locked out?
Becky: I don’t think so.
Interviewer: So nothing catastrophic happened.
Becky: It’s not that dramatic. It’s just the one time when it’s his birthday.
Interviewer: So how’d you know Bryan had a Samsung Galaxy?
Becky: Because he’d got it quite new and he was talking about using it.
Interviewer: Just trying to get the timeline right. March 29th, you get teased. You start thinking about it. Bryan gets a Samsung Galaxy then?
Becky: He already had it I’m sure. But I just tried it because he had it.
Interviewer: Did you say hey, can I see that? Or was he like hey, let me show you my phone?
Becky: Yeah, I think maybe I was talking about getting . . . maybe I was saying . . .
Interviewer: And that’s when he said here, see this.
Becky: He’s like yeah, try mine out.
Interviewer: Did anybody else offer their phone up?
Becky: I don’t think so.
Interviewer: Nobody said try the iPhone 5?
Becky: No, actually.
Interviewer: Okay. So Bryan was nice enough to share.
Interviewer: And what were your impressions?
Becky: I really liked it, but it was quite big. It was quite big, and I needed to fit it in . . . so I think it’s easier for guys with the big jeans pockets. I wanted something smaller. My other one was a bit smaller.
Interviewer: Bigger than this? Smaller than this? So you wanted something smaller. So you looked at it and go this is really cool?
Becky: Yeah, I really liked it. I think I’m finding I knew . . . I knew loads of my friends have an iPhone, and I thought that would mean if I’ve got one and I got stuck using it, I could ask them.
Interviewer: Oh, to help you?
Becky: Yeah, because I didn’t want to have to spend ages getting to know how to use something new. I just wanted to be able to use it. Because my old one I can use . . .
Interviewer: And how many people . . . was Bryan the only one who had a Samsung?
Becky: I’m sure other people did, but he’s the only one that . . .
Interviewer: So he got that . . .
Becky: I guess I knew he had it as well. There’s a lot of . . . so like if I get this, there’s quite a lot of debate. I thought about that before, versus other people and things like that. Even that, I was kind of aware of what should I go for?
Interviewer: So are you still going to have to put up with badgering from certain groups? Because of . . .
Becky: Yeah, because I have an iPhone.
Interviewer: You went to the dark side.
Becky: Yeah, yeah.
Interviewer: So no matter what you do, you’re getting badgered.
Becky: Yeah, yeah. It’s fine.
Interviewer: So how big of a deal was it . . . so I’m a gadget guy. When I get a new phone, my wife is like . . . I’m like look at this. It does all this stuff. She’s like shut up. Is the phone like that for him? Or is he kind of like yeah, I’ve got an iPhone. Don’t worry about it.
Becky: My boyfriend?
Interviewer: Yeah. Was he showing you all the new stuff?
Becky: He used Siri for a long time. It was quite annoying.
Interviewer: Does he still use it?
Becky: Every night to set an alarm. So I do not understand. Ah!
Interviewer: Wait, so why would you ever want that? It’s like you have to listen to this all the time.
Becky: I don’t know.
Interviewer: Do you use Siri?
Becky: No, because it didn’t work for him. It’s just annoying. Just a stupid . . .
Interviewer: It doesn’t answer him? Or the answers?
Becky: It’ll say would you like me to . . . [Laughs]
Interviewer: You’ve got to say it. Say it.
Becky: Just like would you like me to Google that? No, would you like to search? Would you like to search for that? So yeah, so I don’t know. There was more . . . he was more proud of the fact that it was shiny and new I think.
Interviewer: Yeah, yeah.
Interviewer: Doing really well on . . .
Interviewer: I know, thank you. So Bryan shows you his Galaxy . . . big one. What color?
Becky: Yeah, the new one. Black.
Interviewer: Black? Okay.
Becky: Or graphite.
Interviewer: The graphite? Was it cool?
Becky: Yeah, it was really cool.
Interviewer: So what did you do . . . do you remember, where were you when he showed it to you?
Becky: I was at my desk upstairs and he was with me.
Interviewer: So it’s like hey, time for a little break, check this out and he handed it to you. What’d you do?
Becky: So I didn’t really know what to do with it, so I just . . . it was his phone, so I didn’t really want to . . . someone’s phone, you don’t want to go through someone’s messages.
Interviewer: Here, look at my phone. Huh, uh . . .
Becky: Ooh, shiny.
Interviewer: Shiny, right. Did you touch it? Did you go for it?
Becky: Yeah, then he showed me things like where’s the app . . .
Interviewer: Very benign.
Becky: But it was quite, yeah, I guess basic stuff? Like news articles.
Interviewer: But this sounds like . . . nothing attracted you to this thing. It was like . . .
Becky: It was just a phone, I guess. It wasn’t like wow, it does things.
Becky: It was what I expected, right? But it was just more flashy I guess.
Interviewer: So when did you actually start to invest the time to look? When did you go okay, I’ve got to figure this out?
Becky: It was quite a snap decision at the end, that Easter weekend, just thinking okay, you’ve got to sort this out. It’s been too long. Just give yourself half a day and just do it.
Interviewer: A half a day?
Becky: Yeah, I just wanted to get it sorted because I kind of knew, but I think what pissed me off was I was worried it . . . I know I’m bad about making decisions, and I was worried. I was agonizing over all the different options. There’s so many different options out there that it would just . . .
Interviewer: What were you worried about?
Becky: Making a decision. Trying to make a decision.
Interviewer: But you’ve got . . . the old phone works great. You’ve got teased once by some of your colleagues. Why in the world? A half a day?
Becky: Because for a long time I’ve been thinking I need to get . . . it’s like I need to get a smart phone. I need to move into the 21st century and get a smart phone. And so . . . but in my mind, it’s like yeah, it’s a good decision and how much I’m going to have to pay.
Interviewer: How much do you have to pay?
Becky: So I pay 33 pounds a month.
Interviewer: Someone gave you a deal. Was it a good purchase?
Interviewer: Have you been teased?
Becky: No, apart from my pink cover.
Interviewer: They tease you about your pink cover?
Becky: Yeah, I’m very easy to tease.
Interviewer: Did you buy that . . .
Becky: No, I bought that separately.
Interviewer: Same time or different?
Becky: Like a week later maybe. That was another thing I was worried about, semi-worried, was I drop my phone a lot with my old phone.
Interviewer: You ever drop . . . you’ve never dropped that phone?
Becky: No, touch wood . . . I mean I have; it survived. So I knew with my old phone, it was quite resilient. So that was another thing I was worried, I would spend loads of money and then I’d have to pay more on insurance or . . .
Interviewer: Did you buy insurance?
Becky: No, it’s insured under my house.
Interviewer: Oh. You checked that?
Interviewer: How long did it take you to check?
Becky: So I did quite a bit of research on options for insurance. And then I thought hang on, I’ll just check. I had house insurance, so that was . . .
Interviewer: And was that Saturday morning?
Becky: No, that was maybe even a month later I suppose.
Interviewer: Oh, after you bought it? Okay. So how did we get to that website? Saturday morning . . . it’s almost like Friday night, okay, tomorrow I’m getting up. Did you plan this? To say . . .
Becky: I didn’t really plan it. I guess I just had a free morning on my own.
Interviewer: Just had a free morning? Nobody has a free morning. Okay. And what was happening the next week? Anything?
Becky: No, I don’t think so.
Interviewer: I still don’t understand, how did . . . did anyone here show you . . . so I have the galaxy. I can see, yeah, it’s too big. The boyfriend has the iPhone. Did anybody show you an iPhone and say hey . . .
Becky: Well I guess . . .
Interviewer: All I know about the iPhone is it’s annoying because of Siri, and then you ended up buying one. When did you . . . did you see any other iPhones?
Becky: I guess quite a few of my friends having iPhones, or seeing them using it.
Interviewer: Have you used it?
Becky: Actually, yeah, I’d played with them. That’s sort of going back to my aunt.
Interviewer: 33 . . . sorry, go ahead.
Interviewer: Go ahead.
Becky: Yeah, so I guess there’s quite a lot here. People have them out at meetings or breakfast.
Interviewer: Tell me about playing . . . I want to know like the scene of where you’re like wow, this actually . . .
Becky: I think it’s because . . . I guess with my boyfriend, I guess I played with his quite a lot. I guess he did show me apps and stuff like that that he uses. And it just always seemed really . . . it just, I don’t know, it just seemed really simple. Everything’s really simple. You can see it all on your screen.
Interviewer: What apps did he show you? Do you remember any of them?
Interviewer: Were you . . .
Becky: He downloads silly apps. I just remember one time, he found something then you could download a movie player to see it.
Interviewer: It sounds like a crazy count, am I right?
Becky: He’s pretty crazy.
Interviewer: All right. And so any other experiences with the iPhone?
Interviewer: Do you have . . . so what apps do you have? Do you have Angry Birds?
Interviewer: Do you have the movie blowing up?
Becky: I have practical ones. I don’t have any fun . . .
Interviewer: Does he have any practical ones?
Becky: He’s got maps. [Laughs]
Interviewer: How well do the maps work on the iPhone?
Becky: Well these are like traveling maps if you go to a city.
Interviewer: Oh, like travel guide stuff.
Interviewer: So again, I’m trying to lead up to the purchase. It’s still like I don’t know why that weekend.
Becky: That weekend?
Interviewer: What was going on over Easter? You have people in? Were you traveling? Did you have people coming over?
Becky: No, we had a quiet weekend.
Interviewer: Like friends gone? Why . . . usually the holidays are like everything’s crazy. Yeah.
Becky: I don’t know. I don’t know what it was. I was going home to my family on the Sunday . . .
Interviewer: And you came back on Monday?
Interviewer: But you didn’t have your phone then.
Becky: No, it didn’t arrive until Tuesday.
Interviewer: Where was your boyfriend that weekend?
Becky: So that Saturday, I think he was playing . . . he was definitely out playing golf.
Interviewer: Was that the first time he played golf in a while?
Becky: Yeah, it might’ve been actually.
Interviewer: And what did you usually do like weekends before that? Were you always together and then this is a weekend where he’s golfing?
Becky: [inaudible 0:25:54].
Interviewer: Everyone always says that. We’re not going to give you any advice; we’re just trying to understand what happened.
Becky: Most weekends, we do have bits booked up and we’re busy with friends or family or doing something together.
Interviewer: So this weekend . . .
Becky: So this was like a free chunk of time, and I felt like I needed a free chunk of time.
Interviewer: And he was busy? He was busy. He knew he’d be out. If he knew you . . .
Becky: To be honest, actually, so I guess I knew . . . I wanted to make the decision myself. I didn’t want someone telling me you should be doing this; you should be doing that or that’s a really good deal or that’s a really bad deal. I felt like I wanted to stay no, I’m perfectly capable of doing it myself and I’m doing it.
Interviewer: So if he was around, he would’ve been like oh, let me help you?
Becky: Yeah, in a nice way but he would’ve been . . . I think he would’ve been just like get the iPhone, get the iPhone, get the iPhone. Which obviously I did.
Interviewer: But it’s your decision.
Becky: Yeah, it’s my decision. I didn’t want somebody being like I don’t even know why you’re looking at these other phones.
Interviewer: So tell me about it. Was it morning? Evening?
Interviewer: It was morning? Where were you?
Becky: In my living room on the sofa.
Interviewer: TV on?
Interviewer: TV off?
Interviewer: So if I’m filming, I have silence.
Becky: Just needed to focus.
Interviewer: Warm? Cold? Raining?
Becky: It was probably quite cold. It was March.
Interviewer: All right, so if I’ve got this right, boyfriend heads out to play golf. Got time to figure this out. Coffee?
Interviewer: Tea? Pour your tea?
Interviewer: I’m not leaving this couch until I do this.
Becky: Pretty much, yeah.
Interviewer: So going in, you knew you were going to do it? Or it’s like I was doing the research but I’m not sure?
Becky: Yeah, I’d say it was probably more I do the research and see how much this is going to cost me.
Interviewer: Got it, okay. So it wasn’t going . . .
Becky: So it still wasn’t 100% I’m going to do this today. It was like sitting down and doing research.
Interviewer: And so . . .
Interviewer: So that was . . . laptop? Obviously you’re on the couch.
Interviewer: Mac or PC?
Interviewer: What was the first thing you pulled up?
Becky: So the first place I went was Vodaphone because of my phone. I figured that was the place to go, and I wanted to look at stuff online because of my fear of going.
Interviewer: So in your head, you’re still going to look and then you’re going to go to the store at this point?
Becky: Yeah. In my head, it was like today I need to go to the store, go to the store. If I need to find people, I can find people.
Interviewer: So were you thinking about . . . could you change carriers?
Becky: Yeah, I was completely open to doing that. In fact, that’s what I thought I probably would end up doing.
Becky: But I thought . . .
Interviewer: But you stuck . . . I’ve got to go on that.
Interviewer: What’d she just say?
Interviewer: She’s like . . .
Interviewer: She said oh, because if you would’ve got her going in, I’m going to switch carriers. I am going to switch carriers, right? And the thing is at the end you don’t know what she’s going to do. And the thing is you could end up listening to all these features that she wants, but the reality is we need to know what she trades off on, right? She still doesn’t even think she’s buying the phone right now. She’s like 15 minutes into sitting on the couch drinking my tea telling myself I’m just doing the research to prepare myself to walk in to get accosted by these sales guys. I don’t even know that I’m going to do it, but I’m going to go by myself and I don’t want my boyfriend to know. You’re doing four hours of research just to go in and say . . .
Becky: It’s crazy.
Interviewer: No, no, you’re not. Question?
Interviewer: Becky, how are you feeling right now?
Interviewer: Good question.
Becky: Feeling powerless.
Interviewer: Powerless? Oh, embarrassed?
Becky: Powerless. I just feel like . . . I don’t know. I didn’t realize there were so many deep reasons why I got my phone.
Interviewer: So there’s something interesting to be said. So we do this for big clients, right? We use a focus group room, the one-way mirror or whatever. If you’re behind the one-way mirror like you guys are right now watching, it looks like the person is just in utter pain. It’s like they’re beating her up; they’ve got the lights on her and stuff. Is it painful?
Becky: It’s not painful, but it’s a bit . . .
Interviewer: You’ve got everybody watching you.
Becky: Yeah. I guess you feel a bit like ah, why did I do that? Why did I make that decision? It is more emotional . . .
Interviewer: So she doesn’t know. When you really start to do it, they’ll say I bought it because everybody else had it. I mean they make stuff up. They give themselves the reason what it is. So when we do your surveys and say oh, why’d you buy the iPhone? Oh, because it has so many apps and everybody else has one. The reality is when you start to look at it, there’s a whole host of reasons why you got the iPhone and we’re trying to find the cause and linkages that get her to having this in her pocket. And so it’s not what they think it is and say it is. I say it’s the lies you tell yourself of why you want something. Oh, it gets great gas mileage and it’s cheap. And when you really start to analyze it, there are five other options that are cheaper and five other options that get better gas mileage. Why don’t you buy that one? It’s for other reasons. And that’s where the details are.
Interviewer: Okay. You said you were a bit scared of commitment.
Interviewer: Did it feel like a mortgage or something? What was the fear about it?
Interviewer: Good question.
Becky: So I think . . . oh, I don’t know. I don’t know that I think it’s a mortgage. I think it’s because you have to sign up for two years now, so that felt like I was committing for two years wit h a phone I was quite likely to drop and break, etc. That it’s another chunk of something you have to pay every month. So I knew I could afford it; it wasn’t like a ridiculous amount of money. But . . .
Interviewer: But the fear was more around breaking it rather than . . .
Becky: Yeah, I don’t really know what the fear was because it isn’t that much money. It was just yet another thing unrelated that I spend every month, and it’s just yeah, another thing that would definitely come out every month and it’s less money to spend on just going out or whatever.
Interviewer: Do you have a question as well?
Interviewer: Yes, did you buy it and think . . . when you bought the contract, did you buy the additional insurance?
Becky: No. I didn’t buy anything, and in fact I got the phone free and the phone was supposed to be 150 pounds.
Interviewer: And that was before the incident?
Interviewer: You bought . . .
Becky: Yes, that was all the options I looked at. So I think I got 500 back . . .
Interviewer: So you were to commit to those options . . .
Interviewer: Were you worried to commit to those options?
Becky: Yeah, so that was the options I looked at as much . . .
Interviewer: Which is what? Aspects of insurance as your phone . . .
Becky: With the add-ons?
Becky: I guess so. No, I guess I was worried more generally about I . . . it’s really, I can’t say. If someone comes and like talks to me, I don’t want to be mean. So I guess I was just really worried that somebody would come talk to me and I’d get talked into not necessarily the add-ons, but just even the contract and stuff. That I’m in one shop and I don’t have the opportunity to go and look at all the options that are available to me, whereas if I’m in my living room online, I’m kind of in control and I can see all the different options. I can say no, I’ll call you back or you call me back, whereas if I was in a shop . . .
Interviewer: But that means you want to just make a transaction or . . .
Becky: Yeah, where actually in the end . . . so I got it through Vodaphone. I looked on their website. I actually did bring up in the end, when I kind of knew the options I wanted, I phone each person and said this is what’s on my mind. What can you do for me?
Interviewer: You negotiated?
Becky: I did.
Interviewer: Oh my gosh.
Becky: It’s the end of the month. Oh no.
Interviewer: Bryan’s got a Galaxy S3 LTE . . .
Becky: Oh, thanks.
Interviewer: If only there was a way I could find . . .
Interviewer: So the reason why that’s actually important is we want to know she doesn’t know it. And so the thing is, what happens is people are like oh, everybody knows my brand; everybody knows . . . half the time, so we do work like in dish soap. 90% of the time they’re wrong about the dish soap they have in their cupboard. Yep, we have Dawn. Nope, it’s not. So it’s those things where we keep thinking brands mean a lot to people, but when you really start to put . . . the only brand they remember is usually the brand they bought. They might remember the shape and they might remember let’s say Samsung, but it’s very hard to get down to the resolution where they literally can . . . because it literally just goes right out the brain. Questions to that?
Interviewer: I’ve got a question for you two, to give a break for a little bit, but she mentioned . . . one thing, when you tried the iPhone and you never tried one, I think she once said everyone else has got one and I can ask them if it goes wrong. I wonder why you didn’t probe into that one a bit. Is that enough information as it is?
Interviewer: For me, that’s enough causality. So what we’re trying to actually do is find the causality, and there’s things that hold her back from buying this thing which is I’ve got to do it by myself; I need some time by myself; I don’t want to be accosted. And then there’s things that cause her to do it which is hey, if I buy this one, I’m stuck. I can ask somebody. But if I buy this . . . I’ve got to go to Bryan. Because again, I probed. Is there anybody else? Is there anybody else? I didn’t find anything. And so that whole idea of a support group is one of the reasons why she picked the iPhone. I was going to . . . I would actually probe around. You ever run out of power before? Right? Because at some point it’s the fear of oh my gosh, I don’t have my charger with me. She talked about size, like where do I carry everything. So the notion is that . . . she hasn’t brought up the power problem, so she probably didn’t anticipate it going in. But it’s one of those where again it adds to the anxiety of the purchase.
Interviewer: So the specific example you chose, Becky, the phone, do you prepare the kind of questions you’re going to ask? Or is it all on the seat of your pants?
Interviewer: On the seat of the pants. So what it is, is we have a framework. And so the whole thing is we have buckets we want to basically get to, and part of it’s what we’ll call the timeline. So we’ll say this happened and this happened. So we’re trying to find the dominos that fall together to say that’s how the iPhone got to her. And what we’re trying is to find the big dominos that really cause it to happen as opposed to the things she tells herself. So when she says it’s therapy . . .
Interviewer: All we want is the story. So I guess what makes it beautiful is it applies to everything. We can do this exact same interview with you firing the sky sports . . . it’s a story leading up to it. The one thing we always key on is anytime there’s an event that’s emotional, getting locked out and going out for a Friday evening? You kind of downplay it like it wasn’t that big a deal, but you can almost picture her like why isn’t this thing working? What’s going to happen tonight? I’m not going to be able to communicate with anybody. Any time there’s that little spike, I don’t understand how that’s pushing them forward or holding them back and it doesn’t matter what the product or what the service or that the circumstance is.
Interviewer: I have a question.
Interviewer: Go ahead.
Interviewer: So you were afraid of being tied to a contract. By the same token, you were also . . . you also hung onto a phone for four years. And then were you also afraid you’d be stuck with this phone for a long time?
Becky: Yeah, that’s completely . . .
Interviewer: She said that.
Becky: Yeah, no, you’re right. I was afraid I’d be stuck with it. Like I said, I knew I had one for years so I knew it was a completely irrational fear, but I also knew how quickly they released new ones. I guess I had a bit of a fear of I’m going to spend all this money, then two months later it’d be like iPhone’s old again.
Interviewer: Here’s the other. She has a commitment issue, right? So . . .
Interviewer: But if you listen to the very first thing she said when she sat down to talk about the phone, it’s my 90 days are out around my phone like this week. So she knows that I’m committed. Before, she was the way they got rid of that anxiety is I’m not going to make you commit for 90 days. You can try this as much as you want. So the reason why . . . knowing the commitment issue is there. It’s not . . . I don’t want to know why you have the issue, right? If I know she has it, what can I do as a service provider to alleviate it? And she’s like I’ve got 90 days to turn this thing back. And look, it’s still sensitive to the point where she really sat down and the first thing she said, it’s just up.
Interviewer: Oh, I was wondering whether it was just the device or being to the contract because that’s who . . . I don’t know if it’s the same emotion for you, but . . .
Interviewer: Yeah, definitely. So the other part about it is we’re not . . . as consumers, we’re not rational. It’s all energy and it’s all emotions, so you’ll find things like that will never correlate. So we’ve done work on dieting and things like that. It’s like you exercise and you run every day and this day you had a hard say at work and you came home and you ate a whole gallon or pint of Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. It’s like why didn’t you go out and exercise again? This is the same thing. You had a phone for four years; how could you be afraid of having a phone for two years? Things change. Information . . . it’s like they never compare.
Interviewer: The other thing to realize is there’s only usually two or three things that help her tip. And so the thing is when you walk into the store they’re going to give you all the “I can get you!” and they literally throw up on you with everything they can do, and it means nothing to her. It’s like it falls right off. So the reason why she’s accosted is they’re just trying to say the right thing, what I call crappy sales people, they’re trying to throw the right thing at you that says oh good, I’ll buy it. And at the end of the day, I have more anxiety around people not coming in than coming in.
Interviewer: On the emotionality angle, have you ever found any difference between the consumer market and the business market in that regard?
Interviewer: So what you find, the business market is a little bit more complicated but it has as much emotion in it as . . . everybody always thinks people buy on price. Price is emotional, and at the end of the day, how people choose and what they’re afraid of, the fear and anxiety, is all there still too. So it’s as much emotion as people want to do it. Most big businesses try to design the emotion out. The reality, when you start to look at . . . again, going on, because they only take three bids, here’s how you decide. But when you actually ask people how they made the decision on that, to go with that vendor? You start to listen to the conversations they had around it? It’s not always the lowest bid. It’s like well they’re small and they do this and this is what it is and we were afraid of that. Again, when you start to hear I was afraid, I was excited, any emotional words? It happens in business all the time, every day. So this is applicable across the board.
Interviewer: Let’s try to wrap this and the whole weekend because there’s a lot to talk about. It’s a great story. So Vodaphone?
Interviewer: We’re 15 minutes in.
Interviewer: So you’re on Vodaphone. I want to know what did you see? Where did you go first?
Becky: So I see a sea of phones, so I’m thinking . . .
Interviewer: A sea of phones?
Becky: A sea of phones. There’s so many options.
Interviewer: You have people take them . . .
Becky: There’s so many options. I think by this point I’ve kind of decided you know what? It’s going to have to be . . . just make it easy for yourself, Becky. It’s going to have to be either iPhone or Samsung.
Interviewer: Okay. Samsung’s still in the running?
Becky: It’s still in the running. It’s absolutely still in the running. But I have to be honest. I think partly because I’m stubborn and I didn’t want to just get an iPhone because my boyfriend as one, but I also kind of . . . yeah, I know. It’s stupid. But I also kind of felt like that was my big issue, because if it was easier to just use an iPhone then maybe I should just do that.
Interviewer: So did you think about what’s my life going to be like if I buy this Samsung?
Becky: Yeah, and then I thought . . . it did come back to that thing, if I’d known that people who’ve got an iPhone and I know they find it really easy to use, and friends are like . . . girlfriends, they find it really easy to use? I just thought I don’t want to be there with my Samsung thinking I don’t know how to use it. And saying you should’ve just gotten an iPhone then you’d be able to use it.
Interviewer: So clearly this conversation’s going on in your head . . . so what did you click into? Did you go into iPhone? Did you go into Samsung?
Becky: I think I did a comparison between both of them.
Interviewer: How’d you do that?
Becky: Selecting the options.
Interviewer: It says compare? Like click . . .
Interviewer: What were you comparing?
Becky: Just the . . . what’s the word? Like tariffs? Like what data you can get, what calls you can get.
Interviewer: Oh, so it’s like the plan?
Becky: So at this point I’m not really concerned about what the phone does. In fact, at all I’m not really concerned about what it does. I’m concerned about how much I can get for my money and how much it’s going to cost me.
Interviewer: So now you’re already in negotiation mode?
Becky: Because I kind of know what’s . . . yeah.
Interviewer: So if you could’ve got a better deal on Samsung, would you’ve gone?
Becky: No, I don’t think so. Well, at this point, maybe.
Interviewer: Oh my God. Okay, keep going.
Becky: It’s really hard to say. It’s really hard to say whether I actually knew all along that I’d go for the iPhone and I was just looking for a reason.
Interviewer: So I guess . . . you can’t get her to hypothesize. It’s just useless data. The thing is you can tell how she struggles, like could I? And then you all of a sudden see this whole thing go back and you throw her into a tizzy, why, could I? Then you get her off track.
Interviewer: What question did you ask her?
Interviewer: I asked her if she got a good enough deal, would she have gone . . . it was a bad question. So you get down in your plans, right? So you say I think I know the phone. Let me see what I can get. So now you’re worried about the money side of it. So how are you comparing plans?
Becky: I’m still looking at number of minutes you can get. Most texts were unlimited, and then the big thing for me was the data because I’ve never used it before and I had no idea how much I’d use in a month.
Interviewer: How much did your boyfriend?
Becky: I think he has a gig.
Interviewer: Did you know that before?
Becky: Yeah, actually, he downloaded a spreadsheet because he’s an accountant. No one say this who knows him. But he has a spreadsheet of how much data and minutes he’d used over the last six months.
Interviewer: He is an accountant. How did . . . you asked for that? So how do you know about that?
Becky: No, so I said I’m thinking I finally need to get a smart phone and one of my concerns was how much I’d have to pay and how much data I’d use and I have no idea, and I guess a fear of just like wracking up a huge bill. So he went away and did that for me.
Interviewer: Very nice of him. When he gave that to you . . .
Interviewer: When did he give it to you?
Interviewer: When he gave it to you, was it like . . . this is, so there’s like different ways to present it. It’s like here’s the information? Or it’s like look, you can get a smart phone because I don’t really use that much data. Did he pitch at that point?
Becky: He loaned it to me, it was a spreadsheet.
Interviewer: Emailed it?
Becky: Yeah. And . . .
Interviewer: Did you save the email?
Becky: I can’t remember. But it was along the lines of I’ve got this much data but I only use about half of it. So you don’t need to worry about it.
Interviewer: Is this a conversation you had? Like I want it but I don’t know how much data I’m going to use. Was this an explicit conversation?
Becky: Yeah, but it was quite a quick conversation. It just makes a boring . . .
Interviewer: So he noticed and went off . . .
Becky: I think at the time he said I can look at how much I used if that would help you.
Interviewer: When was that in the timeline?
Becky: It was . . . I don’t remember. It was fairly close to me making the decision.
Interviewer: So like a week before maybe?
Becky: Maybe like two or three weeks before. It definitely wasn’t straightaway before.
Interviewer: Got it, okay.
Interviewer: Okay, so take me back to Voda. So you’ve got the comparisons up. How different are the plans? Was it like . . .
Becky: They’re pretty similar actually.
Interviewer: Okay, so this is no help. I mean you’re looking at . . .
Becky: They’re all pretty similar. They’re all, even if say one phone is like maybe four or five quid in total . . .
Becky: So it’s not one standard I guess.
Interviewer: So you went through these analyses and said these are all the same . . .
Becky: Yeah, I was like eh.
Interviewer: So how’d you get . . .
Becky: So then, well, I did make . . . so then I phoned up Vodaphone. No, no, I didn’t. No, then I looked at other carriers.
Interviewer: So did you have it in like the same browser? A new window? Who’d you go to?
Becky: So I went to Virgin Media because I have my TV.
Becky: And I knew they did deals for existing customers. I went to Orange because that’s . . . I guess that’s who my boyfriend’s with and I know they do really good friends. But I knew Vodaphone’s got the best coverage in our house, so he can’t get calls downstairs which is kind of annoying when you’re at the house. So . . .
Interviewer: So was it out . . .
Becky: Orange . . . three, that was the other one.
Interviewer: Three? Sorry.
Interviewer: So is Orange even an alternative?
Becky: Orange I was really disappointed with, because in my head they have this great reputation. It’s like they’re the cheapest people to go with. And their website was really confusing. It just had all these different panda, tiger type thing. It was silly. And they weren’t really that cheap, and I think they might’ve been one of the first ones I rung up because their website was so confusing. I had to ring them up, and the guy was just really unhelpful.
Interviewer: So you rang up Orange?
Interviewer: So Vodaphone’s open. They’re your current supplier. Virgin’s your second supplier for something else, but you haven’t called them yet either.
Interviewer: You go to Orange and say . . . your boyfriend has Orange. You say . . .
Becky: Yeah, because their website was so confusing I felt I had to call them.
Interviewer: So because of the bad website it caused you to call them?
Interviewer: What’d you ask?
Becky: I said I don’t understand your website. I just said like have you got any deals basically? And the guy was just very unhelpful and just really like our best deals are probably on the website. [Laughter] Yeah, because they update that quicker than they get the information to us. And I’m just thinking . . .
Interviewer: Did you say I was just on your website? Did you bring it up?
Interviewer: Did you say it, like I just came . . .
Becky: Yeah, I’ve been on your website. I’m a bit confused.
Interviewer: He just sent you to the website?
Becky: Yeah, he basically just sent me back. And I was just like that’s really terrible.
Interviewer: So did you go back to the website?
Becky: I don’t recall if I did.
Becky: At that point I was just like no, I’m not getting any good service.
Interviewer: So then where did you go?
Becky: So I looked on Three.
Interviewer: Sweet, two friend suppliers and you go to Orange then you say no, no, no, I want to go to somebody new like okay . . .
Becky: I think that was because another friend knew someone who worked at Three and said I’ll see. So at this point I am actually texting people.
Interviewer: On your old phone?
Interviewer: So you’re texting people on your old phone . . .
Becky: Saying this is the kind of deal I’m finding. Is this a good price?
Interviewer: Who are you texting?
Becky: So I texted one of my friends, Charlotte.
Interviewer: Charlotte, okay.
Becky: And I was trying to text . . . he was playing golf, so I didn’t get . . . and I wanted to do it on my phone.
Interviewer: But you did text Owen?
Interviewer: Did he say anything back?
Becky: I think he was just like that sounds like a good deal or something. I kind of wanted to do it. I wanted to do it myself and be like I’ve done it.
Interviewer: Hang up one second. Do you see the drive in that? When she says I want to do it myself. He had to be gone for her to do it. She had to have the time to go do it. Very, very big domino there. If she never had the time, she wouldn’t have done it. She needed to be by herself and not with him looking over the shoulder, you should do this one; you should do that one. So part of it is when do you have the time to actually pick? And all she was really trying to do at this point in time is do enough research to arm herself not to get accosted when she walked in the store.
Interviewer: Is it a question of wanting to do it herself, or wanting to understand what she’s getting into? Because she’s digging quite deeply into quite a lot of information as opposed to just doing the stuff, going through the actions and stuff. She’s doing all the research, whereas if the boyfriend’s there he might be just telling you things. That’s a good deal. Why? Well it just is.
Becky: I didn’t want someone . . . I definitely didn’t want to feel that someone else made that decision for me. I wanted to feel that I’d made that decision myself.
Interviewer: To understand why instead of the information.
Interviewer: You’ll see a pattern of . . . we’re not going to expose all this now, but you’ll see a pattern of like learning and then validation. So it’s like I want to do it all myself. Leave me alone. I don’t need you chirping in every few seconds. I need to figure this out. But when I get to the point of decision making, it’s like hey, can you tell me if this is good . . . I need everyone around me to kind of say you’re not doing something wrong. So there’s usually that tip where it’s like we talk to people whose spouses shop in the aisle, and it’s like hey, honey, come over and look at this. What do you think? And the wife . . . yeah, whatever, it’s fine. And then I’ll go buy it, because at least I got you to validate that I’m not doing something incredibly dumb.
Interviewer: But the other thing is she doesn’t want to be ridiculed anymore. So the other thing is she wants to be able to defend her decision and not say well, you just bought it because Owen bought it or Owen helped you do this. There’s an independence and some pride there that’s like I want to make sure I did it myself. And I do want to know what I’m getting into, but I need to defend it, because part of the reason of the causality of her wanting to switch is the ribbing she’s getting from everybody.
Interviewer: I was just going to say, maybe because she looked around the house and looked at all the other options, it’s almost like giving her that ammunition. So if they say why did you go to that? She can say because all the others were worse.
Interviewer: That’s right. And so the thing is in some cases she was shopping, but the real question of what she was doing is building the case of what to buy. So that’s really . . . and to be honest, everybody does it. We all build the case. So in some cases when we say we’re open to something, the reality is we’re really not. We’re just trying to build a case. We’ve got to fast-forward . . .
Interviewer: Five minutes.
Interviewer: Five more minutes.
Interviewer: All right, so Three. Why on Three?
Becky: So I think by Three I was just looking on the website. The deal wasn’t much better, so basically a [inaudible 0:53:21].
Interviewer: So you look at same pricing deals, all of them have the iPhone 5 and Samsung. All of them have . . .
Becky: There’s not much . . .
Becky: So at this point I bring up Vodaphone.
Interviewer: Okay, so go back. But you phoned up Three?
Becky: No, I didn’t phone Three. I phoned Orange and then . . .
Becky: And talked to I forget what his name was, some guy, and I said existing customer, I’ve been with you a long time, can you do me any deals? Actually, no, that’s not quite true. I said I’m really interested in this deal but I can’t afford to buy it because it’s 150 pounds and that’s too much money. And he literally went let me see what I can do. Yeah, you can get the phone for free. [Laughter]
Interviewer: Wait, wait, wait. Slow down. So how did you feel when he came back and said you can get the phone for free?
Becky: So part of me felt, because I work in a sales organization, so part of me was like I know what you’ve done there. It was probably always free. But part of me felt like yeah, I really appreciate that. And honestly I thought when people say to me oh, I can’t believe you’re paying 30-something pounds a month, I can say but I got the phone for free.
Becky: I did that to definitely . . .
Interviewer: Okay, so the way to get around it is to say I’m going to charge for the phone. You know what? It’s free anyways, but I’m not giving it for free on the site. I’m going to actually let people know . . . basically feel like they’ve negotiated it. Now there’s more pride, like they’re in the game now. How much did you . . .
Becky: I guess it made me feel like I was a bit in control of my own decision, and it kind of did make it an easier decision for me.
Interviewer: But you didn’t buy it, though. Did you say . . .
Becky: I said let me think about it for a few minutes. And he said okay, I’ll arrange a time with you to call you back later today. I said I’m looking at other providers. So we setup that time, and to be honest I hadn’t really made the decision in my mind but I needed some time to sit and think on it because I wasn’t planning to go ahead and buy . . .
Interviewer: Did you ask him about the Samsung?
Becky: No, by this point I think I just decided . . .
Interviewer: Do you think if you would’ve asked about the Samsung first and they would’ve gave it for free you would’ve gone there?
Becky: No. That’s really . . . I can’t remember at what point I decided, but I think it was just like narrow it down. That’s the phone you really want.
Interviewer: Worn down?
Interviewer: So what did you think about it after you hung up the phone? Do you remember? Like . . . what I’m picturing is like click, it’s over. It’s like no mental energy anymore. Are you still sitting on the couch?
Becky: Yeah, I think I went home and did something else because I was like yeah . . .
Interviewer: Were you looking forward to his call? Or were you like I’m not sure; you still have angst about it?
Becky: I was, but I remember I had a bit of angst like should I still negotiate a bit? Should I drive a bit harder? Am I just accepting what’s on the website, a bit mug, like . . . yeah, I remember thinking that. He was going to call back and I’m going to have to turn him down. So I think, yeah, I was kind of . . . I don’t know. Yeah, I remember kind of feeling a bit of angst, like is it just an easy . . . am I an easy sell?
Interviewer: So what did you do when he called back?
Becky: I said yeah.
Interviewer: Here’s my credit card.
Becky: I said hmm, I’ve been thinking about it.
Interviewer: He played it up too?
Becky: Yeah, yeah, I’ve been having a think. But then I said yeah.
Interviewer: Did you push on him?
Becky: I think I asked how quickly he could get it to me, then he said they’ll get it out next day, which again is probably what they do anyway.
Interviewer: So he’s doing you another favor?
Becky: Then Danny sets it all up. We have a chat about . . .
Interviewer: A long chat about what?
Becky: Waiting for the credit check to go through. So at this point we’re friends.