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Fuss Free Phones riiiiing for three minutes24 Jul 2017

Easy to use mobile phones

At Fuss Free Phones we are very proud of the way we make easy to use mobile phones easier. We even make things like Doro mobile phones with their big buttons and easy to see screens even easier to use.

But we are always looking for ways to make the big button mobile phones not just easy to use mobile phones but the easiest mobile phones. And we do that by understanding our customers.

There is a lot more to making a mobile phone for older people than just big buttons. That’s where the Fuss Free Phones service comes in. Having people to help make calls, send and read texts is what we are about.

It’s also about listening to our customers. We’ve added a number of services such as being able to use the telephonist service from a landline as the result of listening, but the newest one is such a simple mobile phone service it’s brilliant.

We make the phone ring for three minutes before dropping the call. That seems pretty minor to phone geeks, all of whom are never an arm’s length away from at least one mobile phone. But Fuss Free Phones customers live at a better, slower pace. They don’t see the need to be always in touch and when they are not using their easy to use mobile, they put it away.

It’s a much less demanding relationship with technology. So when a Fuss Free Phone rings it may be in a jacket pocket hung up on a door or in a handbag or a desk drawer. So answering it takes a little time.

It seems that phones are always designed to stop ringing just as you reach for them. But Fuss Free Phones has changed that. Our phones now ring for two minutes. That far longer than the usual 23 seconds.

It would be nice to say that we thought of this all by ourselves. But we didn’t it came from customers asking.

It seemed such a reasonable request we thought it would be easy. Indeed at first glance it looked easy. Fuss Free Phones uses the O2 network but the military technology we use to do things like the No Nuisance Calls service gives us a much greater level of control of the network than you would normally expect with what is known as a virtual mobile phone network.

So we spoke to the techies and they made the change. We called our phones to marvel at them ringing for longer and they didn’t. After 23 seconds they stopped. We checked the settings and tried again.
It turns out that other phone networks don’t think like Fuss Free Phones, and Fuss Free Phones customers. Making easy to use mobile phones isn’t what they are about and they assume that 23 seconds is plenty. They also don’t like tying up bits of their network with making a phone ring when the charging doesn’t start until it’s answered.

But O2 and the various other companies we work with are sympathetic. They like what Fuss Free Phones does and once we’d explained they were co-operative and found which settings to tweak.

A Fuss Free Phone will now ring for up to three minutes. Unfortunately nothing in phones is quite as simple as that and the answer to the question “how long is three minutes” is, “it depends”. While we and our friends at O2 can control our end of the call we can’t control the settings for the phone calling us. So how long the callers network will let the phone ring for will depend on their settings. In our experiments we’ve seen a minute and a half, two minutes and the full three minutes. What you get depends on where you are calling from. It’s certainly plenty of time to rootle through even the most capacious handbag.

Simon Rockman