No loan service for choosing mobile phones?

I’m inspired to write this as I watch a colleague growling and gnashing his teeth at a recently purchased mobile phone.

Something that’s often perplexed me is that whenever I’ve been in the market to choose a mobile phone, the handset/network choices were explained in detail on paper, and even by enthusiastic fans or salesman.  Yet no mobile phone reseller has ever offered me a loan phone that I can take home and try to live with for a week to assess the hardware, software and network performance.  When I’ve asked about this, the salesmen have basically just shrugged their shoulders and said it’s not a service they can provide.

I for one would be more than happy to pay for a week’s worth of contract for the plan/phone I’m testing, and it could help prevent me buying the wrong thing and ending up blaming and flaming the network, the store or the manufacturer for my trying to use a phone that clearly wasn’t designed or intended for that particular purpose I’m griping about.

Surely I can’t be the only one who would like to think carefully about tying myself to a contract I can’t escape from for two years – so I wonder why this kind of service isn’t available?  Are the shops or network providers scared that they or their products will have their flaws exposed for all to see?  Or do they simply get more money out of unhappy people who end up buying one or more handsets after realising their phone doesn’t actually meet their needs?

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