The US telecoms giant Sprint is to offer free, in-store smartphone training in an effort to reduce the number of phones returned to it by confused customers.

This could be a reflection on the technical competence of the average purchaser of today’s function-packed smartphones.

Or it could be that retailers and manufacturers aren’t doing enough to explain how new handsets operate.

Whichever it is, the fact that 21 per cent of Sprint’s smartphone buyers come back to the store to return the phone or to seek help in setting it up and learning to use it, is a mite worrying.

In response, employees at the US’s number three mobile carrier will be able to provide training.

Initially the program is only in Sprint-owned stores but it is to be rolled out to selected independent stores as well.

Sprint has hired extra employees for every store to handle the workload.

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