After reading stories in various forums from customers who entered a Verizon store determined to buy an Apple iPhone and walked out of the store with a new Android model, CNN decided to investigate. The forums were full of posts from Verizon customers who claim that they were "actively discouraged" from purchasing Apple's iconic smartphone
. Forum headlines had titles like "Went in to buy an iPhone 4s... but walked out with a RAZR,
" and "Do Sales Reps hate the iPhone
?" It was enough incentive to get CNN to dig a little deeper.
CNN's David Goldman spoke with ten Verizon sales reps in New York stores, on the phone and via chat sessions. Goldman asked about what his options were for a new smartphone as a Verizon customer and in all ten conversations he was pointed toward the Motorola DROID RAZR
, the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX
or the LG Lucid
. All three Android models offer LTE connectivity. When Goldman inquired about the Apple iPhone, all ten Verizon reps said that the phone was inferior to the other three handsets because the iPhone only runs over Big Red's 3G pipeline. A Verizon rep in a Manhattan store put down Apple's iconic device saying that, "The iPhone is a great phone, but it's on 3G," said one representative at a Verizon Wireless store in midtown Manhattan. "I'm not going to recommend a phone that's outdated
The reporter initially told five of the reps that he was looking for a new smartphone while telling the other five that he wanted an Apple iPhone. When he said that he wanted an iPhone, none of the Verizon reps tried to talk him out of buying the model. But when he asked them if it was the best smartphone, all five said no. One rep told him that the Motorola DROID RAZR MAXX was faster than the iPhone while another told him that he would sell him the Apple iPhone if he really wanted it, "But my recommendation is 4G. I'd want the fastest, best technology that's not going to be outdated when I buy it
Are Verizon reps being told to push LTE enabled models?
spokesman Tom Pica said in a written statement, "Our sales force's mission is to ensure customers are familiar with our
product line and to match the customer with the right device to best
meet their needs. At the end of the day,
our goal is that every customer is delighted with the device that they
." An AT&T rep had a different response about which smartphone to buy. He told Goldman that, "It's all about the 4S now. The iPhone is the most popular phone, you know what you're
getting, and it's a status symbol you can't get anywhere else