Another reporter finds anti-Windows Phone 7 bias at carriers' retail locations

Another reporter finds anti-Windows Phone 7 bias at carriers' retail locations
As we reported last weekend, a "Secret Shopper" known only by PC Magazine went to stores offering products from the nation's top four carriers. Her mission was to ask for a Windows Phone 7 handset and see what the sales staff would do. It was unanimous as at each location, the sales rep attempted to switch the shopper from the Windows Phone 7 handset into an Android model. In some stores, the area of the floor containing phones loaded with Microsoft's mobile OS was unkempt and missing demo models. Some of the reps confessed to knowing very little about Windows Phone 7, but was more familiar with Android or iOS models.

To see if the results would be repeated, Boston Herald reporter Jessica Van Sack attempted the same scenario at a Verizon, Sprint and AT&T store in downtown Boston and had the same experience as PC Mag's "Secret Shopper". At each store she went in to, she was dissuaded from purchasing a phone with Windows Phone 7 and was steered toward an Android model or the Apple iPhone. Meanwhile, the reps would comment that the Microsoft created OS is just not ready in terms of productivity. Some answered that they really did not know too much about Windows Phone 7 handsets.

The crew at Redmond cannot be terribly pleased with the results of these surveys. A spokesman said that there are many reasons to buy a phone loaded with Windows Phone 7 and that Microsoft keeps adding more reasons to keep current users happy and to convince future customers to go with a phone loaded with Microsoft's software. But a look at Van Sack's experience does not bode well for Microsoft. At Sprint, she went into the store seeking a Windows Phone 7 handset and the rep showed her the Android powered HTC EVO 4G. At Verizon, the rep told the author that he was a fan of the Apple iPhone and that his colleague used an Android handset. Neither one had ever used a Windows Phone 7 model.

With the millions of dollars that Microsoft spent on commercials touting phones loaded with its mobile software as a "phone to save us from our phones", it could be that most smartphone users do not want to be saved from their handset.

source: BostonHerald via WPCentral



1. WHOCARES??? unregistered

That's up to the sales reps. IDC whether its biased or not thats their sale position

77. Lucas777

Posts: 2137; Member since: Jan 06, 2011

who the f**k cares what u say...

2. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

If the customers askes about a certain phone you show them what they want, not what you want. Simple as that.

7. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

That is right. If I want a Windows Phone & they show me something else, I will get offended. It's disrespectful & unprofessional do deny me what I clearly asked for.

59. Tom unregistered

I've been selling phones for almost 6 years and It blows my mind that sales reps would risk losing the sales by trying to convince a customer to go with a different phone, especially when they come in asking for a specific operating system. Windows Phone 7 can do just as much as the other competitors, the only thing it lacks is an app market that is as extensive as the others. I think Microsoft did a great job with the operating system, they may need to just focus on training salesman or put a working model in their hands so they can see in fact that the OS isn't as bad as they think.

41. IAMI unregistered

In sales if a customer ask about a phone you ask them what about that phone interest them. Most people have no clue what phones are actually capable of and usually seen a cool comercial so they want it. Once you ask them what they want a phone to do you sell them a phone that best fits there needs. By doing this you make a customer very happy by listening to there needs and make them a customer for life. if a sales rep was to have a customer say I want this phone then just sell it then the rep did not do his job properly and if he worked in my store i would fire him and just hire a couple of kids for min wage to be cashiers not sales reps.

53. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

Agreed. If we were order takers we would work at McDonalds or Best Buy ,but we are there to listen to the customers needs and fit them with the perfect phone for them. In the case being pointed to is the sales person was trying to sell what they wanted to sell and not what the customer was asking for.

57. WP7Fan unregistered

Then why when I went into Verizon the other day. I told the guy I would want a windows phone. I told him why. I have an xbox360 and play xbox live, I have a zune pass, I like built in FM radios of the phone, I like Windows 7 PC's, I actually have an option to even use sharepoint for work.....and this rep was still trying to get me a thunderbolt....Told him I didnt care about 4g...offered the incredible 2...told him im not a fan of android since ive had them before and they seem unstable...offered an iPhone!!...its just silly and I reported this to verizon higher ups..I still got my trophy online and havent looked back at android since. It was a perfect fit for my life...these reps need more training and need to understand the product and thats just it...they dont understand...I had to tell HIM about WP7 features and how it would best suite me. Its just a shame then so many closed minded people are wasting money when only thing they had to do is google/bing Windows Phone 7 and understand what it can do. Not saying all reps are bad by any means but its starting to get unprofessional.

80. agent7

Posts: 19; Member since: Apr 20, 2011

That was the rep that you were dealing with. It's a shame that they did not do their job. But, we definitely do not want to just clerk to the customer. Discover the needs of the customer and then present a solution. If after that, the customer still wants a different device, then sell it to them. Just don't do it in a way that could be perceived as dissuading them. Our job is to make sure that our customers make an informed decision. If they already know all of the information- GREAT! An informed customer is nice to have.

71. JerzeySniper

Posts: 22; Member since: Mar 21, 2011

I've worked for 3 of the 4 major carriers and its not quite that simple. What the general consumer has to understand is that some of the carriers actually penalize the sales rep for returns and exchanges that a customer brings back. While me personally takes pride in learning and knowing about all the OS's that we carry at SprintNextel, most reps will agree that it is generally safer to sell a device that they know the customer will throughly enjoy as to not have them return it an get in hot water with the higer-ups. I agree that a customer should be shown the device that they ask for and also be tought the strenghts and weaknesses of each device and then let them decide, thats how i sell. On the other side, there are reps who are lazy and want to push a device on a customer that they are happy with and know about, thats a bad sales rep. But i can understand how a rep may be reluctant to sell a windows product. If they learn it though,they may be surprised how well they can sell them, i sell a healthy mix of all OS's with the exception of Palm which noone really cares to buy no matter how hard i try. The public should demand the companies that punish reps for returns and exchanges to stop because this can lead to a bad customer service experience. On a side note windows is a solid OS i actually like it, I think it will do well with some updates and if MS continues to support it and allow major things customers want like full customization, not just change the color of the Live Tiles or choose crappy preloaded ringtones.

3. URC unregistered

Not sure why any rep would steer a customer ASKING for WP7 away for an iPhone. I guess those reps don't like money. I've never heard a single rep say their employer paid more for an iPhone than a different smartphone, and at least the Trophy for VZW has a low cost and would generate more money for the sale. Plus you get that aging merchandise out of your store. Although I would certainly steer someone toward an Incredible 2 if they said that apps and customizability were important to them (both of which are most people's main reasons for grabbing a smartphone in the first place). Until WP7 gets developers to back their OS with a lot of apps, their phones are pretty much going nowhere. Otherwise it is a smooth operating system. I just don't think there is enough money in app development for a OS that is so far behind in that regard to come up quickly and start competing with iOS and Android.

29. bluechrism unregistered

Just thinkig, i'm sure a couple of months back was a chart on PA showing that the Apple App Store, Nokia Ovi store and Windows Phone Marketplace made more money for developers than Android stores due to the high volume of free apps for Android. Ultimately, there is a issue for apps and developers pre-mango (and customers) in how multitasking is (or isn't to be more accurate) handled. I almost thing MS got Windows Phone 7 out incomplete because they knew if they delayed Androind and iOS would have a duopoly all set up and they had to get something out, though Mango will be the time to really judge it. Where I work, people with windows phones have said they are good, smooth devices, but won't fully recommend them yet as ready for everyday use, though they are all excited about the things coming with Mango.

60. Tom unregistered

They have plenty of apps. They were the quickest to reach 10,000 apps in the amount of time they did. They are getting there and getting there fast. They have plenty of developers, you cant expect them to put out 200,000 apps in a 6 month period.

74. URC unregistered

Actually I don't expect them to reach 200k apps in a 6 year period.

4. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

This is completely true at least in my store. A while ago in one of these posts I explained that the same thing was happening at my store and my boss was doing this sort of thing. I remember I had the customer sold on a WP7 phone they wanted with all the accessories and they were going to pay the actual upgrade price for the phone but then my boss comes up asks the customer why they wanted a WP7 handset and then proceeded to offer an Android phone for 99 cents. Not only did we lose money by discounting the handset, my boss convinced the customer they wanted a WP7 handset and made me look like a fool.

10. lollipop

Posts: 43; Member since: Feb 15, 2011

I know here at Verizon we are having problems with the Android salesboys. The simple truth is we have a sales staff that have too much loyalty to their phone and not to the customers and company they work for. Here is the thing convincing a customer do go to another device is easy but the truth is you should be getting the customer what they like and what will fit them. Not what you like and what fits you.

11. derp unregistered

sadly they will have to endure replacement after replacement for that piece of shit android phone. your boss is a moron.

15. ZayZay

Posts: 571; Member since: Feb 26, 2011

Sounds like he jumped on your sale and needs to be told to back off. The only reason I jump into my reps sales is to help not hurt them. Does he not trust your ability to provide customer service?

17. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

I'm on of the top sellers in my store. It wasn't that he wasn't trusting my ability to sell or provide customer service. He's just an idiot that refuses to sell anyone anything but an Android. He's biased on all OS' including webOS

31. taco50

Posts: 5506; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

Does he post on PA because there's a bunch of idiot fandroids on here.

66. vvelez5

Posts: 623; Member since: Jan 29, 2011

I doubt it he doesnt know about new phones until our store announces them or if he hears his employees talk about them.

5. SteveJobs unregistered


9. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Shepherd Steve Jobs NEVER posts. This is an obvious iSheep trolling around as usual! Shepherd Steve Jobs has his iSheep do his dirty work! iSheep always hoping around never making sense!

14. lollipop

Posts: 43; Member since: Feb 15, 2011

right now you make no sense either Antroll.

27. SuperAndroidEvo

Posts: 4888; Member since: Apr 15, 2011

Ok lollipop, I was just trying to step up & defend the Windows users but it's all good. I have had a very pleasant experience with Windows phones. The new OS is cool. I played with my brothers phone & it is intuitive. I love Android, but my next favorite is Windows. Apple not so much at all.

6. Vittorio unregistered

I don't understand fully the purpose of this article. Are you trying to covince anyone there is some kind of conspiracy going on? Really? Android and iOS are two succesful products, people know them and love them. In the other hand, you have a product barely out of development, that has not sold that many units anyway. Lack of proper marketing? Lack of high end recognisable models? No. Is the guy selling phones in the little shop at X whose to blame. Come on. Be serious. Would you encourage anyone to buy a product at your store which you don't know and is selling poorly (if at all)? I like the concept of WP. Seen the videos. But I wouldn't.

13. lollipop

Posts: 43; Member since: Feb 15, 2011

Verizon Employees are trained via VzLearns on every handset they sell. Verizon Authorized retailers have to take the same VzLearns aswell. The thing is right now the carriers are having a very MAJOR issue with the sales staffs pushing brands and talking bad about the products we are selling. Example: I work with a salesmen that is so diehard Android that he will do anything to steer someone away from an iPhone or a WP7. Right now he tells out customers that iPhones have a 60% return rate which is such a lie he should be fired for lack of integrity and it damages OUR reputation. Verizon sales staffs need to remember they are VERIZON sales people not Google's or Apple's.

22. snowgator

Posts: 3621; Member since: Jan 19, 2011

Actually Vittorio, I do blame sales reps. It is their JOBS to know the upside, disadvantages, operations, and accessories of all their devices. And to get the customers feelings and needs correctly lined up to said devices. If comeone comes in, want an easy OS, smooth UI experience, only cares a little about apps and they DON'T show them a Windows phone, they haven't done their job. Period.

54. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

its completely up to the reps. 95% of customers will get a set the sales reps reccomend. Most will back away from any product the sales rep says is junk. WP7 is a great OS. Its smooth as heck, its easy, and its very streamlined. For anyone who wants smartphone functioning but doesnt need 400000000000 apps to choose from, its a great choice. With the mango update, its even better. The only thing it is missing is flash support and some apps. The only thing that made me trade in mine for another android is my need to tinker with my toys.

8. Falcon

Posts: 11; Member since: Apr 27, 2011

vvelez5 that is awful! Did you talk to your boss about the situation afterward?

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