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PCMag investigates carrier salespersons negativity to WP7

Remember our coverage on how carriers aren't positively promoting Windows Phone 7 anywhere near well enough? Well, PCMag has done some investigating into the matter with Sara Yin (reporter at PCMag) going under cover as a potential customer who's interested in Microsoft's platform. What she found out doesn't come at a surprise.

While a minute number of the salespeople acknowledged WP7 as an actual existing platform, they either had no demos at all or strongly advised to go with Android instead. The spokesperson at AT&T was the only one who was actively enthused about WP7, but was embarrassed about their display - this was the single demo of the LG Quantum with a damaged screen (see the image to the right). 

You can read up on her findings in part two of her article.

Source: PCMag, thanks Lex for the tip!

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Reader comments

PCMag investigates carrier salespersons negativity to WP7

39 Comments

Quote from her article: "The newest WP7 phone, the HTC HD7S, didn't have a demo device. The only live demo I saw was an LG Quantum with a damaged screen (below right)."

I had the same experience trying to purchase the HTC Arrive from Sprint at launch. I called my local store and walked in several times asking about the phone and how to pre-order it and no one knew anything about it. I eventually went onto Sprint's forums and caught the ear of the person in charge of the phone's launch. She listened to my story and eventually sent me the device for free for my troubles.

What angers me is the sheer arrogance of these sales people. If a person is asking for a particular product to buy, chances are good that they will be informed on said product. Right? Why then deter them to purchase something else? It's a different story if they came in asking which phone is best, then the buyer is at the mercy of the seller, but if they want something specific, just shut your mouth and give them the product!

I went to a Verizon store asking about WP7. The older guy who knew nothing about the phones said to go with android, while the other younger, and must more intelligent one acknowledged it saying it had good things to come, but that he would still recommend android until another year or so of WP7 progress. I guess it's fair, but the overall consensus does seem to be that most store reps don't really like WP7. Can you really force them to equally represent them?

You can send out a quota requirement from the top saying you have to sell XX numbers OR you have to at least actually try to sell. The company, be it at&t or Verizon can just as well send reps out to it's shops to pretend to be buyers and see if they're doing their job, if not then they can handle it accordingly etc. The fact nothing is being done by the top brass is the problem. They did buy the phones from HTC/LG etc, why wouldn't they want to sell them?

Maybe it's AT&T that seems to do a fairly good job of promoting it. When I went to get mine, I asked the associate helping me if they had a WP7 display and he proudly walked me over to it, gushed about how awesome they are, and took his own out to show me things he had done that the display models couldn't (such as certain purchased apps).

Ya, because he was informed from having owned one, most of the other reps either have iPhones or some Android device and wanna push those on us for no reason imo. It's like me going into a car dealer asking for a two door sport and having the sales rep, who owns a 4 door trying to sell me one of those cuz he "really likes his". It's the same idea here for the most part.

I need to second this. My December 2010 purchase of my AT&T Windows Phone was easily the best experience I've ever had with a mobile carrier. The representative was pleasant, and an avid WP7 user himself. He showed me the demo device as well as his own. He was well educated on every device they sold, and weighed the pros and cons right in front of me. He never once tried to recommend an iPhone or Android device to me.

I don't blame sales people. It's entirely Microsoft's fault. And maybe At&t's as well. I have a Samsung Focus and I've had it for months. It's almost mid June and not only I can't have customized ringtones and volume control, but I still don't have the NoDo update either. First being MS's shortcoming, the second being At&t. But I still blame MS. If they had come out with a 'solid' NoDo update, at&t wouldn't have held it back for so long. Do I have a Windows phone? Yes. Do I like it? Yes. Would I recommend it? No. Limiting OS, weak company support, cheap-looking apps going for $6.99..

Because MS and AT&T and Samsung have not fixed the update for Focus hardware revision 1.4 . It is the last phone to receive the update. It does not even have pre nodo and there is no timeframe on when it will occur. I am really doubting that it will ever get an update.

If you never get the update then I'm sure they will just issue you a new phone because that would be that the devices is indeed broken. Blame Samsung for this because the two revisions are configured differently (I believe it's the NAND chip) and Samsung failed tell Microsoft about this. This is what caused the failed updates and there is probably some tiny technical reason they have having issues with.

My cousin just switched from an iPhone 4 to a HD7s. I went with him to a local ATT store and all they had was a lonely Samsung Focus lost in a sea of Androids. When my cousin asked for the HD7s, they handed him an HTC Android phone. Pathetic and so much for being a premiere partnet. Luckily, the other local store had the HD7s in stock. I've already converted 5 iphone users (including one lifetime apple fan boy who once bought a $500+ iphone lol) to WP7. Are you guys doing your part?

Heck yes I am! Go my nephew, my aunt, my mom, my niece, another niece wants one (she has a Zune HD), and a friend of mine who only used Apple computers. Now his MacBook Pro is dead, and he's using Windows 7 and Zune and he actually likes Zune more than iTunes. I have plenty more in the pipeline too. Unfortunately one of my friend just had to get himself a Samsung Infuse 4G, hopefully he wont regret that investment.

Just in case anybody wasn't sure the best way to convert a Apple lover is to make them use the Zune Software for a bit. It's years ahead of Itunes in terms of syle and functionlaity.But as a Windows Phone VIP, I can garantee we are doing our best to spread the word about Windows Phone 7. However we can't really convince people until mango is released.

Maybe you guys should have Mango handsets so you can show whats coming in a few months. Because the biased store reps sure wont take the time to find out about coming improvements and pass that info on to customers.

This kind of thing is still happening, even Costco doesn't offer windows phones, I understand why sales rep, push Android and I don't blame them, I recently applied for a sales rep position for Verizon,cuz i just want to check what is the job responsibilities and duties...its a commission base income the more you sell the more you make.the next bash of windows mango phones will out numbered the crappy androids and the sales rep will have no choice but sell Mango phones....

Can someone tell me what is so special about Android? I know several people who have Android phones and they hate them... Exchange email is buggy with the built in mail client the interface is a mess... it reminds me of Windows Mobile in a lot of ways... Plus I can't think of any good apps that I want that you can't get on WP right now.Android is ONLY popular because it was the only smart phone available on Verizon while the iPhone was exclusive to ATT...

Definately agree with this. I spoke with two different people yesterday that absolutely hates their 3-5 month old Android phone. They go the carrier store for support and all they tell them is to do a search on the internet...Really, that's your support...

I love WP7 and also like Android. I like it because of all the customizations and the high end phones! I own the Arrive and had an Evo and the change was rather difficult at first! I am a tech junkie and IT major and love the best stuff! I wish that Microsoft would push more high end phones like Android. Most people that complain about Android have low end phones. Android is really messy at times and gets frustrating with apps being foreclosed! It is just preference and I have two loves with WP7 and Android... but that's just me!

I dont blame carriers nor the sales reps, most of the sales reps are not really techie guys, they are more on the what's new will buy guys and that's what the companies want.. Imagine if all sales reps are die hard fanboys????Windows phone mango will bring new competition to the current marketed phones.. There's one in mobile, 4 on att one each sprint and Verizon...

I just bought my Trophy from Verizon, and they actually tried to talk me out of it to go with Android, saying Android is more customizable and has more features. I told the rep that my Droid 2 Global is extremely unstable probably due to sloppy programming at the radio level, and often the apps you download don't work on certain phones or crash. When I'm GSM roaming the phone will spontaneously reboot and for whatever reason I'm sometimes unable to get data even in well covered areas. Not to mention the UI is mostly irritating, like somebody puked out hundreds of icons in no discernible order. The thing is a freaking mess.Got my trophy despite the Verizon rep, even paid full retail for it (Droid 2's going on ebay). So far so good and the UI is amazing, let's see when I GSM roam though that's the real test.

This happens to every phone on the market that doesn't have an Apple or Android in it's name. Palm phones had the exact same issue at the store level. MS would be smart to do whatever it takes to break through and win over these sales people because they can make or break a new platform trying to get off the ground.

Went to AT&T store just 2 days ago...asking for a 8GB certified WP7 SD card. The sales manager asked me if I'm interested in a 32GB instead. I said sure if there is one...but I already knew it doesn't exist. She then spent the next 15 minutes searching for one.Not only that, when I was paying for the 8GB SD card...I asked them is there any special instruction in installing the card. She wasn't sure so she asked one of the sales rep....and guess what he told me...just insert the card and it will format it self and you are all good to go.Most of the sales rep are clueless about WP7...and I think is the reason why they staying away from it.

I bought my Focus right after launch to replace the Captivate that I absolutely hated. I had been following the WP7 development for a while and was pretty much in the know when I went to the store, however still was not sure if I should just suck it up and get an iPhone. My rep, who was an iPhone "fanboy”, was a little biased however he was also very knowledgeable about WP7. He told me about the big Microsoft conference he got to attend and how WP7 would save Microsoft's mobile division. He told me how amazing the OS is and how it is going to be a "game changer". I asked him if he was going to trade in his iPhone for a new WP7 and he said "no way". He told me he loved Apple way to much. Having said that, he still persuaded me to try the Focus and overall I am fairly happy with it. I am going to reserve the final judgment until Mango comes out as well as the new batch of phones. The big question is; will I still get the same great sales experience as I did in the beginning or will the rep have to blow the dust off the display model that's collecting dust in the back room like they do with Palm???

At launch time I went into a T-MO store and asked for the HTC HD7 to see it they only had a cardboard display in the back end of the store with no demo's the sales person said why would you want that. don't you know MS makes jumk mobile devices. sorry we have no demo's but can I show you the new smasung running android.NO. I walked out and drove 15 miles to another T-MO store and asked the same question as the first. this time the sales person knew what it was they had a demo which I played with. funny thing it was the first time that he played with it as well. I had to ask him would it be ok if I tried it because he wasn't putting it down. anyway I bought the device and went home and wrote T-MO about my first experience and what store it was at and about the second. I also gave the sales person some good lip service as well.. though he knew about he did not turn me away from it nor did he bad rap it. he rather was impressed by it.. few weeks later I went in to buy another two devices for my girls and bought them from the same sales guy who had a little thing on name tag employee of the month thing lol

It would be interesting if the publisher of this site and the sister sites conducted some sort of user satisfaction survey.I would LOVE to see some stats comparing the "O/S Satisfaction Level" of WP7, Android, BBerry, iOS, and Pre USERS with 6 months or more of usage experience.

I agree with you guys, the sales reps at all of my local att stores did not know ANYTHING about wp7, the Metro UI, or the devices. I bought a FOCUS in march and i love it, despite my sales rep telling me to buy an ATRIX or a Captivate. The only thing he told me about WP7 was that it was too complicated and it had a steep learning curve. I told him what things i would be doing with my phone( E-mail 60%, Music 20%, else 20%. I told him that I had four email accounts, and did not want one inbox. He insisted that for my purposes WP7 would be a bad OS, and that the iPhone was my best bet. I know for a fact that the iphone has one inbox, also i dont want to be locked into itunes( zune is much better imo) or the MAC ecosystem( rather be locked into MS b/c everything i own is already MS). After i told him all of this he said that i should get a Captivate. I tried the Captivate for a while and the thing was freezing up on me. I tried the email, and it was horrible, blue and green text everywhere. I then tried the FOCUS and was sold( nothing beats Metro UI and its readability). To top it all off, he told me to read the return policy, because i might want to return in a couple of days.I think this is ridiculous, every person i know with a WP7 device loves it, wheter they stumbled into it or where following it since it was anounced. I have seen many people go back to the att stores to either return or complain about their android hansets. So why do the reps insist on favoring android. Do you really need access to 10,000 tip calculator apps with advertisements on them, i know dont.

I went to the Sprint Store in Reston, Va. Told the sales person I wanted the Arrive, He pulled his Arrive out of his holster and started showing me what it could do, and started demoing Need for Speed on it. 15 minutes after entering the Store, I had my Arrive in hand all set up and ready to go. Someplaces I go, they try to sell me on something I don't want and I have to start to show how a 6'2" person weighing in at 220lbs doesn't need anything else other than what they came in to buy.

This happens to me all the time with with other things: TVs, videogames, etc. I was totally expecting being pushed into Android but surprisingly, the AT+T worker took me seriously (surprising for my gender). He told me the features of EACH Windows Phone, and sold me what I wanted. It helped that I made it clear I want a Windows Phone and they happily guided me to the right one.

I work for a wireless retailer and I love Windows Phone 7. I try and present WP7 to everyone; especially someone new to smartphones or someone who is scared/overwhelmed with touchscreen, etc.I will admit the carriers & Microsoft did not provide much training/info or reason to get excited over the WP7. So naturally everyone pushes Android because its popular and they are more comfortable with it.

Took a trip to the Portland ATT store and found 1 Focus with no power next to an HD7 S unplugged with a small amount of battery life. Was with my 2 sons and wife and the entire time we played with the 7s not one person approached us.Go figure.