Lukewarm attention to T-Mobile Lumia 925? Customers complain about lack of information
This Wednesday, July 17th, T-Mobile is set to launch the aluminum based Nokia Lumia 925—a sister device to the flagship Lumia 920 with improved camera optics and a thinner, lighter shell. But you wouldn’t know it if you called your Microsoft or T-Mobile Store to find out.
A handful of anxious and future Lumia 925 owners have been either calling or stopping by their local Microsoft or T-Mobile stores to find out more information about the high end Windows Phone—T-Mobile's first, for Nokia. Turns out, quite a few are getting shrugs and “we don’t have any information” from customer service reps.
Microsoft Stores reportedly don’t have anything to say on the device, though they will take your Lumia 1020 pre-order—which is great if you’re on AT&T. With T-Mobile, it seems that they know more about the Android-based Sony Xperia Z, which also launched the same day as the Lumia 925.
From our forums, people are getting frustrated at the lack of information:
Your mileage may vary
For what it’s worth, we stopped by our local T-Mobile store here in Huntington, New York. The manager knew the device name and release date for the 925 instructing one of the service reps that “it’s scheduled to launch the 17th but go and double check”. After a few moments, the rep came from the back and said that was launching on Wednesday and they even offered to take down our name and number to call us when it’s available. We did and we’re expecting a call at 9am to let us know it’s there (yes, we’re buying one).
In other words, how stores will be handling the launch of the Lumia 925 will vary. While we all want Nokia (and Windows Phone) to succeed, getting the message right early on is the key.
So far we’ll chalk a lot of this up to anecdotal evidence, though we’re curious if you’ve tried to find more information on the T-Mobile Lumia 925—have you had success? When we looked at T-Mobile's website, we still see the sign up for more information, but no landing page yet. But it's still early and things may change in the next 48 hours--we hope.
Share your war story in comments or continue the discussion in our forum.
The T-Mobile Nokia Lumia 925 will be on sale for $49 with a two-year service plan ($20 a month) or $529.99 outright.
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Daniel Rubino is the Editor-in-chief of Windows Central, head reviewer, podcast co-host, and analyst. He has been covering Microsoft since 2007 when this site was called WMExperts (and later Windows Phone Central). His interests include Windows, laptops, next-gen computing, and for some reason, watches. Before all this tech stuff, he worked on a Ph.D. in linguistics, watched people sleep (for medical purposes!), and ran the projectors at movie theaters because it was fun.
Got a news flash Stephen, it is not your fault.
Grammer Police alert!
T-Mobile had this opportunity to bring a L920 caliber (some would say slightly better) to their network, and this is their launch?
I think Nokia is on the right track in presenting low to mid end Lumia devices as the norm for T-Mobile - they cannot be trusted to support/advertise the 'flagships' that need massive exposure. After the Lumia 925, I simply don't see any devices of this caliber or better coming to T-Mobile.
AT&T's announcement of the Lumia 1020 had zilch to do with T-Mobiles preparedness of their own new Lumia device (925). T-Mobile had plenty of time!
There simply is no excuse for T-Mobile to not to have been up and running and ready to go with this launch. Even if they had to delay availability by another week, that their is no advertising or that the staff is not fully informed about the device is just, pathetic. I am not surprised AT ALL.
Seriously, this gives customers nothing but bad feelings about the future of this device. I want to know if they will have accessories on day 1. Will reps even have the device out for demo (they didn't for the 521)? Can anyone in the store tell me anything about it? Do you even know that it exists?
TMobile only gets the white 925. They might eventually get other colors *IF* they see enough interest in the phone. But for the time being, TMo will only be ordering (from Nokia) and selling the white one. He said TMo has always taken a wait and see approach to Windows Phone, because they don't know how much interest there will be in any given phone. I mentioned TMobile is shooting themselves in the foot by how they treat Windows Phone, and that if they expect more people to show interest they can't announce a phone and then do zero advertising. The rep sheepishly agreed to that. That said, that store has 11 in stock, ready to go on sale Wednesday morning. High-fives for the store rep having his Surface Pro in the store! OK, OK, calm down... He said he used to work at a Microsoft Store, and he was their phone guy, because no one else had figured out the insane carrier rules. BTW, the first rep I talked to said the 521 has been a good seller for them (at that store), and that they had sold four that day. For comparison, the store has about 750 sq ft of retail space, and is not located in what I would consider the best of locations.
Spoke to a Nokia exec there and he told me the date back then but no one in T-Mobile knows.
I have not recently been to the T-Mobile store near my house, but I did sign up on the info page over two months ago and have yet to receive a peep from T-Mobile. Keeping everyone from your customers to your employees in the dark with the phone only 2 days away makes little sense. It hurts:
T-Mobile Corporate: If the phone fails, you've wasted your investment on support and infrastructure for a phone by crippling it out of the gate. If you're going to bother carrying the thing, why not go the last step to acknowledge its existence? It would seem to benefit you to provide as much info as possible about your product.
Nokia and Microsoft: As one of the largest markets for phones, the US is as important for Nokia's resurgence as it is for Windows Phone. As the sole retailer of the 925, T-Mobile controls the success or failure of Nokia's endeavor into aluminum phones here. By keeping us in the dark, Nokia's chances and investment in this new phone are squandered. Even worse, with only a few phones on the market, even one misstep could fatally injure a hatchling Windows Phone 8.
T-Mobile Retail: By failing to have info at the local level, not only are employees giving out incorrect information, they are also being made to look incompetent. This decreases customer satisfaction and confidence, ultimately hurting sales.
Ready-to-Buy Customers: Those of us who are awaiting the coming phone would surely be happy to know what to expect from their purchase, and when to expect it. For those on the fence, our numbers would be made greater as some would choose to delay purchase of a competing phone through accurate comparison. As it stands, T-Mobile is losing customers by behaving as if there is no product.
New Customers: This is where the real losses come in. It's no secret-to-success that both the iPhone and Samsung Galaxy have been marketed to death in order to get the word out to the masses. Even non-tech-enthusiasts are very passionate about these products. Windows Phone cannot afford to miss any of its marks if it stands a chance at competing with the big boys. Yet even those in the know don't know about this phone. How long do you think it will take for the masses to become aware of its existence with this kind of rollout? Demand will not just happen, all parties will have to make a concerted effort, no matter how good the phone, but especially in the case of an underdog OS like Windows Phone.
When we have to wait two months from the phone's official unveiling, just to find out if/when it is coming to the US, and for how much, something is wrong. Would it have hurt T-Mobile to announce the release date and price back in May, along with the rest of the unveiling? As this is T-Mobile's first flagship Windows Phone, some of us have been waiting since the debut of the 920 back in October 2012 for this thing. That's nine months of missed opportunities, T-Mobile, to reach out to your customers and potential customers and say, "Yes we hear you."
In other old news: A few weeks ago, I called T-Mobile customer service about the low volume issues on the lumia 810 that my father has. We talked a bit and I found out that apparently T-Mobile reps were given the chance to have free Lumia 810s and most of them returned the the devices within the return period. (I suppose they were free on contract?) I think Nokia did try, but the push from T-Mobile is just not enough. I also noticed how T-Mobile took away the "Windows Phones" link on their site and replaced it with "$0 Down Phones". While this might have been due to them abruptly discontinuing their then only two Windows phones, it's still odd that the Apple Iphone up that has only three phones with different variants for each, as it's own link. (Yes, I know it's an Iphone, blah blah. I'm just making a statement.) It's funny how Carrier's like Sprint and T-mobile cry about a device not selling well, after they don't put it on the front page on release week, nor train reps well to know about at least having the phones during release time... Btw, I also didn't recieve a single notice from that Lumia 925 page on T-Mobile. What was the purpose of that? Wouldn't it make sense to atleast inform people of the release date if they signed up to get updates about the phone?
I called my local Microsoft store and was informed that Microsoft will no longer be keeping T-Mobile phones. A few might have the Lumia 925, but not for long. Apparently, they are switching to Sprint as their third carrier. I assume this is because of T-Mobile's non-contract setup... How can they not even keep the phones? Even Best Buy allowed people to buy phones from the fourth carrier, but just didn't allow activation. Shouldn't at least the Microsoft Store keep all the latest phones for their own mobile OS?
It not state of the art; but it a very nice smartphone for the money and I can boost it to over 64GB of storage too!
I like not having to worry about it being lost, stolen or destroy anymore. It just like a nice used car! Don't have to watch over it. I even leave it on the table at Starbucks and go to the restroom and comeback and it still there! LOL!
Best deal and decision I made in a long time!
I have been debating between going to Verizon with the 928...then talked myselft into staying TMO (upgrading from HD7). Its been a long wait, but its finally happening this Wed....only, it doesnt feel like it at all. Well, I wanted to make sure there was going to be something to buy when I get there.
I called my closest store and no one picked up so I left them a message about wanting the new 925 phone, to be launched on Wed. No call was returned.
The second place I called is not that far either, and close to my work place. I talked to guy, dont remember his name, but he said that they have already received some in stock...I should have asked how many, but I didnt. He knew about the phone and said that he would have one for me and took my name. I asked him if I needed to reserve it officially for fear of not getting mine come launch day....he laughed and said I need not worry about that. I'll be visiting that place on Wed.
Now, my backup plan was a 3rd Tmobile that was also not far....they didnt know how many or if they would receive anything.
So, I have no hard feelings...if I get my phone on Wed that is. If they dont have it....Im going Verizon with the 928.
I send important info to people; not life and death info, but more important IMO that a new phone, to people who are better educated, more dedicated, and better paid than phone store employees. You would think publishing things that say, effectively, You Must Read This To Do Your Job would get the word out. Maybe backing it with teleconference calls? Web-based training? How about in-person presentations? Nope. Local managers filter messages, a small fraction tunes into training, and behavioral inertia prevails (aka "but this is how we've always done it.") The result is that *months* later, smart, dedicated, educated people are still doing things in wrong ways.
So ... don't expect a local store staffed with people who own Androids and iPhones to be lapping up the latest WP news just because TMo HQ made the 925 a big deal at their speech last week.
However, reviews and word of mouth spreads. The 521 gets snapped up in less than 24 hours every time WallyWorld has any in stock. Reviews universally say it's the deal of the year in that price range.
At the end of the day it comes down to T-Mobile (and microsoft) not doing the necessary efforts it takes to market windows phone correctly. If three days before launch you can call a T-Mobile store or Microsoft store and recieve little to no info, that can't be worker problems. They are TRAINED whether they pay attention completely will only determine how well they know about the phone and what it can do but it does not explain the lack of ANY knowledge. Remember there are store managers and if the regurlar reps don't know it they call the manager and managers do special training before they train there reps so clearly its no 'lazy, uneducated works, not dedicated' workers it the system (T-Mobile and Microsoft) not giving and a damn and just brushing it to the side. If anything this starts to show animosty that T-Mobile and Microsoft/Windows Phone have to each other although I do not know how they would have snagged this phone then perhaps its because it was straight from Nokia
WP's (flagships) are absurdly priced on plans, and when people ask about WPs they iinstantly try to sway buyers to Android or Ios,
Here in the UK, Windows Phone is doing slightly better, nearing the magical 10% market share mark and it really shows. I've been in Vodafone, Three and Phones4U stores in the last few weeks and everyone I spoke to knew the phones, release dates, specs and about the OS.
I just called up T-Mobile customer support and asked for confirmation on availability of the Nokia Lumia 925 and was told that it was not scheduled to arrive on July 17. Now I am really pissed at all the media that perpetrated this mis-information coming into the release.
I even watched the T-Mobile news conference live-stream on July 10, and there was absolutely no mention of the Nokia Lumia 925. but various tech RSS feeds kept telling me that there was. Where is the source of this information?
Also asked a guy at a Microsoft store, who didn't/couldn't tell me straight but strongly hinted that they'd also have them ready to sell on Wednesday
Of course, it's to be expected, when they have a total of ONE Windows Phone (Lumia 521) on their website, and it's currently out of stock.
On the positive side, the reason that the 521 is sold out is bececause they sell out within a couple days of receiving a new shipment. He said it is one of their most popular phones because it is 4g capable at $150. And he actually pointed out that the Nokia Music player makes selling that phone much easier, "4g and unlimited streamed music with no advertisements. "
so, cock up? Poor organization? Or conspiracy? T-Mobile secretly doesn't want to honour its agreement with Nokia?
I also heard the common refrain "but nobody is asking us about Windows Phones..." only to be countered by one angry customer saying "Well we are, so who are we? Just dummies?"
Its the launch day...and T-mo still has nothing on their website...such a shame. very disappointing in T-mo
This is just sad, and goes to show how Tmobile never seems to be able to see the glaring weaknesses that the rest of us see. They are so close to breaking through as a great mobile phone alternative, but they release two top phones, have a big show a week prior...and then don't push them AT ALL at the local level.
This is supposed to be a flagship phone, and with the lack of support they showed for the 810, I wonder if they will just dump this a few months down the line and move on again. Man, this one hurts, as I really wanted to get a 925, but I felt like I was buying a phone that had been discontinued...as I had to request them to "check in the back" for the phone. Sad...truly sad.