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From the WPCentral Forums: Sales reps and Windows Phone (The Good the Bad & the Ugly)

WP Central

One topic that seems to come up a lot in the forums is individual experience with sales representatives when looking at a Windows Phone. For the longest time these posts were mostly bad experiences, after all Windows Phone is the "new kid on the block" so it seems to take a beating on most occasions. Yet Windows Phone continues to get great reviews and its popularity is increasing. The positive news is on the rise and so are the forum posts about great experiences when inquiring about Windows Phone devices. Still, there are all sorts of stories that you folks are sharing with each other. Here are a few:

In the thread "Rogers impressed me today", forum member based_graham had a great experience with a sales rep:

"So I went into Rogers today and saw this sweet looking Nokia Universal Dash so I tried it out with my Lumia 800 and all goes well so at the counter I asked about the 710 and the sales guy was like "Yeah we just got them in for 255 unlocked. Amazing phone the only phone to really rival the iOS and functionality with Mango is amazing" he kept going on and on about it and briefly mentioned that they might get the Lumia 900 in March/May. He also said that Mango and Lumia phones have all been getting great reviews etc

Glad to see sales rep in Canada excited about it of course its only one store but I might pop in another Rogers and see what they have to say about it. I was going to buy it straight up but its not unlocked kinda choked."

In "Odd thing T-Mo rep told me while looking at Lumia 710 today", forum member speedtouch had an interesting interaction when inquiring about getting a Lumia 710 off contract.

"My wife and I went to T-Mo today so that I could show her the Lumia 710. I had been to a different T-Mo store last week to see it for myself. While speaking with the T-Mo rep today I told him I was not interested in getting a 2-yr contract. I want to buy the phone outright and go on a month-to-month plan. He said that's fine but I would lose access to roaming on other non-T-Mo towers. That I would only have access to T-Mo towers, not to any other towers that T-Mo has roaming agreements with. Is this true? I have never heard of that before.

He said that the only way I could get access on non-T-Mo towers is by going with a contract on T-mo. My BS meter shot up to 100% when he told me that. Am I right and he's wrong?"

Likewise in "This is what a Verizon rep told me, forshame!!" forum member johndd34 got the "you should get an Android" hard sell from a Verizon sales representative.

Stephanie: What will you be using the device for?

john: I have a corporate email account with Microsoft Outlook and I like to social network

Stephanie: I would recommend that you get an Android phone!

john: why so?

Stephanie: Because we have a wide selection and you will be able to do everything you need on them!

john: really? well, maybe i will go with a windows phones since i use a lot of windows programs and it is much faster than android

Stephanie: The windows phone is great too!

(Really? the reason I should get android is because they have a ot of phones????........ugh....stupid sales people....what do you think about this??)

There you have it, some of what our Forum Members are saying. 

What has your experience been? How did it go when you bought your Windows Phone? If you don't have a Windows Phone yet and you're just shopping around, come join the forum discussion so you're prepared for what ever happens when you get to the store. Remember, you have to be registered to post, so sign up today.

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Reader comments

From the WPCentral Forums: Sales reps and Windows Phone (The Good the Bad & the Ugly)

43 Comments

I'm always telling people how I used to love android till I used a windows phone. The experience is just untouchable. I do miss Google Navigation and a file/storage browser. But thats about it.

I haven't dealt with sales reps for WP yet. Got mine and my wife's HD7 on eBay.

I was always about going over to android. The commercials and adds had me. Then my gf got me an HTC HD 7 and was disappointed until i gave in and started using it. Its been over a year and I'm completely convinced that my gf had the right idea. Even though she still uses an android (though she constantly complaints about how much her phone sucks because a] the phone keeps freezing b] her phones automatically shuts down c] she has constant network issues and d] always has the feeling her android fucks up on her just yo piss her off) she wants to get rid of it for the only purpose that it does NOT WORK FOR HER and had way too many issues. Now, she cant get rid of it cuz we r on a co tract and she doesn't want to pay extra to get out of it unless Verizon picks up something better then a useless android.

Story of my life, lol.. Radar is a great phone. Not sure if we have anything set for this summer, but I hope so.

Every att store I go in has usually 3 phones for wp7. Asked a rep about wp7 when nodo was released she said why a windows phone? I just answered "the mango update in a couple weeks will up the ante for windows phone.

My Verizon store doesn't even carry the Trophy. Good thing I had preordered it online. Went in a couple weeks ago to look for accessories and not even a display model. Shame on you Verizon. Lol

Same here. I tried to get a screen protector for my trophy and the guy must have asked me 3 times " what phone di you have again?"

I did go into a sprint store not long ago and the guy saw me looking at the titan and asked me what phone I had and when I told him he seemed excited and asked " do you have mango!?..great operating system."

I think some providers just aren't on board yet but they will be. Windows phone is gonna make too much noise this year to keep ignoring them.

I bypass sales guys, I work with them everyday, I know what their job is. And it's not necessarily your best interest.

I got my HTC 7 Pro from US Cellular over the protests of two sales associates who insisted I should buy a new Blackberry. Luckily, I do my own research. No regrets here...I hated my Tour and love this phone. I hope when/if they get the Nokia models they will be better informed.

One Sprint dealer told me that the HTC Arrive was no longer available. (It is.) No wonder that Sprint executive at CES said they found sales disappointing.

Went in to my local AT&T store last week to drool over the Focus S (I have the Focus). While standing there dreaming of March 18th and a shiny new Lumia 900, the rep came over to "help". After listening to his typical opinion based rant on why I should consider iOS I asked him about the Lumia. "The what? Lumba?" Then he asks another rep, "Tony, have you heard of us getting a Loo-me-uh?" Tony, "Nope." Then more about how great iOS is. Then the kicker... "The iPhone 4s is the fastest phone on the market!" So I challenged him to a speed test against my now outdated Focus. I told him we could see who could upload a pic to Facebook the fastest or who could find a Chinese restaurant, get directions, and look at reviews the fastest. Unfortunately he didn't accept my challenge. Uhg...fanboys!

At this point, AT&T and T-Mobile have no excuse for not knowing about the Nokia devices... I see their commercials on every network, every night. If they're not subsequently promoting it internally with their own employees, then that's just bad business operations.
I know these things take time, but Microsoft really need to push harder.

Best Buy in Woodbridge, VA, is terrible about Windows Phone 7 devices on display. It has not been updated for at least 9 months now. Also, for a long time the new model for Samsung Focus S and Flash were in boxes in a closed up cabinet, as if they are waiting for the older ones to sell first. They pretty much go with an agenda rather than which phones are the best.

Mjrtoo hit the nail on the head when he said "And it's not necessarily your best interest"...
 
Sales reps work for their respective store, not the OEM/OS, and they all have motives. Once in a while we'll come across an intelligent one who is up to date on the stuff they are selling, but for the most part these people sell what they're told to sell.
 
So they stumble into work and only really know about the device that is on the biggest display in the store. They all have a prewritten script in their head to pitch to the consumer. The OEM/OS that provides that clerk with the most beneifits for a sale will get that clerk's attention enough to learn more and prewrite a script for their pitch.
 
So in the end, carrier's and sales reps are not interested in what's in your best interest... Thank God that MS/Nokia are on the "spiff" bandwagon now and these salesclerks are becoming motivated! It's take a little more time (I estimate by the summer) before we see better traction.

uh boy ... i guess most of the sale reps are just some apple minions anyway. and when they get the clue that you cannot be convinced on buying an iphone, they start to bla about the android that everybody has.
we've just got to sell them selling the WP7 instead! so even if you don't wanna buy a new wp7, go to the shop and discuss the shit out of them! lets obtain world domination!!!!! :D

You got that right. Everytime I go say into the AT&T store, every zombie in there has an Iphone in thier pocket and no brain in their head. They can tell you every little aspect of IOS or Android, but when you ask them something about WP, they just look clueless. What is worse is good luck finding decent accesories for your phone, I gave up and just look online anymore.

I work at Radioshack. Back when we actually carried any WP7 I would try to push it as much as I could. I have a Fpcus myself and would show customers. I only managed to sell 1 and it was to a guy who already wanted it. Makes me sad that no one is willing to give it a try.

I use Android for a while, I use to flash roms and home replacements and buggy apps. I spent so much time messing with the phone and always restarting an freezing so I needed something new and stable and I switch to WP7 and so did my wife.

Microsoft Store is definitely the place to check out Windows Phones, if you have that option. They usually have devices before they come out that you can play with. Normally have pretty great deals too, got a 200 dollar gift card last time I was there!

Unfortunately, there are only like five MS stores on the planet.

When my wife and I got our Focuses (Foci?) the respective reps each time were almost completely ignorant. Granted, that's been a year ago, but I doubt much has changed. Stupid AT&T ...

A lot changes in a year, especially in cell phone land. Like Lancelot said by I bet by summer time they'll have a lot stronger marketing push in the states.

I certainly hope so. I love my phone and don't purport to be a fanboy by any means, but some more parity and market share for WP7 would be a boon for everybody.

Sales reps are there just for a job, I don't think they like phones enough to make a research and see what phones are coming out. I remember when I was going to buy the Samsung Galaxy S2, which I did, I asked some AT&T sales reps if they knew when the phone was going to come out and they were clueless of what that phone was. They had to ask each other to know what that phone was or when it was going to be released.

Currently, AT&T is the best. Things will change big time when the Lumia 900 comes out. Cheaper than the 4S, better UI, LTE, great camera, etc.

Went and talked to a Telus rep last week about the impending NL800 release and he was to my surprise quite knowledgeable about it. He said quite a few people had come on asking about it. So it's nice to the efforts of Nokia and word of mouth on the internet are driving interest to the WP platform. Just another week or two till I can put a hot Magenta 800 in my gf hands.

The last few Rogers reps I have talked to didn't know anything about wp7. This became especially apparent when they called it winmobile. I'm a sales rep myself. The ignorance is ridiculous amongst my 'peers'. I have been promoting my focus since I got one. :)

I went to get my bill at AT&T adjusted and the guy asked me what a titan was after he saw it on the computer screen, I told him it was a windows phone and the story of how I got my iPhone 4 stolen by a Craigslist scanner and how it caused me to switch to an HTC surround. Told him it was the best thing that could've happened to me, considering the situation. I paid $125 for a no contract phone and upgrades it to mango and WP 7.5 blew me away, and I've become an evangelist. I read the tech news and follow @BenThePCGuy and gave my sister the surround and use my titan. The funny part is that I said android wasn't for me, because i don't have time to read forums and flash ROMS and find out what bad apps i download to force stop them and delete them off my phone and pray that my phone will get the ICS or greater upgrade. The sales rep next to him laughed because I was so knowledgeable and because the rep I was talking to was android fan boy. My rep told me the guy that laughed has a windows phone too. I made talk with the other rep about how his focus was better than the other guys Samsung skyrocket, while he fixed my bill. Maybe this peer pressure will cause him to qt least try it. LOL

Yeah I have a tendency to not pay much attention to what the reps say. Most times they don't know what I'm talking about. So I just bypass them. And only talk to them when I'm going to buy something. Just wish they were more knowledgeable.

"I recommend Android" why? "because that's what I use" ... That's the worst excuse ever, and shows that the associate has no business recommending products to anyone!

The day I got my titan the rep that was helping me told me that they did not have such a phone and that the only thing good about a windows phone was powering it off. Well after about 15 min of standing there he magically found a titan in the back and said I guess you were right but why do you ant this phone. I just smiled and said because it's the shit.

IV had my Samsung focus since April last year and its a great phone ever since then iv been tryn to put WP out there and get people to switch im glad ATT is getn the most WP phones but id like to see others get them to I like goin into T-Mobile and other places just to school the workers about what's the best REAL smartphone (WP) its always a person stuck on android r iPhone witch we all know iPhone is old and outdated and android is a copy of iPhone/windows mobile but some people dnt get it let them keep using that and we smart people who want a real and only smartphone can use WP

months ago in Portugal windows phones by LG Samsung and HTC were left to die in the store shells. Yesterday I witnessed something extraordinary.amazing everyday Nokia lumia ads anywhere and stores with salesman with t shirts of Nokia telling everyone how good WP is. Every popular gadget or mobile store was filled with people trying out the lumiaa

I don't have a WP7 yet, but I've tried it & I loved allot more than android (currently have an Atrix, my second & last android phone. Motorola was good to me on both phones, Google was NOT)

Every time I asked about Windows Phone (focusing on the Titan & Lumia 800) in a store , they go on how bad & unstable the OS is & how it doesn't support Arabic language (I'm in Saudi Arabia) & try to steer me away to an iPhone or a BlackBerry

I even went to a HTC store many times asking about the HD7 & Titan, their response is "We Don't sell them because they are too buggy" &the then goes on on how great the Sensation & how powerful the Duel-Core is !!!

Even in a Nokia store, they steered me away from the Lumia phones to a frickin Symbian phones, are you ******** kidding me? They didn't even knew what the Lumia is & I'd to Google it to them

I have had my HD7 since launching in November '10 and it has been the greatest phone I have ever owned. Its faster (even faster with the mango update), easy to use, and can do all, if not more, that an android or ios can do. When I got it at tmobile the guy knew what it was and could do, didn't try to force droid on me. Before the mango update, i went to a few other stores and no one knew about it. A few didn't even know what wp7 was and one said that WP8 was coming out and there was no mango update. Some salespeople are unnecessarily dumb and too lazy to know their products, which is their job.

Back in November 2011 my son (18 years old) went to get a new phone at a Telus store. Didn't want an iPhone (too many people had it and it was old news) or BlackBerry (that's a device he wasn't attracted to either), but went for an Android (because that's what was pushed). After a week - HATED it! Too confusing, too unstable, too time-consuming. With the Telus two week swap option, decided to find a different phone. Saw some ads about WP and thought he'd give it a try.
We went into Telus together and the two salesmen there trashed WP; no apps in the marketplace, always breaks, no one has one. Recommended iPhone or Android and wouldn't even let us consider a WP. Went to a different Telus store and one salesman there said that there's many salespeople even in his store that are biased to one manufacturer because that's their phone - and no salesperson has a WP to know what the experience is like. But, he said he is not biased and is aware that WP offered a different and perhaps better experience for some. So we got an LG Optimus 7 from him.
My point is that anyone that would go into a cell store like the first one (or the second if you got one of 'those' salespeople) would be agressively dissuaded from WP. I would say the majority of cell phone purchasers don't know what they want and would go with a friends' or the salesperson's advice. Bottom line: If Windows Phones aren't sold, they won't sell.
My son was different because he dismissed the salesperson's obvious bias and the statements made about the 'apparent' app gap between iPhone and WP as irrelevant (because who needs a fart app) and the misrepresented poor quality of the Optimus 7 phone (which was rated as excellent on the online Telus site itself - contrary to the salesperson's opinion). He was also immediately drawn to the uniqueness and intuitiveness of WP and was won over further after he started using it with the advantages of Zune over iTunes (he still has an iPod that he now rarely uses).
I'd say his independence and openness are attributes of the minority of purchasers.
As a follow-on, I have now had the opportunity myself to see the WP in action as he uses it. And I am now convinced it's a better platform and am keen on checking out the Lumia 800 when it arrives. I'll be interested to see what the personality of the Telus salespeople will be on this device when it arrives and I get to visit the first store we went to...

I've seen the same thing working for tmobile.. I've converted a few people I work with who really love the battery life and rarity of issues on the radar compared to the massive amounts of issues with our android phones. Its pretty easy to turn someone towards the lumia or radar over a mytouch, exhibit 2, or any other cheap android phone we have.. Internet sharing is probably only reason its not the top selling phone in the store. just wish we had a windows phone that could compete with a galaxy s2 or an amaze.. I truly believe windows phone is the best OS

A friend of mine had been admiring my phone. His wife has a fruitphone and his best friend has a droid.  He said for weeks that he was going to get a WP7 because he liked the fact that you can do everything faster on it.  He called me a couple weeks ago while on his way to Verizon.  He wanted to know which WP7 phone he should get.  I told him the only one they carry was a Trophy and he said he would call me when he got it.  An hour later, he called from his android powered Motorola Razer.  He got sold by a salesman who knew nothing about the Trophy.  Now he regrets his purchase because it keeps freezing and crashing.  Had my Focus for 14 months now and it has NEVER crashed or frozen.  Funny thing is, my friend knew how reliable mine was and that his friend's android was always having trouble.  People get "sold" too easily.

Always some great debates here on WPCentral! Awesome comments - and great to see so many retail folks involved.
For any US/UK sales reps out there looking for some official love from Microsoft, I urge you to visit http://expertzone.microsoft.com and check out the Windows Phone VIP community. It's a place for retail pros to come and discuss exactly the kinds of issues and barriers commenters mention here.
And, it's also the place smart, experienced reps can get information and support from Microsoft that they can take back to their stores to help communicate to their colleagues what Windows Phone really offers customers. Many of us on the community are long-time followers of sites like WPCentral, so we are constantly sharing articles like this one and talking about how to change the landscape for WP. 
And the good news is that change is happening with the help of VIP community members and people like the commenters here. Great sales reps are increasingly willing to spread the word about Windows Phone - not with some set of official messages from Microsoft, but with totally honest and down-to-earth discussions with their colleagues.
So that's awesome - thank you, sales reps!
Bill Fisher, Windows Phone VIP community manager 
@wp7expert, facebook.com/windowsphoneexpert