I recently chose the Lumia 735 as the best Windows Phone you can buy and I stand by that. It turns out however, that the “you” in that sentence refers to anyone but me.
Yesterday, after my 625 had gotten on my last nerves I headed out to buy myself a new device. As contracts are for suckers, I chose the PAYG option and went to Carphone warehouse to look up deals. Lucky for me, I had an upgrade available and I could snag the 735 for £129.95. Sounds good? For me it sounded almost too good to be true. As CPW had an exclusive blue (also my favourite) colour, this was almost too perfect.
I took a 30 minute ride to Uxbridge, planning to pick up the device then move on from there. After a half hour wait at the store, I got my order processed and was about to pay when the rep suddenly stopped. He realised that he had no nano sims (the 735 uses a nano sim) available and that for some reason, he would not be able to clear the purchase without a nano sim. After a few minutes of questioning and some half-hearted attempt at appeasement, I left the store empty handed and hopped on the tube to the next store at Harrow-on-the-Hill (recommended by the rep).
I got to the store,and guess what? They were also out of nano sims. Same with the next store I went to as well. I gave up, I went home with my day wasted. Once home, I did the next best thing and tried to order by internet. They requested a sim identification number for my T-Mobile sim. I called EE personally and had thm give me the number after confirming a few details with them…it still didn’t work.
Almost giving into despair, I did the last thing I wanted to do.
I called them up by telephone, well free Skype phone call. After wasting one hour on the phone (including being hung up on with a promise to call back and failing some sort of test), I finally got through the order stage.
“What colour” He asks
“Blue” I reply, salivating at the thought of being so close to my goal. He then dropped the bombshell. “Sorry, I think the phone has been discontinued”
At this point. I wasn’t just pissed, I was also completely baffled. How could a phone that was just released in a colour that was yet to launch be discontinued already? I figured it was the exclusive colour which was a problem. That was fine, I picked green instead.
“Sorry Sir, that’s not available either”.
I tried the last colour which would surely be available.
“Nope. I think there’s a problem with stock here, I really think it’s been discontinued”
Shortly after, I hung up the phone.
I am a Windows Phone enthusiast and this is enough to give even me pause. Think of all the other people who aren’t enthusiasts who may have been curious to try. Would they not have gone for an Android or iPhone instead? Windows phone has notoriously poor carrier support, with users reporting unpleasant experiences with carrier reps. This goes far beyond that. It is incompetence of the highest order. I do not believe the 735 was discontinued in less than a month and I refuse to believe that Microsoft and CPW could be so daft as to launch a product and discontinue it simultaneously.
So yeah, I tried to buy a Lumia yesterday. I got diddly squat. I don’t know whose fault it is and I don’t care. Whether it’s T-Mobile UK (EE), Carphone Warehouse or Microsoft Mobile at fault, I really don’t care. The fact is, I don’t have my phone at the end of the day after 6 tries. That could be 6 potential customers lost for them. That’s my time wasted for me. So to all three of you, I am absolutely disappointed.