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PCMag has done a secret shopper on some carrier cell phone stores, presenting as a customer looking for a Windows Phone. Near universally the shopper was guided away from the handset they wanted to an Android handset in the main.
They write of their experience:
At AT&T, the salesperson was a recent iPhone to Android convert. She was enthusiastic about WP7 devices, saying that Netflix was on WP7 and not available on her Android, and looked embarrassed when she walked me over to AT&T’s unkempt WP7 display shelf. 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).
Next at a T-Mobile kiosk, the only WP7 device on display was an HTC HD7. The salesperson said the WP7 platform was well-regarded by techies, but that he couldn’t personally recommend it as he carried an Android device. He was obviously more knowledgeable about the Android platform, and eventually the session turned into an iOS-bashing fest.
At a Verizon reseller kiosk, a salesman clearly tried to deter me from buying a WP7 device altogether. Not only did not he appear to know the fundamental difference between Windows Mobile and WP7, his kiosk didn’t even offer WP7 devices and said you’d only find WP7 demo products at a few of Verizon’s big retail stores.
"Honestly, only 1 out of 500 customers comes in here asking for a Windows phone," he said. "Verizon won’t roll them out to kiosks until it performs better on the market."
At Sprint, a salesperson was impressed by my insistence on trying a WP7 device (Sprint has only on Windows Phone 7 model, the HTC Arrive), but still tried to sell me the Android-powered HTC Evo (like the one he held). When I told him I’d rather wait for another WP7 phone to hit Sprint, he tried to convince me to return on June 24 for the HTC Evo 3D.
Although he said he liked the WP7 platform, he told me, "We sell what people want. There hasn’t been much demand, but I think it’s growing. Just yesterday somebody came in looking for this phone."
While PCMag attributes the issues to poor training and carrier relations, we prefer to look at solutions. The answer is simple â€“ Microsoft should offer bounties for salesmen selling the most Windows Phones. It will likely be a whole lot more effective than any multi-million dollar marketing campaign which brings buyers into stores just to be turned into Android customers by sales reps.
Read the full PCMag article here.