PCMag’s salesman against WP7 research is premature

PCMag recently made the bold statement that cell phone sales representatives were pushing customers away from buying a Windows Phone. From a tiny sample of only four retail stores, PCMag claimed that “retail salespeople aren’t enthused about selling Windows Phones”.

To make things worse, their claim was based off “research” findings which showed that only half of the stores they visited actually pushed people away from Windows Phone 7! They even said themselves that the AT&T employee was “enthusiastic about WP7 devices”. In the T-Mobile store they visited, the employee praised WP7 for being highly regarded by techies. Only in the Sprint and Verizon stores did the representatives push Sara away from Windows Phone 7.

And remember that this was only four stores. My medium sized city has 10 AT&T stores alone! Therefore, PCMag’s results should definitely be taken with little significance.

However, I decided to take things into my own hands and help increase the amount of research by visiting some stores myself.

A day ago, I visited a T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint store. I had hidden cameras with me, hoping to document the experience on video, but the store employees didn’t give me permission to use the film footage. Nevertheless, here is my experience:

In this store, I came in specifically asking for the HTC HD7. The employee I met that day instantly brought me over to the HD7 demo and enthusiastically talked about WP7. He demoed things like Netfix, Xbox, and the unique WP7 interface for me. Clearly some representatives know what they’re doing.

Hidden camera inside AT&T's store

At AT&T, I told the representative that I have a flip phone on T-Mobile, but I want a cool new smartphone. He asked me if I would want the iPhone, Android, or Blackberry. I played along and said Android, and he demoed some nice dual-core Android phones they had on display. Then I asked him what else there is, and we looked at the Blackberries. So yes, the employee didn’t list WP7 as a major smartphone that they had. However, I told him that I saw a commercial for a Windows Phone thing, and asked him if he had that. He said yep, and brought me over to their WP7 display units. He praised the phones for being extremely simple to use and for having Netflix, and even showed how you could pin anything to the Start screen. He did say that he personally believes that WP7 isn’t the best since it doesn’t have multitasking, but he actually knew that the Mango update was coming out in the future. Overall, this AT&T store experience was positive, and he didn’t do anything to push me away from Windows Phone 7. Also, the employee told me that he got to use a Windows Phone device for a month, which shows that AT&T is working to give their employees experience with every platform.

Just like in T-Mobile, I asked specifically for a Windows Phone and one of their representatives led me to the HTC Arrive. This employee was actually a previous Windows Mobile 6.5 user and he also knew a lot about WP7. He proudly talked about WP7 with me and didn’t once steer me away from buying one. Just like at AT&T, he also was given an Arrive to test out.

So far, I have only visited three stores, and I plan to visit more as time goes on. However, all three of these stores were knowledgeable about WP7 and were happy to sell me one. Of course this is also a very small sample just like PCMag’s, but it is a step towards finding the true statistics on this issue. I’ll keep on visiting as many stores as I can and will continue to collect the research! For now, quit making premature claims with incomplete satistics!