AT&T Reps Still Not Familiar with the Lumia 900, Pushing iPhones Instead

Despite a reportedly massive $150 million budget being dedicated to pushing the Lumia 900 at the forefront of AT&T’s smartphone line-up, it looks like many AT&T representatives still haven’t gotten the missive. CNET reports that many AT&T stores visited by secret shoppers have reported that reps within stores pushed iPhones and Android phones before admitting they knew very little about the Windows Phone ecosystem.

This is disturbing news for both Microsoft and Nokia, who have a lot riding on the launch of the Lumia 900. Both Nokia and Microsoft provided AT&T reps with new Windows Phones to use as their daily rider, but it seems as though employee adoption rate has been low for this program, as noted by one secret shopper:

Even when I prompted them to tell me more about the Lumia 900, none was willing to recommend it to me for purchase.

“Windows Phone is alright,” said an associate in a store on the Upper West Side. “But it’s no iPhone.”

Of course, the CNET article does mention that only five stores were visited, which is a far cry from the nearly 2,200 retail locations that AT&T operates nationwide. Still, these five locations were in high profile areas where many consumers who may be enticed by the $99 advertising price could be steered into a ¬†much more expensive device simply because a rep “told them so”.

For some people, it’s hard to set aside a smartphone bias and listen to consumers. I feel as though many reps for AT&T have been pushing iPhone and Android so long that they’re hardwired to make these sales. Windows Phone isn’t even considered despite AT&Ts corporate efforts because it has only been on the Marketplace since 2010 and has failed to make a significant blip on the radar.

Both Microsoft and Nokia are going to need to address these problems before Windows Phone goes any further. Online sales continue to remain strong, as the Lumia 900 holds at the top of Amazon’s best sellers chart. However, the retail front is where the battle will be fought and won and without representatives¬†evangelizing¬†the operating systems to those who don’t know the difference between iOS/Android/Windows Phone, then Windows Phone will sadly continue in its underdog role.


  • LoganNowak

    I think it more depends on where you go and what you ask for. If you just ask for what smartphone they would recommend, it is much more likely they will push you towards something they are more familiar with.

    As I said on the forums, I went into a store earlier this week to see the Lumia 900. The only other phone the rep tried to push me to, despite claiming he hadn’t had a chance to use the new Windows Phones, was the Titan II. Maybe he was just better than the rest.