New site aims to name and shame bad Windows Phone 7 retailers

By Tom Warren, on 13th Jun 11 11:15 pm with 74 Comments

Windows Phone retail stand

A new site aims to name and shame the worst Windows Phone 7 retailers.

Robert McLaws, a former Microsoft MVP for ASP.NET and Windows, has created wptattletale.com, designed specifically for end users to tell their tales of Windows Phone 7 retailers. The site has been setup as a result of frustration from AT&T Windows Phone customers. “It first started when I went to the local AT&T store to check out the first batch of WP7 devices late last year,” explained McLaws in an email to WinRumors. He says he was “shocked” when only one device worked and the sales people in the store knew nothing about Windows Phone. McLaws says he visited a Verizon store recently in the run up to the Trophy launch. “I played dumb with one sales guy,” he explains. “He was actively trying to sell me an Android phone every time I asked him a WP7 question.”

McLaws isn’t alone in his shock at carriers trying to sway Windows Phone customers onto rival devices. PCMag recently ran a story asking whether carriers were strangling Windows Phone 7 at retail. PCMag visited several retail stores around Manhattan and found a poor retail presence for Windows Phones. McLaws claims the final straw came when AT&T’s CEO revealed during a talk at D9 that Windows Phone 7 devices haven’t sold as well as they or Microsoft had hoped. He started collecting feedback immediately on a OneNote notebook on his SkyDrive. “I tweeted about it a couple times, and with 24 hours, I had this huge response,” says McLaws. Following the huge amount of feedback, and being a web developer at heart, McLaws decided a dedicated full-blown site was in order. He put together a site using Microsoft’s open-source CMS that made it “easy to implement.” His aim you ask? To create an army of secret shoppers that will expose what is really happening. McLaws will be tweeting every review to Twitter account to help raise awareness. He’s not aiming to make carriers push Windows Phone over Android but simply wants them to “level the playing field by not having crappy displays and dummy phones that just don’t work.”

The site is designed to allow consumers worldwide to fill in feedback about their experience of attempting to purchase a Windows Phone 7. It includes Bing Map integration and new users can simply register their store location and write up their appraisal. McLaws hopes that the site will highlight the issues at retail stores across multiple locations. “Ideally, I’d like to convince Microsoft to make it an official Secret Shopper / Trainer program, which would hopefully be able to pass along other perks to site users,” he says. The site is available immediately at wptattletale.com.

Nicholas Aaron Khoo (9eekonomics.com)

  • http://callumpy.me.uk/ Callumpy

    Awesome idea

  • Dhaoracle

    This is wonderful and very thoughtful of him because it is wrong at how these retailers are just shitting on WP7 without ever either using it or thinking about what Windows Mobile 6.X was. 

    So yes i think that Microsoft should look at this and either do something themselves, have McLaws do something about it, or make a partnership with him to get more information to the stores so that they can start to get their phones into a lot more hands. 

    • Guest

      A better question is if there is any truth to this, why are sales people doing so?  Unlike all are anti WP7, more likely it would be the carriers themselves are telling sales not to push the WP7 phones.  This would suggest that relationship between carries and MS is not very good.  A better article would be to find out why and what MS is going to do to improve it.  

    • Dhaoracle

      Yes you are definitely right about that. Microsoft needs to go in talk to all of their Carrier Partners and get down to the nitty gritty about why their phones are not being pushed and if they could do anything to help that go better. Microsoft should be shelling out it’s own money to for banners, training, commercials, research, everything, and etc. If Microsoft wants this Revolution to come then they have to work hard for it. They can only rest a little when they have sold their first 5/10 million then it is ack to work because no one else is going to let them when they are on top. 

      I believe that Microsoft come super hard when WP7.5/Mango comes out because they would have something already good and polished to stand behind. 

    • Guest

      Most of these sales people are on commission and lazy. They’re going to push what they know and what moves quickly. The more phones they move in a hour, the more money they make.

      Pushing WP7 requires an investment of their time to learn and explain. Pre Mango, it arguably also requires some justification to overcome the items it’s lacking but the competition has. It’s just easier to say buy Android, everyone else is.

    • Guest

      So it is MS responsibility to the product to make it rewarding and easier to sale WP7 then Android, stop looking to take the success of WP7 out of MS hands.  

    • Guest

      So it is MS responsibility to the product to make it rewarding and easier to sale WP7 then Android, stop looking to take the success of WP7 out of MS hands.  

    • Guest

      A better question is if there is any truth to this, why are sales people doing so?  Unlike all are anti WP7, more likely it would be the carriers themselves are telling sales not to push the WP7 phones.  This would suggest that relationship between carries and MS is not very good.  A better article would be to find out why and what MS is going to do to improve it.  

  • Syrious

    haha, tried to sell him an android when he asked about WP7…..at least he didn’t try to sell him an iPhone

  • Et Jay

    Yes this is a great way to deal with your partners, shame them.  Keep perusing this and carriers will really boycott the OS and not even stock the phone except on their website.   People are idiots attacking retailers for MS failures, how about a website to shame MS for its poor marketing of the phone, coming out with a competitive OS 3 years too late, messed up first update of the phone, preview Mango a year early and kill first generation sales, treating developers poorly, pissing off carriers by purchasing direct competition SKYPE, etc, etc, etc.

    • zzz

      Et Jay is right, this will make Fanboys happy but it will backfire in the long run.

    • http://twitter.com/efjay01 Ef Jay

      So there is no confusion, I have NO relation to Et Jay! Not sure what he’s on about but from what we’ve heard about sales reps blatantly lying about WP7 I fully support this website! What use are partners if they stab you in the back?

    • Et Jay

      No way to speak about your brother ;)

    • Et Jay

      No way to speak about your brother ;)

    • Guest

      What do you mean even you are telling people not to buy the product”@groovepoint considering we haven’t seen any new #wp7 device worth buying”

    • zzz

      OMG I can not believe Ef Jay is trying to turn people off of WP7 and saying they are not worth buying! 

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      Et Jay said that…not Ef Jay….Et Jay is a name troll trying to confuse people.

    • zzz

      Actuarially this is a Tweet from Ef jay!  Sad he would bad mouth WP7

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      I just read his twitter…to put it as delicately as possible…you’re full of crap.

    • zzz

      “Et Jay” and “zzz” above are the same troll faking “Ef Jay” and “zzz” who post here regularly.

    • WP7fan

      Not sure who is or why they are a troll or if it matter but the point made is a good one.

    • CapoS

      You make a great point about where we should place the frustration for the lack of sales with WP7.  A quality product launch makes sure that retail partners are educated and excited about the product from the start.  I know for a fact MS did not invest anything in the retail channel support like the competition did.  Hopeful they will start.  

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      Oh you know this for a fact? What’s your source?

    • Guest

      “Microsoft Windows Phone product manager Greg Sullivan acknowledged obliquely that Microsoft may yet have some pieces of its retail strategy to put into place”

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      Indeed, which doesn’t address my question at all. The earlier user stated “I know for a fact MS did not invest anything…”

      What you’ve stated doesn’t contradict my questioning what his source for that is. It merely states that MS has acknowledged that it has SOME pieces they’ve yet to put in place.

      Some does not equal all.

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      Indeed, which doesn’t address my question at all. The earlier user stated “I know for a fact MS did not invest anything…”

      What you’ve stated doesn’t contradict my questioning what his source for that is. It merely states that MS has acknowledged that it has SOME pieces they’ve yet to put in place.

      Some does not equal all.

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      Indeed, which doesn’t address my question at all. The earlier user stated “I know for a fact MS did not invest anything…”

      What you’ve stated doesn’t contradict my questioning what his source for that is. It merely states that MS has acknowledged that it has SOME pieces they’ve yet to put in place.

      Some does not equal all.

    • Dhaoracle

      No this is the people boycotting the Carriers to give them what they want. Its about the people not about the carriers. They offer us what we want because now what most people want is a WP7 phone. Satisfaction is needed because a lot of people including myself are tired of these super fragmented and slow freezing Android phones. 

    • Mark

      Hey twit, at least have the balls to create your own alias instead of constantly mimicking others.

  • Grannyville7989

    I remember going to a T-Mobile shop in London to check out the Omnia 7 they had. When asked if they had a working demo of the phone, they said that they did not have working demo but instead tried to encourage me to check out the Android phones. After stating that I was not interested in Android and have plans on getting a Windows Phone at some point, they persisted on shoving HTC Android devices in front of my face. I just played dumb, said the Android looked cool and left. I was not pleased by the service I received.

    • https://profiles.google.com/christopher.gull/ CG

      Same (sort of) when I wanted to get an Omnia 7 in Netherlands.. the guy at The Phonehouse was discouraging me badly, saying all sorts of shit about WP7, until I silenced him with saying I just have an affinity for WP7 and that there’s nothing he can do to change that. I still ended up getting the Omnia 7 from that place, due to scarce availability of WP7 handsets in the whole of the Netherlands, but had I had a good option I had just left. Oh yea, he was trying to get me into Android as well.

  • Anonymous

    The problem is everyone got focus’s to demo and that is a terrible cheap windows phone. 

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=5738101 Bakari Kamau

      You have no idea what you’re talking about.

      The Focus has a 93% satisfaction rate – higher than the iPhone or any Android device. I have it and it’s the only one with an SD card slot. The device does feel plasticy, but it’s solid, well constructed and comfortable to use.

  • Garethmc

    Please add Ireland to the retail location list….  thx

  • http://twitter.com/JayMontano Jay Montano

    In the UK, I went to a three UK store. I specifically asked for an Omnia 7 to see what they’d say about it. (I already own one, but being a blogger, I was interested in how retailers perceive them).

    The guy basically said don’t get this. It doesn’t have that many apps. Android has 300,000, Apple 400,000 (this was in Feb/March) He recommended going with an Android handset and proceeded to show me Angry Birds. He also bashed T-Mobile (my current network) as being the shoddiest in terms of reception in the UK. He might be right though on the latter as my T-Mobile signal is non-existent in many parts of Manchester.

  • Anonymous

    I had an experience where a salesperson was attempting to get me to get Android instead of WP7. 

    She tried once or twice but then gave me what I wanted.   The overall experience was pretty pleasant otherwise.   Loving my new LG Optimus Quantum.

  • Anonymous

    We also need a website that tasks alll of the websites reviewing WP7 phones poorly. And one for all of the people who own them and bad-mouth them. And one for all of the people who decide against buying them. And one for anyone who thinks ill of them.

    The success of WP7 is far too important to trust to people’s honest impressions of it.

    • http://www.facebook.com/davidwixom David Wixom

      Even though reports show over and over that WP7 has the highest satisfaction rate of any OS?

  • Shiro

    I would like to report Sprint for charging its smart phone customers a $10 premium data fee. What a freaking rip off.

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      That fee was put in place with plenty of notice, and is a fee to allow for unlimited data. Before they had a ‘hidden’ 5GB cap put in place. With the $10 fee they’ve stated publicly that they’ve removed the hidden cap and to feel free to use the data as you see fit, as long as its within their policies.

    • http://www.TechVirtuoso.com Frank Owen

      Shane:  There is still a cap on 3G traffic even with the fee.  The unlimited traffic is only when you are on a 4G network.

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      False. The only ‘cap’ in place is for roaming data. On-network data is unlimited. I’ve verified this through my contract, and multiple times through various CS & corporate channels.

    • http://www.TechVirtuoso.com Frank Owen

      Shane:  There is still a cap on 3G traffic even with the fee.  The unlimited traffic is only when you are on a 4G network.

  • Guest

    I am mad @ Verizon, they refuse to sell me a KIN

    • Pacific

      nice…troll much?

    • Atlantic

      “troll” term is so 1999, pretty much like MS mobile OS current sales level, but then again MS wishes WP7′s market share was that high!

    • Guest

      I guess you’d know since you’ve probably been a troll since then, you asshat.

    • Atlantic

      I think your mistaking it appears it is you that is up Ballmer butt

    • Guest

      I guess you’d know since you’ve probably been a troll since then, you asshat.

  • Mm77can

    I think its terrible that in Canada Rogers offers a windows phone but doesn’t even have a Winmo7 app for its own in-house app.

  • Wtf808

    great idea, but that site kinda blows..   what a pain to enter a sucky store.

  • Guest

    Is HP Palm site next?

    • HeatherL

      LMAO  

    • HeatherL

      LMAO  

  • Anonymous

    Its a totally different story in Singapore. The retails here such as Starhub and Singtel are truly committed to selling Windows Phone sets, despite 30% of people here being an “iSheep”. You can always find a demo iCrap and a Windows Phone handset, Android is a rare one.

    The other time when I was looking at devices like Samsung Omnia 2 just for fun, the salesman actually tried to persuade me to get Windows Phone 7 devices like Omnia 7 instead. He didn’t bash Windows or something despite how bad Windows Mobile 6.5x is.

  • zzz

    Lets be proactive and create a site for sales people not selling Nokia phone!

    • MSblog

      It is just amount of time!

  • http://twitter.com/UgglyUI UgglyUI

    Nobody wants Wp7. Thats the fact!!!

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      Want to talk facts? WP7 devices have a 93% customer satisfaction rating. That’s a fact.

      Quit trolling.

    • http://twitter.com/UgglyUI UgglyUI

      What study are you talking about?
      It’s not as many units sold and the majority has gone to MS employees

    • http://twitter.com/UgglyUI UgglyUI

      What study are you talking about?
      It’s not as many units sold and the majority has gone to MS employees

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      Majority has gone to MS employees? Do you honestly think we have over 1,000,000 employees at MS?

      Again, quit trolling by posting statements that are complete nonsense.

      As for the data:

      http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-01-26/microsoft-says-it-shipped-2-million-windows-phones-last-quarter.html

      That was 2 million devices shipped in just the first quarter alone (which has long since passed) and 93% customer satisfaction BEFORE nodo even shipped.

  • http://twitter.com/UgglyUI UgglyUI

    It does not sell. Exactly as KIN

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      The KIN didn’t sell because it was pulled off the market almost as soon as it launched. Hard to sell a device that’s already been marked as discontinued ;)

    • http://twitter.com/UgglyUI UgglyUI

      Are you kidding me or what? It was not someone who wanted to buy it for limited andlockedLyssna

    • http://twitter.com/NorrathReaver Shane Nokes

      Kidding you about what? Also what the heck did your last sentence even mean. It looks like something a spambot would post when it came up with input it couldn’t handle.

  • FMH

    Is there a site to shame OEMs?

  • KevjUK

    When they were first launched back in November 2010; here in the UK, I went to my carriers( Orange)i shops in Nottingham, went I asked to look at the Omina7 I was told they didn’t have any in stock at the time….(Launch day!!!)  and when I asked what they thought of them, the response was either  a) We’re waiting for training on them b) no idea. 

    I visited other stores in the City Centre, and all they could show was a Point-of-Sale Display, with dummy ‘Mozarts’ – again I asked to see a working model..and again told ‘sorry we don’t have one available.

    This was bad enough for ‘Launch Day’ – given Orange is their Prime Carrier in the UK. 

    In the end I ordered one via their ‘Direct Sales’ number, and received it 3 days later.   I love the Omina7, and despite the teething problems with the Updates – it functioned perfectly as a Phone, and I’ve not found it to be lacking in daily use.  

    With Mango coming along, it’s going to fly…. but the Carrier support in store, really does need to be addressed, and soon. 

  • http://twitter.com/RashidSaeed Rashid Saeed

    This is what being late to the party means. Everyone, even the sales people, have become so accustomed to other platforms that they’d hardly bother about a new OS. This, of course, is carriers’ fault.

    • Guest

      No. it’s MS’s fault for totally underestimating the impact of iPhone and then taking four years to mount a response, thereby allowing Android to enter and establish itself as the alternative (and now leader). Expecting reps to be neutral now, is like Apple expecting a fair shot at Best Buy ten years ago when someone came in looking for a new PC.

    • MSblog

      Well said!

    • Guest

      No. it’s MS’s fault for totally underestimating the impact of iPhone and then taking four years to mount a response, thereby allowing Android to enter and establish itself as the alternative (and now leader). Expecting reps to be neutral now, is like Apple expecting a fair shot at Best Buy ten years ago when someone came in looking for a new PC.

  • Tim Heuer

    This is a very bad idea. Pointing with the finger to individuals is a very bad thing. This will not make them love Windows Phones at all. The right thing is to offer better training – maybe it is AT&Ts fault and not the poor guy that makes his living with the job.

  • Anonymous

    The Best Buy I went to had no knowledge about the Windows Phone altogether. Not only did they have no knowledge of it, they didn’t even know the HTC Arrive existed, or if they had it in stock. They then proceeded to try to steer me towards an Android device claiming that they dislike Windows because Vista is bad. I then told them I’ve used Android, iOS, and Windows Phone and I liked WP because it was quick, snappy and never froze. When they got through the activation process I then gave them a tour of my phone. They quickly became fans after seeing how awesome and easy the UI was.