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)