Samsung Galaxy S3 – Another Launch, Another Tmobile Flop
I like technology its a hobby of mine, would”t say i’m great with it but I’m a great salesman and appreciate learning about business, companies, and understanding why people buy. I decided to start this blog because today was the supposed launch of the Tmobile Samsung Galaxy S3. I wrote a letter to some of the executives at Tmobile that I could get email addresses for. Accountability is big especially when it comes to spending our dollars. Anyone with experience or feedback let me know. I think this gives good perspective and an honest analogy of a situation i’m not happy about.
I want to preface this with a very important fact. Sprint used limited inventory of the Samsung Galaxy S3 to fill pre-orders. With that said I believe T-Mobile is the best value in the industry based on network performance and cost. Today the Galaxy S3 was launched and many customers were unhappy with cost compared to other carriers. In my opinion this is a non-issue. Paying extra for the phone typically results in significant savings over the life of the contract. From a business perspective I dont know if I agree considering the vast majority of customers will pay an extra thousand dollars tommorrow to save a hundred dollars today, but obviously overall value and not high subsidies is your business plan and im a customer who understands and appreciates that. My issue lye with the partial launch of the new Galaxy device today. Tmobile was the first US carrier to bring the Galaxy to market today and has not been shy about promoting it. Per your press releae it was released in 29 markets with limited availability online. There’s really no details beyond that, just limited availability. Speaking with stores it seems five Chicago stores had a few devices. Just looking online in forums it seemed like availabilty in the 29 markets was so limited that it didnt really make any sense. So why release so few devices? Why not delay the launch like the other carriers? Every single person at T-Mobile had a different anwser and nobody had a clue about the real scope of availability, they only they knew that it was limited. Thats when I saw the strategy, sprinkle a few devieces to stores building perception of a limited launch in the 29 major markets. This would help deflect from the obvious objectives which was selling most inventory to new contract customers or customers adding new lines of service via telasales or the the T-Mobile Website. Nobody that I spoke to at customer care had a clue that telesales had devices immediatly available for overnight shipping for new contracts. They were adament denying this strategy because reps I spoke to truly didnt know. A customer service rep was so certain telesales had no available stock that she transferred me over and challenged me to inform them I was a new customer so I could see what she so strongly believed. Upon transfer I asked the telesales representative when would I get the phone if I signed up for the contract today. She said i’d recieve it as soon as tommorrow(6/22), and recommended that I pay the $25 express shipping fee so that I wouldnt have to wait without a phone since my other phone would be shut off to set up service. Once I confirmed what was unbenounced to customer service I proceeded to tell telasales I was a contract customer and was trying to upgrade. I explained that when I go on T-Mobile’s site and try to upgrade it tells me the phone is not available for immediate delivery and has a anticipated delivery of 6/29, but I am allowed to complete the transcation. Whereas, if i go to Tmobile’s site and sign up as a new customer, the Galaxy S3 is available for immediate delivery with an express overnight option for next day delivery. I asked the telesales rep why nobody I spoke with at customer care or customer loyalty had any idea of this. To this she responded, “because they dont know”, she said something else and hung up. So I draw the undeniable conclusion that telesales is push inventory of devices with immediate delivery to new customers. Telesales cant do upgrades and customer care and loyalty cant access the system to order anything until the 27th. The 5 or 6 customer service reps I spoke with were really in the dark, pushing the company line with so much conviction and confidence I realized they truly didnt have a clue, and where trained well not to. They all stated T Mobile wouldnt’t only sell devices to new lines and contracts with immediate availability while having current fully upgrade eligble customers preorder, pay, and wait for a later date. They almost took offense to the idea that there company would do exactly what your doing.Use telesales and online new orders to execute strategy while having retail stores take names and numbers to call back eager customers. Customer care deals with current customers who are just as confused as customer care. To market yourself as the first carrier to have the Galaxy available in US while executing strategy through launch chaos and limited availability . I would’ve had respected if you just came out and said the main focus on the June 21st is to use limited inventory to sign eager customers on contract before other carriers have availability. Obviously you couldnt say this cause it would make you look terrible. So back to my original point, while Sprint couldve done the same thing, they decieded to use there limited inventory to fill pre-orders, while you put on a not so clever, slightly chaotic, dog and pony show. I guess know I know why T-Mobile was the only US carrier not to have pre-orders, well at least not until today for current customers. I like T-Mobile, im a business man, understand challanges, and most importantly delivering on forecast and keeping shareholders happy, but I dont like getting played, especially from decision makers who are either desperate or that discontected to play chicken with customers, by creating an ecosystem to control information, being so obvious to anyone with a clue and then using that to bolster being the first to market. Your direct competitior Sprint sending preorders, and delaying launch, basically doing the right thing. While you try to capitalize on new business, while being vague putting together this ridiculous spin makes you look awful. If I had something like that on one of my competitors I would walk right thru them and thank them on the way bye. $200 a month for 12 years without a single late payment. Im the best and most valubale customer to any contract service provider. I wouldnt have had an issue if you gave it to me straight, but Deutsche Telekom or whoever is making decisions may want to take a look at how Sprint, At&T, and Verizon are handling this launch. Theyre by no means perfect but they treating all customers the same, and they also have the IPhone to fall back on. Maybe the IPhone is why TMobile continues to lose contract customers at an alarmng rate but this kinda crap doesnt help. Know who your customers are and what they will do when you waste theyre time and disrespect theyre intelligence. Why set yourself up for a public relations nightmare with all the mobile technology, blogs, twitter? Its one thing to have a rogue rep, but these these decisons typically come down from many flights of stairs. I have no agenda or bias, but time and money are two things that are important to me. Wasting time today if this were a legit op wouldve been fine but to see the whole picture clear as day gives me a glimpse into how you operate but by far what angers me most was how accomplishing your agenda at the cost of my time was okay. For that you will be held accountable.
Oh and I also recorded every call today with the voice recorder reccommended to me by one of the preinstalled bloatware apps on my T-Moblie Samsung Galaxy S2 4g Smartphone on Americas Largest 4G Network. For training purposes of course.