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  1. ray1b's Avatar
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       #1  
    Sprint and Palm: Don’t Expect a Pre Frenzy - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

    Sprint and Palm may secretly be dreaming of iPhone-style lines when the Palm Pre goes on sale this Saturday, but publicly the companies are trying to manage expectations.

    The Pre has generated a lot of excitement among gadget hounds, and Palm is relying on the phone to turn its fortunes around. A Palm spokeswoman, Lynn Fox, said that people who equate success with packed stores may be disappointed, because the company will take time to generate buzz with the new phone. “We’re not like Apple,” she said.

    And Mark Elliott, a spokesman for Sprint, said the company not only doesn’t expect long lines for the Pre at its 1,100 stores — it doesn’t want them.

    “We’re actually trying to manage the exact opposite,” Mr. Elliott said.

    He said smaller crowds would give new Pre buyers time to get in-store tutorials on how to use the device and its features, like the touch-screen gestures. “What we’re trying to do is not have people backed up waiting so customers feel rushed,” Mr. Elliott said. “We want each customer to get the experience.”

    Success “is not about having a line out the door,” he said. “It’s about being able to treat each customer and make sure they’re happy with their decision.”
  2. #2  
    wow thats interesting
  3. neilept's Avatar
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    #3  
    if they truly want smaller crowds, they should let Premier customers get their phones Friday night, and then the rest Saturday morning.
  4. #4  
    Quote Originally Posted by ray1b View Post
    Sprint and Palm: Don’t Expect a Pre Frenzy - Bits Blog - NYTimes.com

    Sprint and Palm may secretly be dreaming of iPhone-style lines when the Palm Pre goes on sale this Saturday, but publicly the companies are trying to manage expectations.

    The Pre has generated a lot of excitement
    I thought that said "excrement," at first.

    Quote Originally Posted by ray1b View Post
    among gadget hounds, and Palm is relying on the phone to turn its fortunes around. A Palm spokeswoman, Lynn Fox, said that people who equate success with packed stores may be disappointed, because the company will take time to generate buzz with the new phone. “We’re not like Apple,” she said.

    And Mark Elliott, a spokesman for Sprint, said the company not only doesn’t expect long lines for the Pre at its 1,100 stores — it doesn’t want them.

    “We’re actually trying to manage the exact opposite,” Mr. Elliott said.

    He said smaller crowds would give new Pre buyers time to get in-store tutorials on how to use the device and its features, like the touch-screen gestures. “What we’re trying to do is not have people backed up waiting so customers feel rushed,” Mr. Elliott said. “We want each customer to get the experience.”

    Success “is not about having a line out the door,” he said. “It’s about being able to treat each customer and make sure they’re happy with their decision.”
    I don't know how much of that is spin, but as far as the customer experience is concerned, they're right that shorter lines are better.

    That even answers my question about how they could possibly train new users on the Pre with such long lines - they don't have or want any.

    Gosh, that smells like spin, but there's just enough truth to make it go down easy.
    * Stuck patches? Partial erase worked for me.
    * Stuck virtual keyboard? Partial erase AND folder deletion worked for me.
  5. #5  
    I agree, I think the rush isn't going to be there because the publicity hasn't been there. This phone is something that is going to catch on after people see other people using it. The article is right about one thing, Palm isn't Apple and I think we can all appreciate that.
  6. #6  
    doesn't matter to me, I'm waiting til it gets on sprint.com
  7. #7  
    "We Can't Afford the Sell the Pre to the Wrong Customers."
  8. Mikest's Avatar
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    #8  
    I wish they'd go ahead and tell us how many Pre's will be available at launch. Then again that might cause a stampede
  9. #9  
    They are full of BS. If they didn't want massive lines, they would give out more information (like how many units the stores would have, or let the stores even talk about it!), instead of have everyone in the dark, and everyone assuming they need to line up at 6am to get the phone. They're just downplaying it so they won't be dissapointed in themselves when there is indeed no line.
  10. #10  
    Hi, WizardHowl! Thanks for your response. I realized that my post might be better suited to the Locations forum (Atlanta), so I moved it there. I'd post the link, but the board software won't let me (says I have to have a post count of 10 or greater).

    Thanks for the support!
    Last edited by Katharine; 06/03/2009 at 07:57 PM.
  11. #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by WizardHowl View Post
    They are full of BS. If they didn't want massive lines, they would give out more information (like how many units the stores would have, or let the stores even talk about it!), instead of have everyone in the dark, and everyone assuming they need to line up at 6am to get the phone. They're just downplaying it so they won't be dissapointed in themselves when there is indeed no line.
    I agree.
  12. #12  
    Quote Originally Posted by WizardHowl View Post
    They are full of BS. If they didn't want massive lines, they would give out more information (like how many units the stores would have, or let the stores even talk about it!), instead of have everyone in the dark, and everyone assuming they need to line up at 6am to get the phone. They're just downplaying it so they won't be dissapointed in themselves when there is indeed no line.
    Disagree completely. If they don't want lines forming at stores, they would market the phone very little. Let a few core people get the phone and let word spread by word of mouth. The numbers would then slowly trickle up.

    -- Hmmm... Is that a viral campaign?
  13. #13  
    Yeah, but Ron, if someone comes up who obviously knows about the phone, it's respectful and polite to give them a straight answer. Heck, I would've been happier if the guy had said to me, "I am so sorry, we're excited about the phone, too, but we have been asked not to talk about it until the day of release." I'd have been much more understanding. Just to clear up confusion, here's a copy of my post, below (this is the one to which I believe WizardHowl was responding):

    ------------
    My first contact with a Sprint representative was this evening, and it was not a good experience.

    I have been following the Palm Pre news ever since it received Best of CES, and have been an avid reader of PreCentral.net.

    Last month, I called Verizon, my current cell provider, to find out how much it would be to break our contract (close to $200).

    I wait patiently until this week. It is Wednesday evening, June 3rd. I go in our nearest Sprint store, the one across from North Point Mall in Alpharetta.

    I speak with a sales manager, John O. (I have his card right in front of me). I let him know that I am interested in the Pre, have been following it since CES, and ask him if he has an idea of how many they will be getting in.

    He maintains that he has no idea, that he's hardly paid any attention to it, and that we probably know more than he does.

    He says this while a big Pre ad is playing on the monitor on the wall right in front of him.

    Maintains that he'll probably get some training on it on Friday.

    I asked pointedly, "So, no one has been in here asking about the Pre? You're not expecting a huge crowd? Because I have seen pictures online of people already queuing up."

    He just said that there would be all hands on deck on June 6th.

    At that point, I gave up. I don't want to accuse the man of being a liar, but I know full well that Sprint has designated a store advocate in each store for this. It's their biggest release in some time.

    Look, man, I just want to know whether it is going to be a complete waste of time to come by on Saturday morning. That's it. I am trying to buy a phone from you. As a totally new customer, I'd think you'd want to take my money and give me a little helpful information. I'm obviously interested in your product, so it isn't a hard sale.

    This is not a good way to make a first impression, Sprint. Seriously. The guy was insulting my intelligence by pretending to know so little.

    Verizon has as much as said that they'll have the Palm Pre after Sprint's exclusive is over. They're my existing carrier. Mr. O.'s manner certainly gave the impression that he could not possibly care less whether or not I stayed with them.

    He doesn't have to care about the initial sale, sure. The Pre is going to sell. However, getting and keeping a customer for the initial contract, and the next contract, and the next ... that recurring revenue for the health of quarterly profits is something I should think every sales employee would care about, but apparently not.
  14. #14  
    Quote Originally Posted by ronlongo View Post
    Disagree completely. If they don't want lines forming at stores, they would market the phone very little. Let a few core people get the phone and let word spread by word of mouth. The numbers would then slowly trickle up.

    -- Hmmm... Is that a viral campaign?
    It is called spinning not having the money for supply or advertising.
  15. #15  
    so which one is it - is it going to be chaos or business as usual? i still planning on getting in line around 2 or 3am. i'd be pissed if i believed this new story and showed up at 8 thinking there'd be no frenzy and they told me they we're out. although i'm going to be a little pissed at myself if i show up that early and no one shows up til 8. i guess it's a no win situation. as long as i get the phone who cares right???
  16. #16  
    Quote Originally Posted by Katharine View Post
    Yeah, but Ron, if someone comes up who obviously knows about the phone, it's respectful and polite to give them a straight answer. Heck, I would've been happier if the guy had said to me, "I am so sorry, we're excited about the phone, too, but we have been asked not to talk about it until the day of release." I'd have been much more understanding. Just to clear up confusion, here's a copy of my post, below (this is the one to which I believe WizardHowl was responding):

    ------------
    My first contact with a Sprint representative was this evening, and it was not a good experience.

    I have been following the Palm Pre news ever since it received Best of CES, and have been an avid reader of PreCentral.net.

    Last month, I called Verizon, my current cell provider, to find out how much it would be to break our contract (close to $200).

    I wait patiently until this week. It is Wednesday evening, June 3rd. I go in our nearest Sprint store, the one across from North Point Mall in Alpharetta.

    I speak with a sales manager, John O. (I have his card right in front of me). I let him know that I am interested in the Pre, have been following it since CES, and ask him if he has an idea of how many they will be getting in.

    He maintains that he has no idea, that he's hardly paid any attention to it, and that we probably know more than he does.

    He says this while a big Pre ad is playing on the monitor on the wall right in front of him.

    Maintains that he'll probably get some training on it on Friday.

    I asked pointedly, "So, no one has been in here asking about the Pre? You're not expecting a huge crowd? Because I have seen pictures online of people already queuing up."

    He just said that there would be all hands on deck on June 6th.

    At that point, I gave up. I don't want to accuse the man of being a liar, but I know full well that Sprint has designated a store advocate in each store for this. It's their biggest release in some time.

    Look, man, I just want to know whether it is going to be a complete waste of time to come by on Saturday morning. That's it. I am trying to buy a phone from you. As a totally new customer, I'd think you'd want to take my money and give me a little helpful information. I'm obviously interested in your product, so it isn't a hard sale.

    This is not a good way to make a first impression, Sprint. Seriously. The guy was insulting my intelligence by pretending to know so little.

    Verizon has as much as said that they'll have the Palm Pre after Sprint's exclusive is over. They're my existing carrier. Mr. O.'s manner certainly gave the impression that he could not possibly care less whether or not I stayed with them.

    He doesn't have to care about the initial sale, sure. The Pre is going to sell. However, getting and keeping a customer for the initial contract, and the next contract, and the next ... that recurring revenue for the health of quarterly profits is something I should think every sales employee would care about, but apparently not.
    I guess I missed some posts. Dunno if the above is Katherine's experience or not, but I'll drop my two cents in the hat.

    I wouldn't be too surprised if the guy didn't know anything, so he may not be lying, but he damn-sure should've been more attentive to your needs. He should've tried to find out what you wanted to know.

    At the same time, I didn't get the impression, from your dialogue, that your interest was a practical matter (i.e. wanting to know if you should be there first thing Saturday or what) but more like a bit of curiosity over the currently hyped product.

    Maybe a more pointed question would've saved some frustration.


    EDIT: Oh. And welcome to the forums.
    * Stuck patches? Partial erase worked for me.
    * Stuck virtual keyboard? Partial erase AND folder deletion worked for me.

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