Buying an iPhone, Despite Verizon’s Best Efforts!

Dan’s wife Elana was not the only Gear Diary spouse to give in to the iPhone pressure this weekend-Sarah replaced her HTC Incredible with a 16GB 4S! However, the Verizon salesman betrayed his Android fanboy colors during our sales experience.

You see, the salesman approached us and asked Sarah what she was looking to purchase. She said she was looking to replace her phone with an iPhone, and when he found out she was moving from Android to iOS, he proceeded to give her the hard sell. First, he informed her in a very condescending tone that “Android is different from the iPhone and some people have trouble adjusting.” Sarah didn’t skip a beat and informed the salesman she was very aware of the difference in operating systems and she didn’t care.

So then Mr Android asked her why she wanted to switch, and she told him the truth. She hated how big the Android devices were (I believe her exact words were “I don’t need a phone the size of my face”). So the sales guy attempted to sell her an LG Enlighten, a decent entry level Android phone, but a significant step down from an iPhone and probably not much better than her Incredible. After she blew off his suggestion again, he finally went to the back to get her iPhone.

I didn’t speak up or intervene because this was Sarah’s phone and purchase, but I found the exchange rather interesting. The salesman did not listen to a word Sarah said, and basically wanted to sell her on what was likely more advantageous for him. He seemed almost annoyed to be selling an iPhone. If this was his own personal bias, he needs to check it when he clocks in for work, and if it is an issue of incentives to sell Android phones over iPhones, Verizon needs to reevaluate their business plans. If nothing else, they need to price their Android phones more competitively against the entry level iPhone. Size aside, Sarah had a really hard time even considering most Android devices because she simply hated the idea of spending $299 on a smartphone when the iPhone started at $199. Yes, the $299 phones matched the 32GB iPhone in price and memory capacity, but psychologically that $100 difference mattered when Sarah was comparison shopping. Plus, from pure “contrarianism” alone she wanted an iPhone after the way the sales guy treated her!

All’s well that ends well, and Sarah is happily playing on her new iPhone. But the attitude of the guy at Verizon still bothers me, especially because it was clear from the start of the conversation that Sarah knew what she wanted. He made a sale in spite of his attitude and not because of it.

Have you had any Verizon employees try to sell Android over iOS? Share your good and bad customer service experiences in the comments!


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7 replies

  1. Before I start my rant, a reminder that I am very happy with my Droid 4 and have no interest in an iPhone.

    I am not surprised – I have been saying for a while that Android is bringing back the ‘bad old days’ in so many ways.  It allows carriers to run rampant with charges, load up crapware (and before ANYONE says ‘not the Nexus’, when 99% of phones have it, the ‘exception’ only proves the rule), and so on.

    Android makes carriers more money, allows them to insert more ‘bait-ware’, and so on.  Therefore I have little doubt the sales folks are told to push Android.  It is the equivalent of ‘rust proofing’ on cars in the 80s and ‘extended warranties’ now … not saying there aren’t good Android phones, just that the profit motive obscures helping the customer.  In other words, take the short $ over the long-term happy customer.

    • Oh absolutely. And I think from how hard the sales pitch was, it’s failing miserably.
      I really found Sarah’s experience very enlightening. She is a pretty typical user, in that she uses her phone but doesn’t dive into the details. She had no idea her Incredible had a microSD card for the first year she had it. So she was shopping and looking at phones, and it blew her mind that she could get an iPhone for less than the mega-Android phones. They were way too big and bulky for her tastes, and more importantly they were $50-$100 more than the. 16gb iPhone! And neither of us could justify her spending $299 on a 32gb iPhone when she didn’t use more than the internal memory on her incredible.
      I think Verizon and the other carriers are going to start pushing for lower initial pricing on big name Android devices…they have to, because otherwise price sensitive consumers are going to see the iPhone sitting alone at the $199 price point and think “why don’t I just buy that?”

      • You know…that was something I honestly thought about too.  I was very close to saying get me a 16 GB iPhone soley on price.  I am glad I went for what I really wanted though.
        Rumor has it that they will be releasing a Galaxy Nexus with only 16 GB on Verizon and charging $199.  😉  

    • My nice Nexus has NO crapware.  The only app loaded was VZNavigator and I could uninstall that!  :-)

  2. I think that this was probably his bias mostly.  However, he may have came about it fairly.  Verizon was an early adopter for Android.  It was one of the first carriers after T-Mobile.  For a while, the did not have the iPhone.  They have a lot of experience selling Android.  So maybe that is it.  I DO agree though: Check the fanboyism at the door.  If I was selling phones on Verizon I would not CARE WHAT I sold.  Of course I would like to sell Android but if someone wants an iPhone I would get them an iPhone.  Period.  End of discussion. In this case the customer is always right.  

    If I were you Carly I would complain to his manager.

  3. I have never had a Verizon Wireless salesman try to sell me on anything that I don’t want. The lastest example: My daughter wanted a Blackberry a few months ago because she said that she hates touchscreens and wanted a quality phone with a hardware keyboard for email and texting. The salesman, who I know to be an Android user (from past interactions), just agreed that the BB was the best choice for her rather than try to sell her a Droid Pro or something. Another salesman told me that he loves the iPhone because they sell so many of them and they are an easy sell.

    It sounds like you had a bad salesman.


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