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  1. Rob.Elliott's Avatar
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    Thread AuthorThread Author   #1  

    Default British Playbook Retail Experiences

    So yesterday the Playbook was launched in the UK. Excellent, so off I trotted to PC World to try one out and maybe even buy.

    As I approached the store I noticed the iPad posters in a prominent position by the door, I was a little irritated that there didn't seem to be any posters for the Playbook even on launch day, I did spot one in the end right at the corner of the building where nobody would notice it.

    I entered the store and located the tablet area, the store was rather quiet at the time so there was no rush, I fondled the Android tabs to get a bit of perspective and a benchmark before using the RIM device.

    When I finally got the the Playbook it was requesting an update be performed, with no obvious way to skip past this screen I figured I'd just update the device there and then, it said it would take 12mins to install so I wandered off and figured id amuse myself with some other gadget.

    12 or 15mins passed and I went back, the update had failed. I thought it was a little odd so I told it to retry, I came back after 10mins and it had failed again!

    I called over to one of the sales guys asking something like "Hey, do you have a Playbook that works?"
    He didn't come over or to see what I was talking about he just called back "That one should be turned on"
    Anyway, I had a conversation with the sales guy, who remained about 20ft away, and explaining that I couldn't test the device because it wouldn't update he just stated "The Wifi isn't very good in here because we have so many devices connected" and shrugged. I asked if they had another device I could use, and he said they didn't. At no point did he seem to care about the Playbook not working, or offer any assistance.

    This has to be the worst customer experience I have ever had, the guy didn't give a damn about losing a sale or the other potential sales that may have been lost due to a demo product being unusable. I loitered near the tablets for a while and had a play with a Nindendo 3DS (Which is excellent btw, but not worth the 200 imho) While I was there I spotted 2 or 3 other people give the Playbook a look, and then walk away after only seconds. Potential lost sales? Maybe.

    I left the shop feeling pretty annoyed with the whole experience and wondering, if it was a iPad2 demo unit not working if the sales rep would have been any more use?
  2. k1ward's Avatar
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    Sounds to me like a problem with the retailer, not RIM. I would look for a different location to test out the PB.
  3. Rob.Elliott's Avatar
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    Yes, I agree. I wasn't blaming RIM in this post, rather it is just a thread to vent my frustration with the retailer. I was also wondering if this is typical of other peoples experience during the UK launch?

    I'll pop by somewhere else and try out the Playbook at some point.
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  4. OnTopic's Avatar
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    Same thing happen here in the states. Staples told managers to take their PB's HOME and activate the tablets using their home WiFi connections as the units would timeout trying to activate/update using the store's public hotspots.
  5. #5  

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    I have had similar experiences in the US at three different Best Buy locations except for one notable exception. A young female sales person, walked me right through the entire bridge experience. She had everything set up on it and was using it as her personal device. She had her calendar set up (showed me the baby shower she had set up for the next week and her sister's birthday), emails she had going back and forth,etc. Other than that, the PBs on display were not turned on, buried in corners in the mobile phone area, and the security cables attached to the devices ruined the feel and portability experience. I finally insisted to a sales guy at one store that he unhook the display PB so that I could compare the its screen to the the prominently displayed ipad located in the computer area. The PB blew the ipad away in this regard and the ifan salespeople had no clue as to just how far superior the PB was in that area.

    RIM should regularly be sending reps out to stores to kick some retail a$$.
  6. omgitsalive's Avatar
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    Sadly enough, it is also a problem with RIM.

    Apple shows us that retailers can care for your product if you pay them enough... hand over the product on a silver platter, with 5 extra device experts.

    For me personally as a consumer, RIMs approach works better (lower prices), but probably retailers won't go the extra mile for 2 product posters and a link to @blackberryhelp .
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  7. ifarlow's Avatar
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    Wow. Sounds like the horrible US launch all over again. Someone please help me understand just how RIM didn't learn anything from the US launch?
    Ian

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  8. bicsung's Avatar
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    Retailers sometimes have some really incompetent sales people. When I went to buy my playbook, this sales person kept insisting it was running android os... This was in the US by the way
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    Quote Originally Posted by shootsscores View Post
    RIM should regularly be sending reps out to stores to kick some retail a$$.
    Aww you beat me to it.
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  10. A.C
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    Interestingly I had a similar experience (in terms of lack of functionality of the Playbook) at Phones 4 U yesterday.
    Walked into the shop, had a look around to see if there were any Playbooks on display, after not seeing any I asked the sales assistant if they had any in? Well, they did, not on the shop floor but in the store room (on launch day!) but they couldn't sell one to me anyway because it wasn't on their system (i.e. no price had been loaded).
    The sales assistant was very helpful, he had not seen one before, so we unboxed one to take a look at. However, after booting the PB up, I couldn't (he had given it to me at this point) get past the 'Select your country' screen (I think that's what it was), the drop down box was blank - anyone else had this?

    Although disappointed I didn't walk out with one, it did work out for the best - my wife had been looking for a Blackberry for several months (and a new contract), after a quick look online it seems Carphone Warehouse are selling the Curve 3G with a FREE 16GB Playbook - they arrive on Monday!
  11. yzf.shaun's Avatar
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    I went into PCW yesterday and was disappointed about the loaction of the PlayBook and lack of posters. I actually had to ask if they had it on display!

    I did end up actually selling one to the PCW rep though after the conversation I had with him explaining the good and the bad. They didn't have any accessories on display but he did have a couple of crib cards with the prices of what they had available. All in all not very good.
    Devices: Bold 9900 on 7.1.0.190 + iPOD touch 4 = Best of both worlds & PlayBook 16Gb
  12. Rob.Elliott's Avatar
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    @A.C I saw the Carphone Warehouse deal on their window on the way back from the rather useless PC World.

    16.50 per month I think it said for a Playbook and Curve 3G. Which isn't a bad deal imho when you consider you get a basic smartphone and a nice tablet. Which you could probably argue, when combined, is more useful than a touch screen smartphone.
    Last edited by Rob.Elliott; 06-17-2011 at 09:36 AM.
  13. A.C
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    @Rob.Elliot - Cheapest tariff I could get was 37 p/month (x 24 months) on O2? Fortunately for me my wife doesn't need/want the latest & greatest phone, but she did want a Blackberry so everyone's a winner!
  14. jsfalk's Avatar
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    When you don't own your own stores you're at the mercy of retailers who don't usually know much. Here in the US I bought mine at Radio Shack and the only one they had on display was mounted (not running) on a display wall, so that I couldn't even see if it would fit into my jacket pocket, much less see how it worked. These stores aren't really in the electronics business -- they're in the box business.

    This also goes for those who are dismayed that RIM would announced how many shipped, but not how many sold -- how the heck would they know?
  15. Rob.Elliott's Avatar
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    @A.C I think I must have gotten that wrong, or the poster was misleading, since I've just checked the Carphone Warehouse website and I can't find anything anywhere near 16 per month.
    I must have been Delusional after my bad retail experience!
    Last edited by Rob.Elliott; 06-17-2011 at 09:36 AM.
  16. kevinnugent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsfalk View Post

    This also goes for those who are dismayed that RIM would announced how many shipped, but not how many sold -- how the heck would they know?
    Seriously? You think RIM don't know how many units have sold? Wow.

    They know, down to the single digit. They just don't want to announce how small that number is.
  17. bluetide's Avatar
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    I was about town on launchday, found it a little strange that none of the network stores stocked the device. looked in carphone they had displays in the window "phone and free tablet from 16 a month" obviously not the blackberry package that was 37 . carphone had a working display mode with prices clearly eplained, i had a little play with the device not being approached by a single sales rep. i then ventured into phones4u they had a single poster advertising the curve 3g and playbook offer. on going inside there was no displays i had to ask a sales rep he just explained the curve offer didnt even offer to demonstrate one. pc world had no mention of the device and i couldnt find ine instore anywhere and for once i could no find a member of staff to help as usually u have to fight them off. i decided to venture to best buy. they had a poster outside, 3 display models but none of them had pricing of device information a member of staff showed me a quick demo and left me to have a play, one choosing to purchase the device the guy had to hunt down where they was storing them as they wasnt with the other tablets, the guy eventutaly came back with my new 64gb playbook. i was shocked really at how little promotion was going on, even the email from rim was late afternoon.
  18. blackmoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jsfalk View Post
    This also goes for those who are dismayed that RIM would announced how many shipped, but not how many sold -- how the heck would they know?
    Simple - count activations.
  19. #19  

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    Quote Originally Posted by shootsscores View Post
    RIM should regularly be sending reps out to stores to kick some retail a$$.
    Their employees aren't any better.

    I spent five minutes looking around the store in the Atlanta airport, and neither one of their employees, who weren't with customers since I was the only one in the store, bothered to ask me if I needed help anything so i left.
  20. bb-bandit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob.Elliott View Post
    So yesterday the Playbook was launched in the UK. Excellent, so off I trotted to PC World to try one out and maybe even buy.

    As I approached the store I noticed the iPad posters in a prominent position by the door, I was a little irritated that there didn't seem to be any posters for the Playbook even on launch day, I did spot one in the end right at the corner of the building where nobody would notice it.

    I entered the store and located the tablet area, the store was rather quiet at the time so there was no rush, I fondled the Android tabs to get a bit of perspective and a benchmark before using the RIM device.

    When I finally got the the Playbook it was requesting an update be performed, with no obvious way to skip past this screen I figured I'd just update the device there and then, it said it would take 12mins to install so I wandered off and figured id amuse myself with some other gadget.

    12 or 15mins passed and I went back, the update had failed. I thought it was a little odd so I told it to retry, I came back after 10mins and it had failed again!

    I called over to one of the sales guys asking something like "Hey, do you have a Playbook that works?"
    He didn't come over or to see what I was talking about he just called back "That one should be turned on"
    Anyway, I had a conversation with the sales guy, who remained about 20ft away, and explaining that I couldn't test the device because it wouldn't update he just stated "The Wifi isn't very good in here because we have so many devices connected" and shrugged. I asked if they had another device I could use, and he said they didn't. At no point did he seem to care about the Playbook not working, or offer any assistance.

    This has to be the worst customer experience I have ever had, the guy didn't give a damn about losing a sale or the other potential sales that may have been lost due to a demo product being unusable. I loitered near the tablets for a while and had a play with a Nindendo 3DS (Which is excellent btw, but not worth the 200 imho) While I was there I spotted 2 or 3 other people give the Playbook a look, and then walk away after only seconds. Potential lost sales? Maybe.

    I left the shop feeling pretty annoyed with the whole experience and wondering, if it was a iPad2 demo unit not working if the sales rep would have been any more use?
    Same experience at Best Buy in NY and NJ here in the states. Very frustrating. The sales associates don't care about the RIM products anymore. They want to steer you to Apple or Droid as RIM is a dying brand.
  21. magician1's Avatar
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    yes i feel ya!
    I saw tonight, in London electronic billboard playbook rolling adverts on the way back tonight
    CPW, Well firstly they nearly did not get my order out in time for delivery and took many phone calls to them to get answers. Not too much knowledge re the PB at CPW sales, and even had to get my so promised and pre-paid PB acceszories transfered the order to get them hand picked up from me at my local store as they were going to be another week. So a bit of confusion frlm them but guess they are not to blame as they are not as enthusiastic as we all are.
    Asked instore cpw if they had a demo and they said they have to prepare a special board & poster for a playbook specific area. I love mine and yes updates are always welcome and really am having lots of fun with this little beast.
    Sent from my brand new amazing sensational fantastic brilliant funky awesome PlayBook
  22. Spinal's Avatar
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    ^

    its funny because apple/motorola have their tablets at work setup in that matter, and by work i mean bestbuy. we got special logins that come with a wackload of apps, too bad RIM didn't do the same. and for the ipad 1 when it was released we had special demo models (even said 'not for resale on the back'), but they didn't do that for the ipad 2.
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    Around here had the same issues with the android and Pb demo units when they first came out. The Flyer, PB and Xoom sat turned on but unable to connect to internet for about a week till they got around to getting them to work. That was at multiple stores of Staples and Best Buy. So dont think that Rim is the only one that they neglected even though really no excuse for it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottsdaleHokie View Post
    Their employees aren't any better.

    I spent five minutes looking around the store in the Atlanta airport, and neither one of their employees, who weren't with customers since I was the only one in the store, bothered to ask me if I needed help anything so i left.
    if i may ask when was this and witch store was it, there is two in Atlanta (concourse A/B).
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  25. Spawn12's Avatar
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    Tonight for the first time i saw the first blackberry playbook advert on the tv, was quite surprised to see it...i think it was national geographic channel...was a pretty neat advert..
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