Disappointing MS Store Experience
Today I visited a Microsoft Store at a major mall in my area and came away rather unimpressed with the employees' knowledge of WP8. I came in to look at the Lumia 920 and HTC 8x and the two employees I talked to couldn't answer some basic questions about WP8.
I asked them:
1. Are Nokia apps unique to Nokia phones or can they be bought in the app store? Specifically, could I get Nokia Drive on an HTC phone?
2. Are there any apps that provide turn-by-turn navigation on WP8?
3. Do they offer the free charging mat with the L920?
4. What are your favorite apps or what do you think are the most attractive apps for WP8?
The two employees I talked to didn't know the answers to the first three, but after consulting with a third employee, I was told that Nokia apps are unavailable to non-Nokia phones. I haven't checked to see if this is actually true. As for the fourth question, the rep explained that he used his phone mostly for texting and he didn't really use apps. Fair enough, but he seriously couldn't provide even one example of a good WP8 app?
I understand that there are a lot of MS products they have to learn about, but seriously, there are only 4 major WP8 phones out right now. If they can't provide a customer with even one compelling feature or app off the top of their head, then MS has a serious marketing (or retailing) problem on their hands. Don't get me wrong, these reps were pleasant and attentive, but they were not selling me on their platform, and I'm already a fan! I'm currently an Android user who is seriously considering WP8, but if MS the intends to get more people to try out their platform, they really need to train their employees better. One of the reps I talked to hadn't even seen the 920 until today!
I also mentioned that I was already a big fan of the 920 but that I'm on Verizon and wasn't sold on the HTC 8x. I asked him if he knew anything about the Samsung Ativ S or the Odyssey, and he said he had never heard of either until right now. I can't really fault him for not knowing about a product that's not yet out, but I guess he wasn't a big enough fan to be tracking the latest WP8 news.
Has anyone else had similar experience at MS stores? I want to be clear that I'm not knocking their customer service, but the lack of knowledge about their products is disappointing, and I've worked in retail myself so I know from experience when employees lack training on a product.