When you’re going shopping in a retail setting, you expect salespeople to have strong, well-formed opinions about the products they’re selling. That’s why it’s great to find a knowledgeable salesperson when you’re still undecided about what you’re looking for, drawing upon their expertise to help you find the right product for you. What happens, though, when there seems to be a concerted effort among these workers to discourage customers from buying entire families of products? That may be what’s going on now at Verizon stores, with reports that employees are discouraging customers from buying the iPhone, calling it “outdated” with its 3G radio.
It’s no secret that Verizon is gung-ho about LTE, as we’ve seen when it offered extra data to LTE users and declared that LTE connectivity would be a hard requirement for future smartphones on the network.
CNNMoney wanted to see if what it was hearing about Verizon employees steering customers away from 3G devices was true, and conducted an informal experiment of its own. Like what we saw when CNET did a little secret shopping to gauge AT&T’s attitude towards Windows Phone sales, it checked-in with stores, did some online chats, and talked to Verizon reps over the phone. Across the board, it noticed Verizon pushing LTE over 3G devices.
There’s nothing wrong with favoring new technology, but when it comes at the expense of promoting Android phones above all others, doing so gives us pause. After all, there are a ton of reasons to prefer one phone (or platform) over another, and cellular data speed is just one factor to consider.
While Verizon may be wearing blinders when it comes to 3G devices, CNNMoney reports finding that the AT&T salespeople it dealt with were far more enthusiastic for the iPhone.