Why Can’t I Buy a Windows Phone 7?

August 30, 2011, By Christian Cawley

It seems that US networks and retailers are a little Windows Phone-phobic if Twitter, Facebook and discussion forums are to be believed. Almost 12 months on from the platform’s launch in October 2010, there are still questions and challenges concerning the very basic questions: where can you buy one?

US Networks and Windows Phone 7

With HTC, Samsung and LG among the hardware manufacturers supplying the major mobile networks with the new Windows Phone 7 handsets, a good way to find out who is supplying what to domestic and business users is to check all of the usual suspects.

Curiously, however, not all networks are carrying Windows Phone 7 in the USA. More worryingly, those that are don’t even know it, or aren’t willing to share the information.

The Invisible Phone

If you have ever walked into a store looking for help only to be totally mocked by the sales assistant, you will have an idea of what is happening on a daily basis to thousands of people looking to buy the latest Windows Phones from HTC, Dell, LG or Samsung.

This is a tale of customer service hell, of being made to feel stupid and basically being forced into making a purchase that you don’t want. Thanks to a lack of promotional co-ordination by Microsoft, there are very few bricks and mortar stores that will let you buy a Windows Phone.

That’s right – even though the devices are in stock, you can’t easily buy one. You can spend the morning being told about all the phones that you should buy instead, and even hear about some misinformed and plain wrong “facts” about Windows Phone (“dead platform”/”no one using it”) but you will have a lot of trouble buying one.

How to Buy a Windows Phone

There are three ways that you can buy a Windows Phone without being intimidated by poorly educated staff.

  • The first is the most obvious – shop online.
  • Second, you might opt for a mail order purchase from a popular retailer in that sector
  • Third, speak to the network over the phone, and make it absolutely clear that it is the Windows Phone that you want.

Don’t put up with talk of Android or cut price Nokias, ignore the commission-heavy promotion of an iPhone in your direction. Speak clearly and calmly, and make sure that the customer sales person on the end of the phone understands exactly what it is you want to purchase.

There is a fourth option, of course – you might wait for Microsoft to finally get their in-store promotions team working to full capacity, ensuring that mobile phone retailers get the same bonuses for selling Windows Phone as they do for shifting Android devices and iPhones.

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