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Friday, May 11, 2012

Verizon Wireless Pushes Smartphone Customers towards Android over Apple

According to a recent report published by CNN/Money, Verizon Wireless retail sales representatives are allegedly discouraging customers from buying iPhones. Sales reps are apparently pushing customers to buy 4G LTE smartphones instead. With Verizon Wireless' huge investment in their 4G LTE network does this story surprise anyone?

The article’s author found discussions on different blogs and websites regarding Verizon Wireless employees’ willingness to steer customers away from iPhones in favor of 4G LTE Android devices.

When author David Goldman carried on 10 different conversations with 10 different members of the Verizon Wireless sales and customer support teams, each time he was steered towards one of the following 4G LTE Android smartphones: the Droid RAZR; the Droid RAZR MAXX; or the LG Lucid.

According to Goldman, When I asked if those devices were better than the iPhone, they responded that the iPhone was an inferior alternative because it only runs on the company's slower 3G network.

He attributes the following quotes to Verizon Wireless employees:

The iPhone is a great phone, but it's on 3G…I'm not going to recommend a phone that's outdated.
- VZW Employee 1

The second quote goes into more detail as to the undercurrent surrounding the recommendations.

The only drawback to the iPhone is it doesn't have 4G, and Verizon is really pushing 4G. Don't get me wrong, the iPhone is a great phone. It just costs the company a lot of money for returns when customers find out that a faster 4G network is available and the iPhone's only on 3G.
- VZW Employee 2

Goldman also tried his luck at AT&T Wireless and found that AT&T Wireless retail sales representatives were more likely to push iPhones.

Below is a quote which Goldman attributes to an AT&T Wireless sales representative who was pushing an iPhone:

It's all about the 4S now…the iPhone is the most popular phone, you know what you're getting, and it's a status symbol you can't get anywhere else.
- AT&T Employee

I don’t think a rational person would find this news all that shocking. Whether it is a Verizon policy or rogue sales people, Verizon is going to push phones which are supported on its expansive 4G LTE network. Since Apple has not produced a 4G LTE smartphone for Verizon’s network who can blame sales representatives for pushing 4G Android smartphones instead? As a Verizon customer, I agree that Verizon’s 4G LTE network is a lot better than their old 3G network.

As for AT&T Wireless’ sales force, given that the iPhone has been AT&T’s signature device for so many years and that their 4G LTE network is younger than Verizon’s network, it makes sense that they would be apt to push iPhones.

What has been your experience in dealing with Verizon or AT&T retail sales representatives? Do any Verizon or AT&T retail sales representatives who frequent this site agree or care to give a different perspective? We look forward to reading your comments below.


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