Nokia Lumia 900 customers: How's your AT&T rep treating you?

Nokia Lumia 900 customers: How's your AT&T rep treating you?

Summary: Anyone have any positive or negative experiences to report when buying Nokia's latest smartphone from an AT&T store?


A well-done piece by's Maggie Reardon and Roger Cheng regarding their not-so-positive experiences trying to buy a Nokia Lumia 900 at various New York AT&T stores got the twits tweeting this week.

Posing as first-time smartphone buyers, the reporters went to several AT&T retail stores this week -- the big launch week for the first "hero" Windows Phone from Nokia -- and tried to buy the 900. Reps were less than enthused, with five of them in different retail stores suggesting an iPhone would be a better option.

This isn't a new problem for Windows Phone. But Microsoft, Nokia and AT&T are all putting major marketing money and muscle behind the Nokia re-launch in the U.S. Microsoft officials seemingly have seen the light and are ready to dole out prizes and sales incentives for each Windows Phone handset sold. They're also working on educating the reps about Windows Phone's feature set and are actively attempting to get retail sales people in the stores to carry Lumia 900 devices.

Microsoft officials acknowledged to that it's going to take time to get AT&T reps on-board. That said, I'll share some anecdotal information. A number of my Twitter buddies outside New York have been weighing in, saying that their experiences buying Lumia 900 devices at AT&T this week were good, if not great.

While on the topic of Windows Phone marketing, there's been yet another changing of the guard in the Microsoft ranks this week. Gavin Kim -- the General Manager of Windows Phone Product Marketing that Microsoft hired from Samsung in November 2011 -- is out. A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed this with the following note:

“We can confirm that Gavin Kim has made a personal decision to leave Microsoft. We feel very good about the work he has done to set the team, and its new lead Eugene Ho, up for success. We wish him all the best.”

Any other readers out there have any experiences -- positive or negative -- to report when buying/attempting to buy a Lumia 900 from AT&T this week?

Topics: AT&T, Microsoft, Mobility, Nokia, Operating Systems, Software, Windows


Mary Jo has covered the tech industry for 30 years for a variety of publications and Web sites, and is a frequent guest on radio, TV and podcasts, speaking about all things Microsoft-related. She is the author of Microsoft 2.0: How Microsoft plans to stay relevant in the post-Gates era (John Wiley & Sons, 2008).

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  • Thanks Michelle in AT&T Manhattan Beach

    I had activated a Samsung Focus S with AT&T a couple of weeks ago, and went back at 10am on Sunday morning to visit the same AT&T rep, Michelle, who set me up straight away with a Lumia 900. She proudly pulled out her own Lumia too and was so excited because it's the first time that any carrier or manufacturer had provided reps with a free phone. Her boss gave me his card and tried to help me out too, but I told him that Michelle was already doing a great job assisting me. AT&T followed up my purchase with a text-message based customer satisfaction survey and I scored Michelle 9/10.
  • WHy did Gavin Kim leave?

    seems odd to me
    • Gavin Kim

      Hi. I don't know why he left. MS just did put in a new overall head of Win Phone marketing. Maybe he is cleaning house?

      Just a pure guess on my part. MJ
      Mary Jo Foley
  • Ok

    My AT&T rep was pretty enthusiastic about the Lumia 900 but she wasn't super savy with the device. I had to show her how to use TellMe, and she didn't know that the Lumia was suppose to have Visual Voicemail support... which I still do not have yet.
  • It was very good.

    I went to ATT store yesterday, ATT rep showed me her Lumia 900 and she told me that this is next generation smartphone. She compared Iphone and Lumia 900 side by side. It seems every sales rep (about 3) at the store carried Lumia 900.
  • Overheard at AT&T store

    I went out to check out the new phones at my local store this past weekend. There was a group of 3 young women oohing and aahing over the Lumia 900. When they asked the sales rep about the phone he cooly replied that it was a good phone - but the only thing he did not like was that it did not have a lot of apps! He went on to explain that this was a Windows Phone, as opposed to an Android or an "iTunes" phone. Yep, that's what he said. Microsoft and Nokia should ask for a refund on those marketing $$$.
  • Better than I expected

    From experience, I have low expectations entering any wireless carrier store. I visited two AT&T corporate stores in Tacoma, WA this week. Both were positive experiences, one more so than the other. In one, all of the employees were wearing Lumia T-shirts but the agent who helped me was rather clueless about the phone, although he was not at all negative about it. In the other store, I was helped by an agent who said she had been using the Lumia for three weeks, was very enthusiastic, clearly knew how to operate the phone. I had forgotten about visual voice mail, so I was pleased that she mentioned it and got it set up for me.
  • Uniformed

    Visited my local store yesterday just to actually look at and hold the 900 (not due for upgrade till July). The rep was happy to show me the phone but she admitted that she knew very little about it so I gave her a quick 10 min lesson on the advantages of windows phone and the advantages of the 900 over other windows phone (LTE, clear black display, exclusive apps, wide angle ff camera, etc). Hopefully she puts the knowledge to good use.
  • They're Seeing the Light

    Buying my Lumia was a good experience, though I had called to pre-order, and they knew that's why I was there, so they mostly took down the information. They did seem enthusiastic, though.
    Six weeks earlier, I had taken my wife as she got a Flash Focus at another store, and as we looked at it, a rep was talking down Windows Phone, trying to steer us to Android. I clarified to her that we were not choosing OSes, WP was going to be it, but merely looking at hardware options. A colleague of hers ended up helping us, and it was a good experience. When I returned to the same store (both were corporate, BTW) the day before I pre-ordered my Lumia, the same employee who had dissed WP six weeks earlier was now carrying a Lumia and remarked she was really growing to like it.
  • Great At&T sales experience

    Went to the Lake-in-the-hills, IL store. The rep, has a Samsung Galaxy S II as his personal phone. I asked which one is the better phone between the Samsung, the Lumia 900 and the Iphone. He demonstrated all three for me and recommended the Nokia over the others. Said if he were to buy a new phone it would be the Nokia 900. He and the Supervisor rep were extremely knowledgeable on all three phones and gave a great demo of the Nokia. Will be going back on Saturday with the kids to purchase two of them.
  • horrid

    I went to my local ATT CORPORATE store and said I wanted to see the Lumia. The took me to the android phones first. KEpt trying to sell the Samsung Note. I said I want a Windows Phone and I know all about it, where's the Lumia? He told me I don't want a Windows Phone because it can't really do anything and it's not reliable. I told him I already own one and it is more reliable than my iphone. On the way to the Lumia he showed me the Titan II and said it was going to me removed from the store this week because of poor sales. Finally found the Lumia!!! Held it, touched it, texted. VERY NICE. He then told me there are only a few thousand apps for Windows Phone and the iphone has better multitasking. REALLY?!?!?!? My iphone has most recently used list and some of the apps on my WP multitask. The guy clearly had an agenda against Windows Phone.
    • Its funny watching these fanboys....

      That know very little, but think they know everything since they have an iphone in their pocket. I guess its the same thing as dressing to impress, only thing is the dressing to impress works alot better than a cell phone does, especially since so many have them nowadays!
  • getting better

    i have two malls within a mile radius of where i'm at. at one, where there is an apple store two stores down the hall (might be related to my experience), the manager there was horrible with a mean look on her face when i said i wanted to upgrade to the lumia 900 as if i'm somehow insulting her. people like these should be fired immediately -- as a manager, you set the tone for your store that trickles down to the rest of the staff on the floor. on the other hand, i went to the mall "across the street" and what a difference ... all smiles and very helpful in showing me the device and going through the feature list. i think with the press and more people buying and using the device, it will get better...
  • Finally !

    This was one of the key reasons why WP did not do well earlier, despite being the best phone around. The rep never even talked about it before this initiative.

    Hope it gives it the market share it deserves, not that matter to me personally am a happy WP camper for quite some time now and have influenced dozens of folks around
    • can't agree more

      This is one of the biggest factors why WP did not sell well. Sales Rep's care a little about WP and that's really bad on part of ATT especially when MS spends so much marketing the phone. Some other reasons for poor sales IMO are:
      1) For some reason, Microsoft sticks with ATT, why not Verizon. If they would have released WP on Verizon and ATT back in 2010, when iPhone was not with Verizon, it would have made a big difference. Playing smart is a key factor.
      2) Marketing for WP was pathetic, all the Ads were dumb and there was no cool factor created. Basically, there was no education of features for WP. I still know a few folks, who think of WP as WM.
      3) When it launched, the price was too high. If you are late to the party, you need to stand out from others to do make yrself visible. Also, first impression is a big deal, atleast in US, where people read reviews first and then buy a phone.
      4) Missing copy-paste feature was not really big, but it spread bad news of WP and the brand.

      These reasons are all related to launch or marketing, but I think they are still valid since they still hurt and haunt around when it comes to buying a WP.
  • Not bad but not great

    My in store rep didn't bad mouth Windows Phone much but he did make it clear that he prefers Android. He says that he uses the Lumia in the store but has an Android device for his primary personal phone.

    I knew more about the OS than he did, but, I've also been using it for a year and follow it closely so that wasn't much of a surprise. What was a surprise though is that they were trained by a rep who came to the store but the employees weren't aware of the fact that tethering is a feature of the phone or that it's capable of multitasking.
    He also talked about the "lack of apps" which I guess is more of a lack of apps people personally want because I'm not hurting for particular apps and haven't been since getting the Arrive last year.

    Overall, it was a pretty average experience. He wasn't trying to push me to a different platform but could probably tell I wasn't interested anyway since my wife and I were there minutes after they opened on the first day of pre-orders. We're a new account so we went back in when the phones arrived to get set up at the store. It was only a week later and he seemed a little more informed on the phone and the OS as a whole. He wasn't pushing the phone, but, he wasn't dogging it either. I'd work with him again.
  • Good experience in Oregon

    I had a great experience in Bend, OR. The sales reps were enthusiastic and I even watched one of the reps talk an incoming customer out of the iPhone he'd walked in to buy in favor of the Lumia. I also walked out with a 900 and couldn't be happier.

    It would be interesting to cross reference purchasing experiences with geography; I suspect that Apple preferences run very deep in New York and San Francisco and may never be dislodged. However, for many in the country the price/value ratio is much more compelling. Only $99 for a 4G LTE phone that is as functional and sexy as the Lumia is pretty hard to beat.
  • Went to Authorized dealer here......

    And the rep was well knowledgable about it and was using one himself so that was a pretty good sign there. He mentioned many times that its just different than the others and is very fast and fluid. he wasnt as knowledgable as I and I should have showed him how to use it more, but atleast he was excited about the device. I actually liked the bright colors of the screen that many were complaining about.
  • Hmm Nokia :))

    My personal favourite Apple product is Iphone 4 , i win one at , i don't know if the offer is still alive but , i do the following i go to after i clik on a button , after a complete a survey it was simple 1 minute , and i submit my email and i wait like 2 days , and yes i WIN a iphone 4 . If you do the same and win one of that just give a little thanks.
    • Ridiculous

      I am an iPhone owner and do like their product but would not be so disrespectful on someone's post. If I am honest I have tried out the Lumia 900 and easily as good as iPhone, shame I'm not due for an upgrade as I would be moving to it now. Please try to be a little more respectful.