Windows Phone 7 Launch – c’mon UK providers!

Well, as one of those eagerly waiting when Steve Ballmer launched Windows Phone 7 last week, and then immediately drooling over the devices I can say that my experience from that point on has been abysmal!

I noticed someone from the AUS market posting something similar, and thought I’d quickly relay my experiences within the UK market.

I’m currently an iphone owner with O2, and thought it great that they had the HTC HD7 as a unique offering, the screen size pipped it for me.

O2

Thursday lunchtime I thought ‘right, I’ll see what O2 have to offer if anything’ – 1 week before launch, they’re surely letting people pre-order or telling them how and when they can get one on launch day.  The conversation went:

Me: “Hey there, I’m interesting in upgrading my current package to Windows Phone 7 – have you guys got any information about tarrifs or how I can pick one up next thursday?’

O2: “Windows Phone 7?”

Me: “I know it’s just been launched this week, I’m just trying to get ahead of the game – do you have any details?”

O2: “Do you mean the iphone?”

Me: <blinks>No, surely it already shows I have an iphone – do you not have any information?  The phone is launching through you October 21st.

O2: Ahh, well if you phone us back on that day, we should have more information…

I’m sorry, but what an utterly epic customer team training fail from O2 there – just shockingly bad!

Carphone Warehouse

I’d like to say this was a unique experience, but while out on Saturday (16th – 5 days before launch) I decided to pop into carphone warehouse and ask if they had any info – retailers tend to get to launch info earlier.

Me: “I’m after tariffs and prices for the Windows Phone 7 phones, have you guys had them in yet?”

CPW: “We haven’t heard anything, though we may be getting some test devices in for next weekend”

Me: “The phone launches on Thursday though, will you not have any on launch day?”

CPW: “Ahh, we’re expecting an order later in the week, they might be in there…”

Me: <blinks again>

Closing Plea

This has been an utter fail across the board really – I’m absolutely gutted that such a powerful launch from microsoft last week has turned into the community scrabbling around for any tidbits of information.  It turns out that Orange has one of the phones on their site now with pricing, but as of the time of this post (Monday 18th 9:15am) the pertinent websites stand as follows:

Microsoft: as per launch day, listing the devices and which networks they are available under

O2: the holding page telling us it’s coming – you can sign up for information, and I got an email from them a day later telling me that they’d send me information when they had it #fail

Orange: I’ve misplaced the page where they list prices/contracts, though the fact that stuff is hard to find is still a #fail

Three: There is a pre-register page, and they’ve actually promoted it on their homepage (albeit one scroll down).  With no more information about tariff’s or contracts. #fail

t-mobile: I can find no reference to it on their search page. #fail [edit: thanks to the guys over at bitterwallet, someone has updated with a t-mobile link]

carphone warehouse: again, a search reveals nowt, and there’s nothing obvious via the navigation.

Microsoft – something in the co-ordination of this launch with the suppliers/carriers is fundamentally flawed.  The community heard about the iphone weeks in advance, they knew pricing, they knew how to pick one up on launch day.  The day of the launch, it was nice that the windows phone 7 site was pointing at the providers websites so that you could go ‘direct’ to the source of the details… only to be given a 404 not found error on every one of them – I mean FFS!

It seems that Windows Phone 7 is the big secret that nobody wants to let out – and yes, I wouldn’t be surprised if I walked into a shop on thursday and they had them, but really, that’s not the point – you have a community of people clammering for your new OS and these new devices, and nobody is telling us anything.  Yes, like the rest of us waiting I’ll sit tight and wait, but this really should have been addressed long before Steve Ballmer opened his mouth on that launch day…