While we have already read anecdotal reports from Verizon salespeople that they are incentivized to push Android phones to all customers – including those that come in asking for an iPhone – a new report out of CNN provides more data that the company is less interested in giving consumers what they are asking for, and more interested in pushing the latest LTE Android devices.
The CNN story links to a number of forum posts detailing how users went into the Verizon outlet asking for an iPhone and were pushed to an LTE Android device. One who went in asking for an iPhone and left with a Razr, and another who asks if salespeople hate the iPhone. After reading those stories, the CNN reporter went to investigate.
David Goldman spoke with 10 different Verizon salespeople in the New York area, each time asking for the iPhone 4S. Here was his experience:
In each of the 10 discussions, representatives steered me toward either the Droid Razr Maxx, the Droid Razr, or the LG Lucid — all 4G-capable phones running Google’s Android software. 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.
“The iPhone is a great phone, but it’s on 3G,” Goldman was told. “I’m not going to recommend a phone that’s outdated.”
When asked if the company is asking it’s sales force to focus on iPhone alternatives, a company spokesman declined to answer.
Verizon, of course, has motive to recommend the Android devices. They pay a much higher subsidy to Apple for the iPhone than they pay to Android phone makers. In return, they pay sales representatives a higher commission for each Android device sold than they do for each iPhone sold. So all sales representatives are motivated to hard-sell the Android devices.
Goldman endeavored to find if this was a trend across carriers. He was surprised to find that each AT&T sales representative that he spoke with recommended the iPhone 4S.
It’s all about the 4S now. The iPhone is the most popular phone, you know what you’re getting.
Choose What You Want, Stick to It
If you want an Android phone, then go get an Android phone. If you want an iPhone, do not let the salesperson behind the desk talk you into something else. Choose what you want before going into the store, and kindly ask the salesperson to get what you’ve asked for. If you are looking for advice on what phone to get, ask your friends, family, and coworkers. Try out a bunch of different phones. But don’t rely on a salesperson who is incentivized to recommend a particular product by higher commissions, because even the most honest salespeople will lean towards the higher commission.