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T-Mobile’s Harrow store… without any G1s to demo!

MIR Reader Grant wrote in today to tell me about his T-Mobile UK retail frustrations. He’s been after a G1 and thought he’d have a look at one before possibly buying.

Turns out that’s not possible in Harrow. Over to Grant:

– – – – –

Hi Ewan,

Today I went out in search of a T-Mobile G1. Not to buy, but to try. After doing lots of research over Christmas I’ve *almost* decided that I want the phone, but before I do so I’d like some hands-on contact. Responsiveness is really important to me, as well as it’s ability to load my most important webpages.

I live in a North London town called Harrow. Harrow is quite big, and we have a large town-centre with lots of shops and lots of busy shoppers. T-Mobile’s shop is really well placed in a great spot in St Georges shopping centre. I got into the store and it was quite active – it seems lots of people were spending their Christmas money on new phones/tariffs. After waiting for a while I got to the front of the queue and asked if they had any T-Mobile G1 demo units. I was bowled over to hear the store assistant tell me that there weren’t.

I then went on a trek across Harrow, visiting 3 Carphone Warehouse stores (yes, they’re like fleas where I live!) and none of them could provide me with a demo unit to look at. I can forgive them mostly – the G1 is a T-Mobile branded device which is probably seen as niche as far as their customer base in concerned.

Why on earth would a T-Mobile store NOT have a G1 unit for prospective customers to use? Particularly when it’s their new, landmark device? The key to the G1 is meant to be it’s useability and you can’t demonstrate that with pretty pictures and big words. Surely getting ONE device out to each of your stores is reasonable, particularly stores in high volume areas (Harrow isn’t exactly the countryside…)? It’s not like they have to replace them, is it?

For now I’m going to be holding off – I want to make sure I’m making a self-informed handset decision. In the meantime, 3UK are likely to call me and offer me further incentive not to leave them. If they offer me a good enough handset-free deal, then I’ll take my business to them and *maybe* eBay a G1 later.

– – – – –

Grant, what a total arse.

I know just what you were expecting. You reckoned they’d have one or two on display, stuck in those cages or something like that?

I’d have put money on T-Mobile having them available to play with.

Perhaps there’s been a run on G1’s over the Christmas period? You’d expect them to have one or two around in Harrow, North London. Not exactly a remote location…

Has anyone else been out at the shops today browsing or buying?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

6 replies on “T-Mobile’s Harrow store… without any G1s to demo!”

hey Grant, get yourself across to High Barnet – the T-Mob shop in the Spires had a couple of demo units in. Unfortunately they couldn't offer me an upgrade as it appears their budget has run out until some time next month, but they *did* have a demo unit…

Thanks ocifant. Trouble is – I really don’t fancy travelling all the way to High Barnet, for a couple of minutes (realistically 10-15 at most,) with the phone just to see that it works the way I want.

I want things to happen the way they should, and for Harrow to have G1 demo unit[s] to go with their G1 January sales offer… And for me to be able to go in, check that its as magnificient as it seems and then buy it – (with their January sales offer, of course ;-p) Unfortunately, things aren’t quite going like that.

I mean, no disrespect to the staff at my local T-Mobile store. I’m sure Harrow would have one if they could? I just wonder if this is happening in many cases. Even if they don’t have them for sale – demo units don’t get sold, surely?

On your upgrade subject – thats a whole other story, isn’t it! 🙂 Looks like they’ve out-generoused themselves for the rest of the year, and didn’t have any budget left for the last push. Hope you get something you want in the end…

I am a happy G1 user and would thoroughly recommend the device. However T Mobile are shockingly poor to deal with. It may be well worth finding one on ebay and using your 3 SIM in it. I believe the unlocking process is commonly available now, a google search will provide you with the instructions and code. Alternatively you can register as an Android developer for $25 and then buy a completely open developers handset for around the £250 mark.
Android is awesome but the G1 is a cheap plastic mark one handset, the internal hardware is very good though.
If you really love the slide out qwerty form factor then get one immediately, if not then perhaps hang on for a few months to see what the other members of the OHA come out with in 09.

I was in a town local to me known as Harlow last Sunday, doing a bit of Christmas shopping. A friend of mine was looking at upgrading as his contract was expiring soon, so we went to the O2 shop. There were only two members of staff there, and after waiting about 15 minutes, we decided to give up and leave. I was thinking of buying a new handset so we went to the Carphone Warehouse. Again, only two members of staff, and after waiting a while again, we left. Obviously, in retail, one of the worst things you can do, is let your customers walk out the door without even having said hello, especially on the Sunday before Christmas.

My advice would be, if you're looking to buy a new phone or contract, don't go to Harlow.

On the plus side, I had no problems with the Threestore there, was able to talk to a member of staff straight away, and ended up buying the wonderful Nokia E71 for the lovely price of £225 (plus the obligatory £10 topup).

I was in a town local to me known as Harlow last Sunday, doing a bit of Christmas shopping. A friend of mine was looking at upgrading as his contract was expiring soon, so we went to the O2 shop. There were only two members of staff there, and after waiting about 15 minutes, we decided to give up and leave. I was thinking of buying a new handset so we went to the Carphone Warehouse. Again, only two members of staff, and after waiting a while again, we left. Obviously, in retail, one of the worst things you can do, is let your customers walk out the door without even having said hello, especially on the Sunday before Christmas.

My advice would be, if you're looking to buy a new phone or contract, don't go to Harlow.

On the plus side, I had no problems with the Threestore there, was able to talk to a member of staff straight away, and ended up buying the wonderful Nokia E71 for the lovely price of £225 (plus the obligatory £10 topup).

I was in a town local to me known as Harlow last Sunday, doing a bit of Christmas shopping. A friend of mine was looking at upgrading as his contract was expiring soon, so we went to the O2 shop. There were only two members of staff there, and after waiting about 15 minutes, we decided to give up and leave. I was thinking of buying a new handset so we went to the Carphone Warehouse. Again, only two members of staff, and after waiting a while again, we left. Obviously, in retail, one of the worst things you can do, is let your customers walk out the door without even having said hello, especially on the Sunday before Christmas.

My advice would be, if you're looking to buy a new phone or contract, don't go to Harlow.

On the plus side, I had no problems with the Threestore there, was able to talk to a member of staff straight away, and ended up buying the wonderful Nokia E71 for the lovely price of £225 (plus the obligatory £10 topup).

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