A post on CNN Money found that during a quick assessment of 10 Verizon stores and reps in New York – arguably a small sample size – the representatives would pitch Verizon’s Android’s 4G phones over the “old fashioned” 3G iPhone. Said one rep: “The iPhone is a great phone, but it’s on 3G. I’m not going to recommend a phone that’s outdated.”
Now I don’t doubt David Goldman’s story that Verizon reps are pushing Android inventory in New York if only to clear out the back room. However, I had to test it myself. I chatted briefly with a Verizon rep online and found that she (I assume it was a she as her name was Chiquita) just wanted to close the sale rather than steer me towards anything else:
You’ll also note that Verizon is currently incentivizing 4G with double data plans for LTE phones. We also spoke to one sales rep under the condition of anonymity who said they had heard nothing about any specific promotion to with Android phones. And, as you see in my own exchange, the rep was more than happy to steer me towards an iPhone. Panic averted.
The biggest problems with Kremlinology like this is that some sales incentives may not percolate out to every sales rep and that the impetus to push Android phones may be regional and plays into a number of biases in terms of perceived wealth, gender, and surrounding culture. Although a blind, Turing-style interaction with a sales rep online is fairly blind, whether you’re pushed an iPhone or a RAZR at a store on Broadway has a lot to do with a lot of things. Until we see a document (and we’re looking) that says Verizon reps get extra ponies if they pitch Android over iOS, I’m not buying it.