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cell phone salesweasels

2000-12-05 22:05:30+00 by Dan Lyke 10 comments

I try to be an evolutionist, but cell-phone salesweasels blow that theory all to hell. Heard no less than 4 times today: "What's WAP?" Even used car salespeople aren't this clueless.

[ related topics: Wireless ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:41+00 by: ebradway

Actually, I had the displeasure of visiting a Ford dealer recently to look at a Ford Focus with Elaine. After she drove a few the salesman took her into the show room and sat her down with a big book. He flipped through the book asking her what colors, options, etc. she wanted but couldn't give prices on any of it (it wasn't in his book). Worse, he was showing her the colors from the Escort, which were different from the Focus. Once he finished, he said he needed to wait until Monday to check the computer to see if one was available with those options. Later, at home, we went to Ford's web site and used their Flash car builder and got to see everything she wanted and found that Ford had a special discount for recent college grads and could have ordered the car directly. So, why didn't the salesman have a web browser at the table where he was working her over - and why wasn't the system integrated with the inventory system? I don't think technology works with salespeople. That's why marketting tries to hype 'lifestyles' that the technology creates. A salesperson can grasp a cooler lifestyle, he just can't quite understand how something simple like a web browser in a cell phone is supposed to do that...

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:41+00 by: Wesley Felter

Maybe this snippet of a conversation between some telemarketer and yours truly is worth a laugh:

"But sir, are you sure you're not interested in a free digital phone?"
"I know it's hard to believe."

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:41+00 by: ebradway

I'm going to have a similar conversation soon when I call BellSouth to change my ADSL service to ISDN. I've been through it before. The customer service reps have no clue what latency is or why I expect my connection to be available 24x7.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:41+00 by: shad0w

Bleh. Don't remind me. it costs $500 to get ISDN installed here, plus some ungodly sum per month. Otherwise I'd've had it long ago.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:41+00 by: Dan Lyke

Given the attention that the staff of my favorite independent bookstore gives me I've lost track of why the big online booksellers are so popular. I think I'm beginning to understand; if the quality of service I saw yesterday is the norm then store-front retailing is dead, or should be.

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:42+00 by: baylink

What's WAP? Who cares?

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:42+00 by: Dan Lyke

Nice link. And actually in the end we determined that that is the right answer, that there are better protocols out there. Having a salesweasel who had a vague clue of the features and protocols available across the line of the phone vendor we were interested in would have been nice. But it took us two and a half hours to get out of the bloody Best Buy[Wiki] yesterday. And that was knowing that they had the phone we wanted at the price we wanted.

#Comment made: 2000-12-08 20:56:59+00 by: baylink [edit history]

Indeed. We now have other evidence, too... You know, for, for Wireless data, especially IP and internet connected... CDPD has the job until it loses it. Are you on a project here? Can you talk?

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:42+00 by: Dan Lyke

I think it's no secret that we're talking with Nokia about "stuff". I don't want to queer our pitch here, but especially after diddling with the OmniSky devices and learning their successes and failures we've started to realize that wireless access to various databases, especially context-sensitive queries and triggering sequences, is a way to make a phone vendor interested in partnering with some of our ideas and products. Right now we're thinking that just using SMS is probably the right way to go, but the other reason we wanted specific phones is we wanted the IR ports so that we could connect the Palm to the 'net with a minimum of difficulty. (Okay, so our first choice was to actually wire the two together, but that wasn't an option with the Nokia[Wiki] phones).

#Comment made: 2002-02-21 05:30:44+00 by: baylink

Ah... yeah, if you can't put the PDA and the phone together, it's not real useful. MHO, though, is that if you can't get all the way up the hill to at least Palm level functionality -- notice I didn't say "PDA"; as the paper notes, that's a [quickly] moving target -- I don't think the people who might need it will find it real useful. Really. At that point, I'll just carry a PageWriter 2000...