Let me start off by saying not everything was bad. I talked about my positive customer service experience with AT&T last week in getting an early upgrade waiver and the phone in my hand within 48 hours of pre-ordering the handset. There have been a lot of positive customer service related tweets throughout the last 5-6 days in fact.
However, there are a few areas that I think AT&T missed huge opportunities to really make a larger impact this release weekend.
AT&T was one of the major corporate sponsors of the Masters Golf Tournament which concluded yesterday in Augusta, GA. The final round of this PGA Tour Major Championship yesterday was exciting and very close and kept people watching until a two hole playoff determined the winner after 7 PM last night. Twitter was lit up with trending topics related to the contest. Unfortunately, AT&T did not show one Nokia Lumia 900 commercial at any point yesterday or for that matter a HTC Titan II commercial for the other handset that was released in the retail channel yesterday. I never saw a commercial for the flagship phone at any point during the four day contest while I was watching. Did any of you?
Twitter Search Sponsored Ad
I have been keeping an eye on a Twitter search for the term Nokia Lumia 900 for the last several days as people have been talking about the release, receipt of the phone and their initial experiences. It has been a pretty busy search topic. As many of you know Twitter sells Promoted Tweet Ads with certain searches and this search was no exception. Look who has been and still is sponsoring that search on Twitter – Verizon Wireless USA.
The official release and retail availability date for the Nokia Lumia 900 and the little talked about HTC Titan II was 08 April 2012. That also happened to be Easter Sunday and typically a holiday when many retail stores are closed including AT&T Corporate and authorized dealers. I did read on Twitter that there were some stores open so people could purchase the phone over the counter but not sure it was the number you would want open for a major release. Also, the Easter holiday is a day when families spend time together and most likely that time would not be spent upgrading a cell phone. In hindsight today, 09 April 2012, would have been a better choice. With pre-orders and early delivery maybe this does not make any difference at all but people are talking about it and that brings a poor perception to the thought process of picking the release day.
The major issue with these three gaffs is that they bring a negative light upon the platform, hardware and carrier. It is already an uphill battle to overcome the negatives and biases that are out there so why add to the pile?
As a fan of the ecosystem it is frustrating to see these missed opportunities across the board.