Buying a BlackBerry is an experience unto itself. I have previously wrote about my experiences purchasing my Z10 and Passport from my local AT&T corporate store. If you’d like to go back and read my adventures with AT&T, click here
When it came time to play with the Priv, once again it was back to the same store. I know, I’m a glutton for punishment. But perhaps this time it would be different? Perhaps the phone that is all over the news would get special treatment? In truth, equal treatment would be appreciated.
When I walked in to the store, I was shocked. Up on the wall in full glory, a large image of the Priv. I believe the last time I saw something like that in the AT&T store was with the Torch 9800. This would be a good day indeed! I headed straight for the poster, and there it was. On a four phone display along with the BlackBerry Classic and a couple of other Android phones. I already forget what it’s neighbors were….they all look alike.
Finally I was going to play with the new BlackBerry. I picked it up, slid it open, and nothing happened. The screen was blank. I swiped. I admit it. Nothing happened. I then remembered there was no swiping, so I started pressing buttons. Pressing and holding. Pressing multiple times. And nothing. Although there was a power cord going to the phone, there was no power.
Being the BlackBerry promoter I am, I scooted right to the closest salesperson. ‘There’s no power to the BlackBerry.’ She looked at me oddly, and said she’d get someone to fix it. Then she walked up to a lady beside me, and started talking to her about the iPhone. The things she was telling her made me chuckle.
I stood in front of the display, waiting for someone to come with a new power cord. This one was janky and was not making a proper connection. The whole time, I was chatting with fellow UTBers via BBM on my Passport. I waited and nothing happened. It was time to put on a show. I circled the store, touching every phone, ensuring the had power. And wouldn’t you know it? They did. I circled back around until I reached the Priv again. The sad, dead Priv.
“Is this the latest tech?” The woman asked the sales girl. “Oh yes! The absolute latest” I literally laughed and they both looked at me expectantly. I simply smiled back.
I took out my Passport, stood back, and started snapping photos of the display. I walked up, made sure the other phones screens were on and facing me, stood back and continued to take photos. By now I had attention of others. And yet the Priv still sat there dead.
I decided to tweet AT&T about the lack of power in the store. Strangely, they didn’t reply. So I went back to snapping pics. This time another associate arrived and took the Priv from the display, with no words to me. He was gone for about 15 minutes, and I took pics again. I tweeted AT&T again. They still haven’t responded.
Finally, after 20 minutes the Priv reappeared. This time with power. And still no words spoken to me. So I set about playing with it, updated the BlackBerry apps, added UTB to browser bookmarks and to the home screen. Oops. After a while, another sales associate arrived and started to tell me about the phone. She knew it was android, and new it had a keyboard. I told her it was capacitive. She excitedly told me that yes BlackBerry does that, and tried to show how it worked on the Classic. I showed her my Passport and let her know the Classic had a TouchPad instead of the capacitive keyboard. She then began to talk about the trackball on old BlackBerry phones. That was enough for me. This was my girl. She would be getting a commission from me today. I told her I wanted the phone, she showed me to a table and went to get the phone.
Now I’ve heard like most, that most stores only received two, so I immediately hoped that they were sold out. But living in the area I live where the vast majority of the population can’t be bothered with a phone unless it is a Samsung or iPhone, I assumed it would be available for me. Sure enough, in minutes she was walking out of the back, my Priv in hand.
I asked if they had sold any yet, to which she responded she didn’t know. Today was her first day back from vacation and this was the first time she had seen the phone. She did tell me that when she went to get my phone, one of her coworkers told her that she had bought the phone and was raving about how it was the best phone ever.
As we were setting up my phone, my sales girl who was growing more and more likeable by the minute asked another associate to grab some cases so I could see them. As we waited for that associate to return, she proceeded to tell me how her family all had iPhone but she would not because of how limited it was. I told you she was likable. The other associate arrived with the leather holster and said words that were music to my ears. This was the only case they had left as the others had sold out. Now, this is the corporate store, and any number of people may purchase phones elsewhere and come here for accessories as they just have a better, albeit more expensive, selection. The good news is, they’re restocking and she will be texting me this week to let me know when they arrive.
As I left, I told her to babysit that display, because BlackBerry sale better when they have power. She laughed, but I can assure you, when I go back to buy a case from her, I’ll be checking that display.
Although I had a better experience purchasing the Priv than I did with some prior phones, it appears old habits die hard at this AT&T store. I’ll need to check in more often it seems.
Have you purchased the Priv? How was your retail experience? And let’s make it a point that when we see a BlackBerry on display, we ensure that display is up to standards. It’s the least we can do to support BlackBerry when the carrier employees don’t seem to care