First, read about Travis’s odyssey to get an iPhone on Friday. He was tenacious, and it took most of the day, but (despite Rogers’ best efforts) he took one home. Travis cites ten problems with the iPhone launch in Canada:
So yeah, basically, from the biggest, most important factors, to the smallest details, they were simply unpreparedÃ¢â‚¬â€which is bad enoughÃ¢â‚¬â€but they were also dumb about process and shoddy and careless.
Next, read Seth’s post about scarcity and how to handle high demand and low supply:
Imagine what the Apple and AT&T stores would have been like this weekend if they were filled with happy customers who had pre-paid, pre-registered and were just dropping in for three minutes to pick up their (very coveted) phones, walking up the VIP line, past all the others just waiting for a chance to buy one…
Both posts have lots of lessons about how Apple, Rogers, Fido et al could have better managed their iPhone campaign. There’s enough material in the last six months for an MBA thesis.
You know the story–they really dropped the ball from day one. They pretty much made every error possible, from exorbitant initial pricing to promising breakfast to the early birds. Travis reports (at one of Rogers’ six national flagship stores) that “The only food was granola bars at about 10 or 11 a.m., but only enough for about one bar for every three people.” Now that’s some sweet customer service.
Come Back on Monday or Tuesday
As both Travis and Seth more or less point out, why didn’t Rogers just hand out tickets to those in line, like wristbands for a concert? They could easily have predicted excessive demand, and they knew how many phones each store was getting. I can guess why: nobody who works at a Rogers store wants to get up early to go meet and greet the alpha fans that have queued up half the night.
I went into a Fido store in Victoria yesterday, and asked about the ratio of supply to demand. They said they had 26 iPhones, and easily had 100 enquiries on the first day. Then I asked how I could buy one, and they told me to “come back on Monday or Tuesday”. No waiting list, no deposit, no nothing. They genuinely didn’t want to take my money.
If I was Bell Canada or another mobility provider, I’d be offering killer deals over the next few weeks, to try to entice iPhone enthusiasts away. You wouldn’t get the hardcore fanboys, but there would probably be some low-hanging fruit ripe for the picking.