Why sell in store with unfulfilled pre-orders?

Teacher

Why sell in store with unfulfilled pre-orders?

The one thing I haven't really seen discussed is the fact that AT&T had an abundance of pre-orders--a good majority of which will be subsuquently back-ordered for a couple weeks.  Why in the world would they ship a bunch of units to all their stores when they have customers that have already paid for those very same items?

 

Pros (for AT&T): In all likelihood they'll be on the news showing some weirdos camping out in front of a store--publicity.

 

Cons (for AT&T): Frustrated customers (myself and many others), Commission $$ paid to the associates in store, Overhead of opening store earlier than normal, Risk of losing customers (some will jump to Verizon or Sprint--I'm not naive enough to think people will abandon iphone, nor should they).

 

All-in-all it sure seems like those of us who pre-ordered but got back-ordered for whatever reason are getting screwed.

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Message 1 of 5
Professor

Re: Why sell in store with unfulfilled pre-orders?

I would imagine that the number of phones allocated to each store is determined and probably bulk packaged for shipping well before the pre-order fun begins. They also probably know exactly which phones (IMEI, S/N) goes to what store. Trying to redirect those phones would be an administrative nightmare.

Message 2 of 5
Professor

Re: Why sell in store with unfulfilled pre-orders?

Some people would still rather walk in on launch day and buy instead of ordering on-line. I think when the iPhone 4 came out, AT&T didn't have any for general sale for weeks. They were just filling pre-orders that had selected in-store pickup. People were complaining right and left about that.

It's the same at Apple. People who preordered a day or two after last Friday are having to wait a couple of weeks to get their phone, yet there are people in line this morning who didn't pre-order and are walking in and getting a phones.

People make their choice, pre-order or walk in.  Some people get a rush off standing in line, and Apple at least certainly loves the publicity of having people camping out for their latest product.

Message 3 of 5
Teacher

Re: Why sell in store with unfulfilled pre-orders?

If you look at the history of iPhone launches, people are either attracted to or thoroughly repulsed by standing in line. Most would rather not stand in line and choose to preorder, which in turn has now created a preorder nightmare. I preodered 2 phone of which only one shipped, so I waited this moring and was number 2 in line and got a second phone. I will not preorder in the future.

Message 4 of 5

Re: Why sell in store with unfulfilled pre-orders?

Quite frankly they already got your pre order money and now you are useless to them, there gonna push you to the side to get new sales in at the stores. And every single AT&T store in my area has tons of phones, all hands on deck and few customers coming in, but they weren't out of any iphones at all by shortly after lunchtime today launch day. And that's AT&T's customer service for you...

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