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Orange Poland shops allegedly creating fake iPhone 3G queues

post #1 of 24
Thread Starter 
Not content to wait for the enthusiastic fans that greeted some iPhone 3G launches, Orange Poland is said to be paying actors to sit in line and attract genuine customers.

The claim comes after Reuters discussed the upcoming Friday launch with an anonymous spokesman who isn't attributed to any one company but is implied to work for Orange's Polish branch.

"We have these fake queues at front of 20 stores around the country to drum up interest in the iPhone," the representative states.

It's not immediately evident what concerns might exist that would prompt a staged introduction, though the news organization speculates that the subscription cost of the iPhone might deter some customers.

Discovering the truth behind the claim, however, is difficult. Orange hasn't published its Polish iPhone 3G prices or rates, even the day before launch, and at press time redirects all visitors from its main company website to the generic iPhone page with a placeholder image.

Some of that dissatisfaction may be evident in the plans for Orange's Polish iPhone rival, Era. While its base plan at $43 per month is relatively affordable with 150 minutes of calls, 450 SMS messages, and 500MB of data, the next step up immediately boosts the price to $88 per month for 350 minutes, 1,050 messages, and 2GB of data; a premium customer would have to pay as much as $156 per month even while limited to 800 minutes of voice, 2,400 messages, and 5GB of Internet bandwidth.

Accordingly, Era's stores -- which don't appear to be following in Orange's footsteps -- are reported as free of lineups as of Thursday evening.
post #2 of 24
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post #3 of 24
Well, actually, this ploy makes sense: Orange didn't want anyone to forget Poland.
post #4 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

While its base plan at $43 per month is relatively affordable with 150 minutes of calls, 450 SMS messages, and 500MB of data, the next step up immediately boosts the price to $88 per month for 350 minutes, 1,050 messages, and 2GB of data; a premium customer would have to pay as much as $156 per month even while limited to 800 minutes of voice, 2,400 messages, and 5GB of Internet bandwidth.

And people bitch about AT&T.... thank god they at least keep it simple....
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post #5 of 24
looking @ polish average wages these monthly rates are extemly HIGH!!!!
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post #6 of 24
The fake queues are a fact. In some way they worked as Orange planned - they received some attention from the media and that's free advertising.

The prices of the plans are HIGH and aren't so attractive as people expected.

True Apple fans surely didn't wait all those months to buy the new gadget with 2-3 year contract. People who REALLY wanted and could afford an iPhone 3G probably already have it - bought in other countries, jailbreaked etc.

Orange's site is up and running again, it was down for a few minutes exactly at midnight.

iPhone's prices in Orange Poland were published on Wednesday. They can be found here:

- for private users: http://www.orange.pl/portal/map/map/...ONE_TARYFY_IND

- for business users: http://www.orange.pl/portal/map/map/...ONE_TARYFY_BIZ

1 Polish zloty = ~ 0.455 U.S. dollars (as for 2008-08-21)

The prices of the iPhone depend on the length of the contract (24 / 30 / 36 month). If you order on-line rather than in the shop, you will get a discount for the iPhone, receive extra minutes etc.

Oh, one more thing - when you read i.e. "150 minutes of calls, 450 SMS messages" in the main article, read it as "150 minutes of calls OR 450 SMS messages". You receive a set of minutes which are automatically transfered to SMS and MMS messages. If you send 3 SMS messages, you automatically have 1 free minute less etc. The same thing applies both to Era and Orange.

Cheers from Poland.
post #7 of 24
That would be sweet if you were also an actual customer who was going to sit in line anyway.

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post #8 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by tomasztopa View Post

The fake queues are a fact.

Are they fake or are they a fact?
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post #9 of 24
On the subject of lines-- In New York yesterday it has been reported that The Soho Alliance (community organization) had filed a formal complaint against Apple due to the continual lines at the Apple store stating that they are reminiscent of "the bread lines in Russia during the Cold War".
Apparently the neighborhood has formally declared war when the Jonas Brothers performed upstairs at the store and the store was besieged by screaming prepubescent girls all morning into night.
post #10 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by meeksdigital View Post

And people bitch about AT&T.... thank god they at least keep it simple....

....with their dropped calls and all.
post #11 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

On the subject of lines-- In New York yesterday it has been reported that The Soho Alliance (community organization) had filed a formal complaint against Apple due to the continual lines at the Apple store stating that they are reminiscent of "the bread lines in Russia during the Cold War".
Apparently the neighborhood has formally declared war when the Jonas Brothers performed upstairs at the store and the store was besieged by screaming prepubescent girls all morning into night.

Really?
That would be enough for me as well.
The weekly or so concerts are really a bit much for the otherwise quiet street.
post #12 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by josa92 View Post

Really?
That would be enough for me as well.
The weekly or so concerts are really a bit much for the otherwise quiet street.

How I miss the sublime serenity of Prince Street on a Sunday afternoon.
post #13 of 24
It all comes out in the wash, doesn't it? Those aren't actors -- they're government operatives stockpiling iPhones for use in our new missile defense system. Chuck a gaggle of those babies at an ICBM and watch the fireworks.

...that's about all an iPhone is worth running the current 3G chipset driver.

*whew* Felt good getting that off my chest.
post #14 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Not content to wait for the enthusiastic fans that greeted some iPhone 3G launches, Orange Poland is said to be paying actors to sit in line and attract genuine customers.

...
"We have these fake queues at front of 20 stores around the country to drum up interest in the iPhone," the representative states.

.
Accordingly, Era's stores -- which don't appear to be following in Orange's footsteps -- are reported as free of lineups as of Thursday evening..

I WANT IPHONES IN MOBISTAR STORES (that would be Orange in Belgium) INSTEAD OF FAKE QUEUES IN POLAND.

Does Orange really want to pi$% off their premium customers (or potentials) ?
post #15 of 24
I went to the Apple store in Newport Beach, CA, yesterday to buy my son the new iPhone for his birthday. I was THIRD in line. It took them ONE HOUR to get to me. By the time they did, there were 2 other people behind me. Unlike Orange Poland, Apple has figured out how to maintain a line and not pay any one a dime. I am still angry about it. Apple, if you're trying to really P.O. your customers, you are doing a fine job. Consider me pissed.

-From a 15 year Apple fan. Now EX-Apple fan. I only hope the press picks up on this B.S.



Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Not content to wait for the enthusiastic fans that greeted some iPhone 3G launches, Orange Poland is said to be payingOr actors to sit in line and attract genuine customers.

The claim comes after Reuters discussed the upcoming Friday launch with an anonymous spokesman who isn't attributed to any one company but is implied to work for Orange's Polish branch.

"We have these fake queues at front of 20 stores around the country to drum up interest in the iPhone," the representative states.

It's not immediately evident what concerns might exist that would prompt a staged introduction, though the news organization speculates that the subscription cost of the iPhone might deter some customers.

Discovering the truth behind the claim, however, is difficult. Orange hasn't published its Polish iPhone 3G prices or rates, even the day before launch, and at press time redirects all visitors from its main company website to the generic iPhone page with a placeholder image.

Some of that dissatisfaction may be evident in the plans for Orange's Polish iPhone rival, Era. While its base plan at $43 per month is relatively affordable with 150 minutes of calls, 450 SMS messages, and 500MB of data, the next step up immediately boosts the price to $88 per month for 350 minutes, 1,050 messages, and 2GB of data; a premium customer would have to pay as much as $156 per month even while limited to 800 minutes of voice, 2,400 messages, and 5GB of Internet bandwidth.

Accordingly, Era's stores -- which don't appear to be following in Orange's footsteps -- are reported as free of lineups as of Thursday evening.
post #16 of 24
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post #17 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezzy View Post

I went to the Apple store in Newport Beach, CA, yesterday to buy my son the new iPhone for his birthday. I was THIRD in line. It took them ONE HOUR to get to me. By the time they did, there were 2 other people behind me. Unlike Orange Poland, Apple has figured out how to maintain a line and not pay any one a dime. I am still angry about it. Apple, if you're trying to really P.O. your customers, you are doing a fine job. Consider me pissed.

-From a 15 year Apple fan. Now EX-Apple fan. I only hope the press picks up on this B.S.

How many people were serving / processing the contracts?

At my local O2 store it took between 20 and 40 minutes to process contracts for new mobiles, including the iPhone and that was last week. Apparently the systems are still running slow at O2 and causing issues with delays for credit checks etc.

If they only had one person processing the contracts at the Apple store then this would explain the delay?

Edited: Actually, come to think about it if you are stating that you had to wait for an hour to be served they must have had only one person processing the iPhone contracts as I find it hard to believe that it would take 1 hour to process a single contract! (or in this case 2 members of staff an hour to process one each)
post #18 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

....with their dropped calls and all.

Talking of which ...

I just added one of those stick on reception boosters from iTenna, can't see any difference so far. Anyone else had any success with reception boosting (this on iPhone Mk I) of any kind?
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post #19 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezzy View Post

I went to the Apple store in Newport Beach, CA, yesterday to buy my son the new iPhone for his birthday. I was THIRD in line. It took them ONE HOUR to get to me. By the time they did, there were 2 other people behind me. Unlike Orange Poland, Apple has figured out how to maintain a line and not pay any one a dime. I am still angry about it. Apple, if you're trying to really P.O. your customers, you are doing a fine job. Consider me pissed.

-From a 15 year Apple fan. Now EX-Apple fan. I only hope the press picks up on this B.S.

Lay the blame on AT&T, where it belongs. They're the ones that insisted on having all phones activated in-store this time around. Apple would have been more than happy to sell phones as fast as they could and have people activate at home via iTunes, but AT&T was pissed about the number of 1st-gen iPhones that were being jailbroken and used on other carriers -- they weren't willing to let that happen this time around.

There was a reason why the process for buying and activating the 1st-gen iPhone was completely different from all other AT&T activations -- it was a process that was designed by Apple. They sold a non-subsidized phone that people could take home and activate using iTunes. Not a perfect process, but at least Apple could get phones out the door as fast as people could pay for them. This time around, the phone was sold and activated on AT&T's terms. So you can thank AT&T for making it a giant pain in the buttinski.
post #20 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezzy View Post

I went to the Apple store in Newport Beach, CA, yesterday to buy my son the new iPhone for his birthday. I was THIRD in line. It took them ONE HOUR to get to me. By the time they did, there were 2 other people behind me. Unlike Orange Poland, Apple has figured out how to maintain a line and not pay any one a dime. I am still angry about it. Apple, if you're trying to really P.O. your customers, you are doing a fine job. Consider me pissed.

-From a 15 year Apple fan. Now EX-Apple fan. I only hope the press picks up on this B.S.

I hear you on this. After all the talk of extended hours and extra sales people, I'm still seeing lines at Apple stores. Are the lines artificial like the Poland story? I doubt it, but I do believe that some Apple store managers are doing what they can to create lines. They're clearly not breaking a sweat trying to get customers finished quickly. It's similar to the velvet rope scenario in front of a popular club.

Does anyone have any first hand info to share on this?
post #21 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by digitalclips View Post

Talking of which ...

I just added one of those stick on reception boosters from iTenna, can't see any difference so far. Anyone else had any success with reception boosting (this on iPhone Mk I) of any kind?

I don't see how a sticker like that can improve reception. I think it's a lot more likely to be a scam.
post #22 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ezzy View Post

I went to the Apple store in Newport Beach, CA, yesterday to buy my son the new iPhone for his birthday. I was THIRD in line. It took them ONE HOUR to get to me.

It's not widely promoted, but the easy way to avoid a line is to order it at the AT&T store if there is one that is easy to get to you. When it comes in, they call you. Then you walk in and claim it. The sign-up process is still very inefficient, something like 20+ minutes. It seems to be about twice as long as the process was buying phones at Best Buy.
post #23 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by freelander51 View Post

I WANT IPHONES IN MOBISTAR STORES (that would be Orange in Belgium) INSTEAD OF FAKE QUEUES IN POLAND.

Does Orange really want to pi$% off their premium customers (or potentials) ?

100% agree. Because I'm pissed I couldn't get one when I was in Belgium a few weeks ago.

Maybe Mobistar couldn't decide on whether the iPhone 3G should be sold default at French language setting or Dutch...

Wish you all the best, I am also now in an iPhone-less country... But luckily I have an iPhone 3G...
post #24 of 24
Quote:
Originally Posted by smokeonit View Post

looking @ polish average wages these monthly rates are extemly HIGH!!!!

During my visit to Poland last month I did show my iPhone 3G to my friends. They all liked it very much and planned to buy one immediately when it becomes available there (at that time the prices were not yet announced). I think, with the high introductory cost of the phone, they will choose to wait until the price comes down significantly. Most people in Europe use pay-as-you-go phones which means they would have to pay a premium for the phone.
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