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What LG and Nokia should learn from their super sale

LG and Nokia had this event where the LG Optimus One P500 and the Nokia C6 can be bought for only Php6,490 each. The catch? It will only happen for a limited time (2PM to 3PM for LG and 1PM to 3PM for Nokia) in one day only. It created a lot of buzz after popular tech sites, publications and radio spread the word about the promo a few days before the event and thousands of people eventually got excited.

LG Optimus P500, Nokia C6 Sale

That sale date was today and the result? Lots of unhappy, disgruntled and disappointed people. I wasn’t there but I’ve read a lot of comments from Facebook and it’s not uncommon to see the words “œboycott” and “œepic fail”. Was it really LG and Nokia’s fault or did people just expect too much? The buzz was there but the execution was a mess making the campaign do more harm than good on the brand’s name. I heard that there’s only an average of 50 units per store that was sold compared to the thousands of people who lined up.

Whatever the reason for how the two phone manufacturers handled the event, it’s time to move on and learn. Maybe customers should learn as well.

One-hour sale events are bound to fail if:

  1. There’s not enough preparation and manpower. LG and Nokia should’ve informed mall security and their staff on how lines should be handled. I heard that even before the mall opened, there were already people who were able to line up. I think they weren’t ready at all.
  2. The shop is small and there’s not enough cashiers. This sale is not like those shirts and shoes sale where transactions can go fast. People being served would want to test their phone purchase and that would take a lot of time. Some stores have one cashier and guess what that means? 1 transaction per 5 minutes?
  3. There’s no way for people to know how many stocks are left. This doesn’t apply to all the stores but I’ve read that some people asked the staff if they have enough stock but they were told that the information can’t be disclosed. What??! So do they just want to make people line up some more and hope for nothing? If there are not enough units left, people would understand and they won’t have to waste their time waiting.
  4. There’s no proper communication between customers and staff. I’ve read that some lines went as far as four floors. Don’t they have a cut-off number? Can’t they say that they can only serve this many people so those who are farther down the line can decide whether to chance it or just move on?

The discount price on the LG P500 and the Nokia C6 is really low and I’m wondering if both LG and Nokia were ready to sell hundreds of units per store. I’m guessing not but they can’t or won’t let people know that. If they insist that they did not expect the amount of people who turned up, I’m not buying it. Do they want to give away these phones or is this just a marketing ploy to raise awareness on the phones?

For those who weren’t able to buy one, would you still consider getting the LG Optimus One P500 and the Nokia C6?

I also heard that Cherry Mobile (CM Eclipse) and HTC (HTC Smart) joined in the discount fun as well. Wished they did it with the Cherry Mobile Nova and the HTC Wildfire instead. Hehehe.

So who’s the winner in this sale? Well aside from the few hundreds who were able to buy the discounted phones, the real winner are the malls.

Photos and account of the mayhem in SM Megamall can be found at DaddyJoey.com.

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  • I’m waiting for the Optimus @30% off. 🙂

    I decided not to fall in line for the Optimus sale kasi mukha ngang maraming pipila, kaya ko pa naman pagtiyagaan ang 30% off. BUT I was at SM North because my dad found out about the Nokia sale and asked me to buy him a C6 (naka-boarding house ako sa Diliman kaya malapit lang sa SM North.)

    Judging from the reactions about LG’s handling of the event, I think Nokia did a much better job (kahit di ako nakakuha).

    I also think that LG should definitely do something to make amends (and I feel guilty about deciding to buy LG amidst the “boycott” shout of most customers). Sorry to LG haters and I REALLY REALLY hate how LG handled the event too, but the Optimus one is still a good buy for its price (more so for 30% off). =/

  • ekek

    in sm CEBU, There was 3 CASHIERS serving 1 customers at a time!
    THE HORROR! watching the each person buying 1 item at a time.
    there were less than 30 units sold.


    cant even leave the stall and checkout nokia’s C6. didnt even had lunch. waiting in line since the mall opened.

    what a disaster.

  • jj

    It was such a chaos.

    I was there before the mall opened but wasn’t able to get in till 10am. Apparently the 1st 50 people in line came around 6-6:30am and was able to get in by stating that they’ll be going to fitness first.

    So by 10am, we were already the ~400th customer in line. What was worse was we kept asking the LG organizers how many units will be sold and they kept saying that they don’t know but there was one LG organizer that told us that they have around 1000 units on hand. 1000 in 1hr, I don’t think that’s plausible unless they have 17+ counters having 1 transaction per minute. Working with that premise, we asked what they plan to do with the very long line of people, and they said that we should just stay put because DTI might pity us and extend the sale. So this is what kept everyone waiting, they didn’t cut the line! Unlike in the Nokia sale, the organizers announced by 10am that they have 50units to sell, thus dispersing the crowd. However, some people said that Nokia was able to pull some strings and was able to accommodate 50 more customers. Kudos to Nokia to trying to satisfy those that decided to stay in line. But in LG’s case, whenever people are asking why they aren’t cutting the line, they just said that they’re waiting for the DTI approval and a Korean’s signature. There was this organizer that pissed a lot of people by stating that by 2pm, media will be covering the event. People got pissed and started saying that the LG organizers want to keep the long line to show that the event was a “success”.

    Come 2pm, the 1st buyer took around 10mins to buy his unit due to the interviews and what not. And that caused an uproar.

    There was also a time that people were just asking for an apology from LG because they kept people in line. But they just won’t give it.

    We went back to the LG store around 4pm and the LG people are stuck in their store. I asked the guard what’s happening, apparently the LG people got a threat and that’s why they can’t leave.

    I just hope that they apologize to the public and don’t let this happen ever again.

  • ff

    LG is a slow learner. They had 4 hours to assess the situation, and do something about it. So what happened?

    Ok, the initial plan is to have a long line, open it by 2pm, close it by 3pm, and say something like “the promo has officially ended”.

    Come 10am, the line already reached the stairs. A few more minutes, and it’s down to the ground. So how did they react? Fixed the lines as to not disturb the other mall customers which caused creation of lines in front of the already existing ones, or people moving in while the lines are being repositioned. You think you’re in the first 100? Try 300.

    But ok, that’s settled. I’m guessing somewhere along that time, they probably initiated communication with DTI in hopes to extend the promo period. …but up to when will you wait?

    Probably around 12:30, they started trying something different. They started announcing somewhere in the stairs area that they will be distributing a piece of paper, that you should write your name, email address or contact number and you will be notified of a new promo (or something like that). On this piece of paper, it was mentioned that numbering will no longer be considered. But people in this area still did not dispersed…not really sure why.

    Then by 1pm, they started doing the same thing for the people in the cyberzone area (those people just outside the lg store’s red line). Unlike the first paper given out in the stairs, this one will take note of what number you are. Because by this time, there were already a lot of people that sneaked in. You taught there were in the first 300? try 400. And shortly after, disgruntled customers tore this paper apart.

    Then by 2pm, people were expecting that the line will start moving. But no, the first few customer would have to go through the whole ceremony of being the first, including picture takings. The time? 2:10. Then sometime around 2:30, the first guy in cyberzone was finally in the store’s red line.

    Needless to say, the event failed.

    So why did I say that they’re a slow learner? Because Nokia by 10am, was already trying to disperse the crowd saying that they only have 50 units to sell. Full disclaimer. Sure, it’s a bit late, but at least not 1pm late.

    LG on the other hand, didn’t know how much units they can sell (somebody claimed that they have around 1000 units…but after the event, the said that they were sold out…but a few hours after, they were back selling the same units (but this time, for the SRT)), they don’t know how many cashiers they have, and they don’t know how fast a single transaction would be.

    If they don’t want to sacrifice customer service by speeding things up to 1min/transaction, they should have cut the line to the first 50 people. If they want to keep a long line for good publicity, then they should have optimized their queues.

    So what the hell are the organizers been doing all this time? Where’s the freaking plan? They don’t know anything about anything. So how can you make informative decisions?

    Oh, and I bet my a$$ that the crew will be blamed for this screw up. Why? I don’t think I heard the organizers apologize. I don’t think I saw them walking around and see how people are doing. There’s a difference between staying calm under pressure and doing nothing.

    Kudos to the LG crew though for doing the best that they can with what little information that they have. But sorry to say, your organizer screwed you.

  • LG got the best of me. got sucker punched right into the sale. Was it MALICE or SHEER STUPIDITY, you tell me: http://www.theoriesofadeadman.blogspot.com please comment and spread. thanks!

  • art

    lg and nokia, take this as a lesson learned…

  • herlculis

    i was the second person on the lane one who got LG Optimus ONe! I love it.. People should know how to wake up early for the sale! ehhehe

    • how were you able to be number two? saang mall ka pumunta? are you one of those who used the fitness first excuse to get inside before the mall opened?

    • Could you tell us your story, how were you able to secure that post? Please be honest, are you an SM employee, with Fitness First ID (if you’re of those in Megamall)?

      “ONE DAY. ONE HOUR. 0 CHANCE” Get it? ZERO CHANCE!!! LG OPTIMUS One Special Introductory Sale…Yan dapat nilagay sa harap ng LG concept stores, because that’s what actually happened! eh di wala sanang pila…kung meron man yun lang 10-15 persons na kachukaran nyo, SM employees na sitting pretty don sa tapat ng store na hinde man lang pinagpawisan at naglakad lang papunta don! Walang kwenta!

  • simplynice93

    I also joined the long line at Nokia in SM megamall. I was at the stairs between the 4th and 3rd floor of SM when a Nokia representative came and said they released stubs for the first 55 customers. At 10:30am, he said he was not sure if they would release another set. Around 1 hour later, the same guy came back and said they released additional 50 more stubs but apologized to us that only 100 units can be released. Nokia (& LG) should have posted how many phones were to be given on their store as early as 10am. Hopefully both companies will learn from this experience.

  • Dong

    obvious LG purposely did everything false in this event, they has no intention to sell the phone at half price, but only want to create chaotic crowd for the launching, then they are UNWILLINGLY sell FEW units and PURPOSELY slow down the process by demo, etc etc with hundreds or thousands (may be) waiting outside,
    can’t imagine such global company (are they now?) spends hundreds of thousand or millions in the event but so CHEAP not to give those waiting in line just for a discount tire, hungry & …….,

    I think if they can just make it really slow that they can demo a unit for an hour so they can just sell 1 unit, they will do it.

    all I can said is they are so CHEAP, make the brand CHEAPER & those management staffs CHEAPEST

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