With my flight hours away, and my departure gate in sight, I decided to move off the main pathway of Atlanta’s airport and into one of its many retail stores.
Moving past smoothie factories, cheery sports bars and bustling departure gates, I ventured into a Blackberry store.
The young man glared at me as if I were the first visitor in hours. No greeting. No welcome. He stared straight ahead as if his job were torture.
Being a former Blackberry customer and ‘in the market’ for a new phone, I had an interest in the past, present and future on this once proud leader of mobile devices.
After browsing the many phones available in the store, I thought the staffer would inquire about my needs, yet the silence continued.
I took the first step and asked:
“Do you have any specials today?”
“No,” the worker responded, quickly retreating to his comfort of silence.
“Are all of the recent outages affecting Blackberry resolved.”
“Yes,” he muttered.
“Do you have any Sprint phones?”
He then pointed to a row of Sprint-enabled phones against the wall.
I tipped and tapped a few keyboards, touched some screens, read some feature descriptions and then it happened as I prepared to exit the store.
“Are there any questions I can answer for you?” the Blackberry representative asked meekly. Amazingly, he finally woke up to his role as customer advocate.
I turned and shook my head from side to side as I stepped back into the main artery of the airport.
Blackberry’s problems are much more fundamental and far-reaching than this dispirited exchange, yet this is clearly are a microcosm of this floundering mobile machine.
Years ago, Blackberry lost the touch of the customer. Apple brought products to market that inspired and energized the masses. Now, Blackberry’s doing its finest to ignore customers on their doorstep.
Until next time,