Retail Manners

After reading about the horrible retail experiences like those of MG Siegler at a Microsoft kiosk and Marco Arment at a Microsoft Store, I don’t feel so bad about my very short experience at a pop-up Samsung kiosk at a mall here in LA.

I was at the mall over the weekend with my brother, and I spotted a Samsung pop-up kiosk in the middle of the mall. I love Apple products, but I love playing with any new, fun gadgets I can get my hands on so I decided to check out Samung’s latest phones and tablets.

Before I could even get my hands on a shiny, new Android-powered phone, a sales girl jumped in front of me and asked me if I had any questions. I said no, and told her I just wanted to check out their new products.

After a minute she interrupted my brother and I again to hand me a ticket, explaining that if I collected tickets from every station at their kiosk I could win a new Samsung smartphone or tablet.

This pattern of interruption repeated when my brother and I moved over to another station to check out the Samsung tablets.

At this point I put the tablet down that was in my hands, and my brother and I walked away.

When are companies like Samsung and Microsoft going to learn how interact with people in ways that don’t drive them nuts?

Part of the fun of using a new device is the process of discovery. Pressing buttons and icons to see what happens. Samsung and Microsoft don’t seem to understand this. If Samsung and Microsoft were parents, they’d be the type to take a toy or puzzle from their child to show them how to solve it, and then hand it back to them.

Leave people alone. When they’ve hit a wall or are ready to buy something, they’ll tell you.