Dear @selop, Dear Nokia, do you REALLY want me to buy your #Lumia920 phone?

How difficult should it be?

You walk into a store. Pick the product you want. Pay for it. Walk out the store a happy consumer. Vendor presumably happy too.

Unless you want to buy a Nokia 920 phone that is. I’m on a European trip this week and accidentally left my three year old phone behind – just at a time when I’m thinking of upgrading. The perfect prospect, one would think. A potential customer, who knows what he wants; is happy to go to some trouble to get it, while ignoring other temptations on the way (no…not the PlayPhone 5 for me; or the Cyborg with Cup Cake O/S – I’m talking professional tools that also protect my data).

I live in the USA. Only option to purchase the phone there is through AT&T. Their less-than-transparent pricing practices; price gouging for obvious features that come with the phone anyway; and their data capping, mean that I won’t be going near them. But thanks for asking.

I’m now in France. Sure, Orange will sell me the Nokia 920. Without a contract, so I can slip my existing US card in the phone when I get back home and have something to tide me over the three days I’m here in France. Or so I thought. The shop will sell me the phone. With no contract. But locked to their network for “at least a few months” – really useful, when I’ll be gone in a few days.

In both the US and now in France, the reply is the same: “Blame Nokia, they won’t let us sell the phone unlocked, and we have to ask their authorisation each time for each phone.”

So, Nokia – is this true? If not, I’d be glad to hear from you with a correction and a call to the manager of the Orange store in Cannes.

If it is true then ponder on this: people who are buying new phones on the basis of objective criteria for their personal and business needs, will have looked around and decided what they want. These people have probably, in the recent past, also been locked in to a specific service provider but after the handcuffs came off, probably shopped around to find the best provider.

These are the users you want to attract – sold already on your devices but with the service provider(s) that they have already chosen.

Is it that difficult to understand why you are not making the sales you should with what I consider, based on just the limited time I have had to trial it, the best smartphone on the market, by far, bar none. If this Western world is such a free market, why can’t I buy the phone I want?

So, Nokia, do you want my business or do I have to conclude that I should look elsewhere?

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