11/17/2008 11:02:00 AM
Vodafone battles stock issues as Storm launches
Deliveries of the new Blackberry Storm failed to arrive at some Vodafone stores in time for the handset’s weekend release.
There were 70,000 pre-registered orders of the touch-screen device, which has already been postponed until a week after its original release date.
Mobile understands that a problem with logistics led to some smaller stores not receiving the Storm handset. This prevented a simultaneous release of the device across Vodafone stores, as well as disappointment for many employees and customers.
Vodafone, however, said stores were receiving stock throughout the weekend. A spokesman for the operator said: ‘Our information is that all stores had stock on Friday, with deliveries happening throughout the day and over the weekend.’
It has been a stumbling start for the Blackberry Storm, which should have been on sale, exclusive to Vodafone, on the 7 November but had its release date postponed until a week later.
Retail staff that did receive the device said there has been an enormous response to the new BlackBerry Storm.
One larger store (among the top three shops in the country) had sold 15 of the handsets by Friday (14 November) afternoon. The store said that most buyers were taking the shorter 18-month contract priced at £40-per-month, instead of the cheaper £35-per-month two-year deal.
Vodafone customer services said: ‘There has been a phenomenal response today.’
Store staff there said they still had plenty of stock left and were not in danger of running out. But customers are advised to get their orders in fast to avoid disappointment.
Despite high customer demand, stock for Phones 4u shops is also being rationed, with two BlackBerry Storm's per store for many outlets. Phones 4u staff said that the new device was being allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.
The spokesman added: ‘We're monitoring the situation closely as you would imagine and will update you later if relevant.’