11/17/2008 11:21:00 AM
Vodafone battles BlackBerry Storm stock issues
Deliveries of the new Blackberry handset 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 had its release date at the start of November postponed until a week later.
Mobile understands that a problem with logistics led to some smaller stores not receiving the Storm handset. This prevented the simultaneous release of the device across Vodafone stores, as well as disappointment for many employees and customers.
The operator, however, said that stores were receiving stock throughout 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 BlackBerry Storm said there has been an enormous response to the new handset.
One larger store (among the top three in the country) had sold 15 of the devices 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.
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 quickly to avoid disappointment.
Vodafone customer services said: ‘There has been a phenomenal response today.’
Despite high customer demand, stock at Phones 4u shops is also being rationed, with two BlackBerry Storm phones per store for many outlets. Phones 4u staff said that the device was being sold 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.’