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August 27, 2008

Fake customers are the key to success!

Jaimy Szymanski | Customer Experience DesignAlthough the new Apple(c) iPhone(TM) 3G seems to be “all the craze” in the United States (isn’t that what people are saying? I mean, it’s nothing compared to my rusted LG flip phone – but hey, not everyone can be so lucky), that apparently isn’t so in Poland.

The Poland store of France’s Telecom partner Orange has been charged by the media, and other people who are bored, with planting fake lines of customers outside of their store who are supposedly waiting in line for an iPhone(TM) 3G, in order to boost sales and create buzz around the cell phone’s launch.

God, I hope it’s true. I mean, c’mon – Blue Door has been doing this for years. Every morning, I get 50 of my closest friends to stand outside of our building and pound on our door and windows, demanding the latest marketing service offerings.

Unconventional? Yes.
Crazy, even? Perhaps.
Buzz builder? Absolutely. And by “buzz builder” I, of course, mean “reason for the neighbors and apartment dwellers above to call the cops.”

Orange is denying the accusations with an extremely believeable justification for the rumor’s beginnings:

“As part of the excitement around the launch of the iPhone, some of our team have been joining customers outside our shops. Their aim is to welcome people to the Orange shop, share in their excitement and give information about Orange tariffs,” wrote a spokeswoman from parent France Telecom Group, which owns the Orange brand. (As quoted in AdAge)

She went on to say that, “Then they were just so excited once they got outside that they began to wait in line with the customers too. They even took off their nametags and started chanting ‘iPHONE, iPHONE, WE WANT iPHONES!’ It was truly customer service at its best.”

Okay, so that was made up. But I’m pretty sure she would’ve said that had she been given an extra minute of interview time.