Sprint’s Botched Blogger Product Review

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When Sprint sent an LG Fusic phone to a blogger in hopes he would write about it and Sprint’s new Power Vision Network, they may have understood the slight possibility he would write a negative review. But they probably didn’t expect 3,100 words (seven pages) about how much he hated both.

But that’s exactly what they got.

Joel Spolsky, a New York City software engineer and former Microsoft employee, says he didn’t even want to write about the phone or Sprint’s new network. “I have a really strong aversion to writing about things just because some PR person wanted me to,” Spolsky wrote on his blog.

But when he tried out the free phone and free service (because after all, a free phone is a free phone in Spolsky’s estimation), he felt compelled to warn everyone about itat length.

Here’s a few excerpts from the post entitled, “Amazing X-Ray Glasses From Sprint!”:

The phoneis really quite awful, and the service, Power Vision, is tremendously misconceived and full of dumb features that don’t work right and cost way too much.

the LG Fusic will strike you as butt-uglyit is hard to make black clash with anything, but LG did it. Overall this phone seriously looks like a Fisher Price toy, not a top-of-the-line cell phone.

say, hypothetically, you were pausing because you live in a country where the police brutalize people, and a policeman was brutalizing you, and you wanted to stop the music so you could try to figure out what the policeman wanted and perhaps there was some way if you could just hear him that you could get him to stop beating you with a riot bat, you’re already DEAD by the time you figure out how to make the pause button actually pause.

I cannot imagine anybody finding any value in MSpot Movies. If Sprint makes any money off of them, it’s probably by mistake. This service is literally as much of a scam as those X-Ray glasses they used to advertise in comic books to steal a few bucks from some little kids.

The phones they send us are so lame there is literally no area you can go into without being disappointed and shocked at just how shoddy everything is and how much it costs and what a rip off scam they’re trying to run here with the music that costs too much and the movies that you don’t want to watch on the screen that makes them unwatchable and you just KNOW that if you call to cancel the extra $7/month, their customer service department is going to give you the phone menu runaround and then put you on hold for an hour and then you’ll get some cancellation specialist with an incomprehensible accent who will spend 15 minutes trying to talk you out of canceling the useless service until you just give up and let them have the goddamned $7 a month.

Yes, that last one was one sentence – very Faulkner. I’m guessing he was unimpressed.

There’s a lesson here somewhere, probably many. While PR pros are being told to engage the blogosphere (and they should, typically), doing so comes with the same perils (or worse) as dealing with conventional reporters, reviewers, and publications.

There’s a chance you’ll get your head handed to you, so make sure the product is really killer before you go spreading it around.

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Sprint’s Botched Blogger Product Review
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