Shopping in Hong Kong

Random links: ought to have been a banker... Tibet monastery reopens (finally - with spies, of course)... and the Aussies mimed during the Olympics too (Don't get confused... I'm not justifying the Chinese replacing the poor little girl cus she wasn't good looking enough - the Aussies did it for the sake of the event... the Chinese... I don't know what they were thinking)

Anyway, PNGF is in town and naturally, we go shopping.
  • Target: mobile phone that can browse Internet
  • Shops: all are fair game
Well, apparently, what they call a "Shopping Paradise" is not really. We spend half the day walking around Hong Kong and this is what transpired:
  1. Fortress (Central): okay, so with my expertise in cell phones (laugh), I recommended the HTC Diamond, LG KS20, Samsung F488, Nokia E-66 and E-71. PNGF put all of them in her hand and ruled out LG KS20 immediately. Can we try browsing Internet please? NOPE. Is there any phone we can try? NOPE. Jeez.
  2. 1010 Shop (Central): Nobody really helped us... Can I try some phones and brwose the Internet? You can try the Diamond over here. Is there one that can use English? Over there. It's not working... The Chinese one can work. Can you change the language menu? NOPE. Anyway, I got to the browser and tried to use the touch screen to type in Couldn't do it. PNGF is not liking it.
  3. Elements (Kowloon): Hong Kong's hottest mall is also the biggest disappointment. A poorly design mall that felt more like a chamber than a nice stroll among stores. The five elements (Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth) hosted different types of store and blah blah blah. Frankly, bad mall with no reliable map to tell you where you are and what else there is. Given the success of other malls (Times Square, IFC), I can't believe a mall designer won't use an open space to show case shops on differnet floors and also create a sense of openness. And of course the two electronic stores that were there were completely useless (Fortress and Broadway). PNGF was able to test the F488 at Fortress a little bit. Saleperson had no idea how to type English though (nor teach us).
  4. Nokia (Causeway Bay): Back in shopping mecca Causeway Bay, we finally were able to browse the Internet on an E-66 and E-71. Took the staff a while to change the phone to English and also activate the Internet though. Staff was very helpful and we got very good attention and was finally able to test browsing on a phone. PNGF liked the QWERTY keyboard very much. E-71 it is for now. She still wants to try a touch screen...
  5. Fortress: This is truly frustrating. Can we try the F488? Here you go. Oh, can you switch the menu to English? No, this is my personal phone. PNGF: Forget it.
  6. Broadway: Again, there's only a demo for F488, and nobody can use it in English. The other phones didn't have any demo. Josekin: that's why Broadway will never be #1. I meant to say that about Fortress too... but they are #1 for no good reason.
  7. Chung Yuen: The salesperson with a mask was very helpful. He showed us two Sony Ericssons (which I knew weren't very good) and had a good demo on how we can browse Internet. The only problem is that we need to use a keypad to enter the alphabets and it's slow. Oh, and the masked man was also very helpful in answering all our other questions about other handsets. No demo, but at least the answers are helpful. PNGF has narrowed it way down: HTC Diamond and Nokia E71.
  8. 1010 Shop: SAM KWOK. Mr. Kwok was extremely helpful. We asked for a Diamond demo (We've only gotten a very unhelpful one in Central), and Mr. Kwok took one out. He showed us how to play with it, let PNGF handle it (I like the wow factor on this phone, she says), and answered all the little questions we had (like how do I find out about the weather in New York). Um, we got greedy... can we try the Blackberry Pearl and Bold too? Mr. Kwok: no problem. My colleague will assist you. 5 minutes later, PNGF decided the HTC Diamond was for her and I decided the Blackberry Bold will be my next phone. Finally, the shopping odyssey ended.
Lessons, as always: LET THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE IT. And if it's good, they'll be sold in a second (okay, a few minutes).


shmoo said...

I don't think Jimmy Page and whoever that singer was were really playing/singing during the British part of the closing ceremonies either.

Laughing Man said...

Wow, nice one. I can't believe you did so much travelling to look for phones.

If you've got thick skin, go to the cheapy Mong Kok stores. They will most likely (especially the shady ones) allow you to take the phones for a test drive. A big reason behind it is cause those "new" phones they're selling to you aren't actually new. Naturally you won't get to try a Blackberry. Maybe an iPhone tho.

The variation in quality of salespeople is astonishing. I've been to a Fortress and gotten excellent service, while another branch gave me the worst service ever. Quality control among staff is poor. This goes for all of the chains.

BTW, have you upgraded your Curve to 4.5 yet? It's awesome.