For those of you who are thinking of buying the Motorola Xoom tablet this week, let me share with you my experience thus far.
The moment the pre-orders became available at Best Buy on Sunday, February 20 I was at the Mobile desk to sign up. Best Buy forced me to purchase a $50 gift card to complete the pre-order. They had the wrong SKU in the system, so my pre-order was technically for some random phone model I’ve never heard of. Since Best Buy was the only place allowing pre-orders for the Xoom, that’s where I went.
The price leaked early for the Xoom and was rumored to be a 3G Model with $800 price tag. Later, a leak came forward stating Verizon would require a $20/mo activation for 1GB service in order to use the Wi-Fi mode on the tablet. The day before launch, Verizon announced it would sell their Xoom models at $599 with a 2-year activation required at a minimum of $20/month for 1GB service. Best Buy Mobile employees swore to me the day before launch that they would be honoring the $599 price tag with 2-year activation.
Buying the Xoom
I arrived at Best Buy the morning of launch right when the store opened at 10AM. I gave my name for the pre-order and the associate couldn’t find it. Once I explained that it was pre-ordered under the wrong SKU, he found mine under the counter with a random post-it note on it. He asked me if I wanted to activate it and I said yes, with 2-year agreement at the $599 price. He said sorry, the night before launch they were informed by Best Buy headquarters that they were unable to honor that price. I said thank you, goodbye.
Note: Best Buy apparently only purchased enough Xoom units to cover what was pre-ordered. I spoke to two other individuals who had come from Best Buy where they were both rejected when trying to buy a Xoom this morning.
I drove across the street to the Verizon store, and asked if they had any Xooms available. The associate said yes, and took my name. I hung out for about half an hour, watching guys show up now and then doing the very same thing I just did (go to Best Buy, tell them where to stick it then come over to Verizon). They only had one demo model available to play with, as opposed to the four iPad demo units at the kiosk next to the Droids.
The information placard on the Xoom specifically stated, “$599 with 2-year activation. Minimum $50/mo agreement required. Also offered are plans as low as $20/mo.” There was some general discussion amongst us geeks trying to be the first to buy one. Did Verizon lie to us too?
My name was finally called. I was the first one to buy a Xoom in this Verizon store, so my transaction was very guinea-piggish. First, the sales rep told me I had to buy a $50/mo 5GB data plan to get the $599 price. Then after some digging around in her computer system, she discovered that the display advertisement was incorrect: Verizon indeed sold me a $20/mo 1GB data plan with 2-year agreement, and the Xoom model cost $599.
I slapped onto the tab the only case available plus the docking station, and walked out the door with a Motorola Xoom with 2 years of a 1GB data plan for $734.37 (after my employer’s 25% discount on accessories).
I hope this helps someone looking for a Xoom this morning to know what questions to ask, and help you determine what to expect.
Tip – Don’t pull off the protective film on the back of the unit, even if it’s peeling off. The serial number and important information sticker is stuck to the OUTSIDE of the film.
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