Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals is a sad litany of failed and no-deal offers to a few customers 

People who lined up on-line yesterday at the Microsoft Store for the 12 Days of Deals could get a Nokia Lumia 1020 smartphone, the one with the 41 MP camera, free.

Microsoft’s deal wasn’t much of a deal since free phones are common and you will pay AT&T $2040 over the next 2 years in fees. It would be smarter to buy the phone unlocked for about $600 and pay a carrier only $1,000 over the next two years.

Nokia Lumia 1020 from Microsoft - no deal

Nokia Lumia 1020 from Microsoft – no deal

You could actually get a Lumia 1020 at zero dollars for about 8 minutes, from 3 minutes before 10 AM ET until 10:05 AM ET. During that time Microsoft sold 100 Lumia 1020 phones.

Bookmark the link to the Microsoft 12 Days of Deals. Shop 12 Days of Deals at Microsoft! New limited quantity door buster deal each day at 7 AM PST. Available while supplies last.

After that the Microsoft Store gave customers the message they were out of stock.

Lumia 1020 out of stock but not really

Lumia 1020 out of stock but not really

The Microsoft Store was not really out of stock. They were just putting the price up to $99.  About 30 minutes later, really patient consumers could buy a Nokia Lumia 1020 on Microsoft’s 12 Days of Deals for $99.

That’s not much of a deal. Up in Canada that’s the price we pay every day from Telus for the same phone without fighting Microsoft for a discount. The weird thing about Canada was that Microsoft didn’t offer the Lumia but put a cheap Bluetooth speaker on special. I guess they knew it wasn’t much of a deal to us.

In the United States, Amazon.com had the Nokia Lumia 1020, Yellow (AT&T) for $99. Lately the Amazon.com price has been $109 to $149.

Telus-Lumia-1020-640

Nokia Lumia 1020 costs $99 every day on Telus

Up in Canada the real smart shoppers avoid Telus and Microsoft. The Lumia 1020 phone is sold unlocked on Kijiji by a dealer for about $600, or $549 locked with a case. The dealer is Cells R Us.

With that you can get a $45 Koodo Plan for 2 GB with monthly data. Koodo is the bring-your-own-phone Telus subsidiary with the same service and same network.

If you want to take a little risk. Lumia 1020 phones are selling for as little as $450 on Kijiji. I bought my Lumia 920 in February for $350 from Kijiji and it works like a charm.

Not all deals are good deals. It pays to shop around. It also pays to wait for the best sale.

I like to check around Best Buy, Wal-Mart and Costco. Costco often has gift certificates worth $75 with new phones, but those are always on 2-year plans.