i will never buy nokia again

I recently bought a used Nokia 6620. For the most part, it’s been a decent phone. I can use it to make calls, get online, and play Frozen Bubble. It’s had a few quirks, though, which seem to affect my battery life. Also, I can’t reassign all of the buttons on it. I think these problems are caused by my ancient firmware. In fact, I know some of them are: John as a newer version of the firmware and can reprogram a number of the buttons that I can’t.

I went to Nokia’s web site to download newer firmware. I couldn’t find it, so I went to Google. Google found a number of forum posts indicating that only Nokia can update a phone’s firmware.

Irritated, but still determined, I went back to Nokia’s site to find out what I had to do. They had a service center locator, but all form submissions went to a 404 error. I called them, today, and spoke with a CSR in the repair department. First, she told me that I can’t just get my software updated; they won’t flash it unless there’s a problem. I told her about my issues and she said that I could send it in for repairs. The downside: there was no guarantee they’d flash my firmware, and there would be a minimum $100 charge. I asked about local repair centers and she said, “We don’t have ‘authorized repair centers,’ and if we did, the same charge would apply.”

“Okay,” I said, “I’ll throw it away and buy a Motorola, I guess.” She didn’t care. (Big surprise.)

What this incident tells me is that if a Nokia phone gets better over time, an early adopter can’t benefit from those improvements. Further, a late adopter can’t benefit by buying a phone late in its life cycle, if that phone is old stock. In other words, Nokia doesn’t really care about their customer’s experience.

I think my plan is going to have to be only buy phones that have user-installable firmware updates. I’ll probably wait another year, though. I’m not anxious to drop another hundred dollars on a phone any time soon.

Written on May 30, 2006
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