Musings from Munkimatt

A flow of whatever tickles my fancy

Carphone Warehouse – It’s good to talk…so answer your phones.

This is a slightly tough blog post to write, because @Gerrymoth has written about the same fault and I’ll be frank, it’s much MUCH worse than what I’m about to say. However due to a specific link between the two stories I think it’s worth throwing my opinion in too.

I purchased the 5800 from the Carphone Warehouse Store in Barrow-in-Furness late February, I suspect it will have been February 27th.  I believe Gerry will have purchased his the very same day, or at most within 4 days afterwards.

My original handset developed a fault within 5 days, the handset was simply dead, turned itself off and then it decided it didn’t quite fancy turning back on again. The store agreed to switch the handset for a new one.

Within 2 months of owning the second handset I noticed the phone developed a habit of switching itself off. I realised that the battery had too much ‘give’ on the terminals, however sticking a small piece of card in the side of the battery cavity and the battery itself made the connection firm, more or less eliminating the problem.

Around May time I popped into the local Carphone Warehouse again to enquire for release dates for the N97. While I was there I started chatting to the salesman in there who I knew bought a 5800 on the same day as me. While we were speaking he pulled out his 5800, handed it to me and asked “Has yours done this?” The screen had completely broken up, with multicoloured horizontal lines across the screen. A couple of flicks of the key lock switch and the screen returned to normal. I was obviously thankful mine hadn’t had the same issue!

Spoke too soon…literally within one week it happened on the first occasion. I pulled my phone out my pocket to read a text and had the dreaded lines across the screen (these lines leave it completely unreadable and unusable). As previously though, flicking the keylock a few times seemed to fix it.

This carried on for months on end, however I soon realised it was happening more and more often, and also taking longer and longer for it to return to normal. Flicking the keylock a few times no longer worked as before, it  now seemed almost random whether it wanted to work or not.

At the end of July I replaced the handset with a HTC Hero, which I paid for in cash. I had reached a point where the handset had become unusable, at one point my screen did not work for over 14 hours, so I was now in desperate need of a new handset. I was, as I previously mentioned, already planning on getting one so this seemed like a good excuse to dig into the wallet.

I then heard that Gerry had the same issue. Remembering about the salesman having exactly the same fault, I put two and two together and started the consider the chance of this being an inherent fault with the 5800. In fact a quick Google search of the subject matter reveals many people having the same fault, all of which were fairly early adopters. Nokia seem to have acknowledged a fault, and I have read that the fix is a new re-designed screen being fitted. Did those early screens all come with a fault?
Now let’s move onto my nark with Carphone Warehouse. CPW are I believe the largest mobile phone retailer in the UK. They are a huge organisation with their proverbial fingers in many a proverbial pie. Their slogan for many a year, and maybe still is, I’m not sure, was “It’s good to talk.”

Well here’s two ideas boys and girls of Carphone Warehouse…

  1. Publish the correct numbers on your website.
  2. On the occasion I can get a correct number, hows about someone actually answering that call?

You see, a week and a bit ago I dropped my phone in for repair at my local store. I’ve been trying to contact that store, I have their direct number, but no matter what option you choose you get the same recorded message, “Sorry, we are unable to answer your call, please try again later.”

“OK,” I thought, “I’ll bypass the store and go straight to the repair center direct.” I call the number on the website only to be told it’s been changed to a different number, and when I call that number I’m told the number is not in use!

Genius move there Carphone.

I’d interested in two specific pieces of information from Carphone;

  • Was there a specific fault with early models of the 5800?
  • When can I have my phone back? Pretty please.

Since I started writing this I have had a tweet from @guyatcarphone, so finally some contact from within the organisation. However it remains to be seen what the outcome will be, if it remains for repair for the length of time that Gerry’s has then I shall be unleashing the necessary fire and brimstone.

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September 21, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

How much is ‘nicer’ worth to you?

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£7.

Not a lot of money you may think.

But my word it caused an almighty storm this morning.

Recently there has been a lot of buzz on Twitter regarding Gravity, which is being billed as the first fully featured Twitter app for S60 devices. Beta testers have been giving glowing reports, and when news came out last week saying that it was to launch this today there were a lot of people looking forward to finally using it.

This morning I saw a tweet from Gerrymoth (writer on the excellent Nokia Addict blog) announcing that it was now available for download. I instantly headed over to the site, eager to get Twittering from my 5800 XpressMusic. But then I was stopped in my tracks by something I didn’t really expect.

Two button. One saying ‘Buy’ and the other ‘Download trial version’.

I have to pay? This I didn’t expect.

Now, I’m 26 and a salesman by trade. I know that very rarely anything in life is free. However over the 7 years of using S60 devices I honestly can’t remember ever paying for an application.

Why?

Because there’s nearly always a free alternative.

For Twitter, there’s Dabr, an excellent mobile friendly site that offers everything I need. I can upload pictures, direct message, reply, retweet, everything.

I clicked the buy link out of interest to see the price. I was thinking £5 at the most. Up it popped, to buy Gravity it would set me back £7.27. Cheap, but why pay when I can do the same for free?

So I posted this to Twitter, asking if it was worth the money. Gerrymoth fired back instantly with his response but it was one word that caught my attention.

Nicer.

So I loaded up the app and yes, it’s a lovely, gorgeous, clean interface. It’s quick, the scrolling on the touchscreen 5800 is fantastic and it does exactly what it says on the tin, it’s fully featured just as they advertised. But did I really want to open my dusty wallet and spend £7 on what effectively is just a prettier way to post to Twitter from my phone?

Turned out I wasn’t the only one asking this question. James Whatley seemed shocked at the price and at one point ended up having a fairly forthright discussion   regarding its value and later echoed my thoughts of a £5 price. Later we realised that the beta testers, who at this point were strongly defending the application, received the officially released version free of charge, therefore they paid nothing to use it.

Without wanting to sound terribly aggressive here,  how can you place a value on something when you’ve paid nothing to use it, especially when it offers nothing over the free alternative than it being ‘nicer’?

I’m not a particularly tight-fisted guy, in fact I’d go as far as to say I’m positively liberal with my money. Despite that though I can’t see the point of paying extra for something that will not contribute extra to my overall user experience.

So my question to you Tweeters is this; Are you happy to pay extra for nicer? Are you moving to Gravity (or another paid for client) or are you happy using free alternatives?

March 30, 2009 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments