Nokia "Repairing" Man's Phone For Over 3 Months

Bob sent in his Nokia for repairs. He expected it back in 10 days. It’s been 3 months.

He’s still paying for service with T-mobile, but also picked up a pay-as-you go plan while he waits.

After a string of failed tries with Nokia’s joke of an executive customer service team, “Jay,” “Adrian,” “Milton” and “Jessica,” Bob is pleading his case to Nokia CEO Robert Andersson.

Read his letter inside, and oh, Nokia, how about giving this poor man his phone back? Fixed, preferably. — BEN POPKEN


Bob writes:

April 7, 2007

Robert Andersson

Nokia Head Office
Keilalahdentie 2-4
P.O. Box 226
FIN-00045 Nokia Group
Finland

RE: Cellphone S/N [redacted] ; # [redacted

Dear Mr. Andersson:

You are holding my Nokia N90 hostage, and I want it back. Well, not you personally, of course, but your minions at the Teleplan repair facility in the U. S. They have had it now for three months.

The external display on my phone started to fail in December, with pixels starting to gray out, and the area continuing to spread. When I got back from vacation in Mexico, I checked on your website to see if my phone was still covered under warranty. According to the website (5 Jan 06), it was. I sent it in with the form generated by the site. (See attachment #1; note that it has an RTA number, indicating that it's presumed to be covered under warranty. It's interesting to note that when this form is printed, the RTA number is truncated. That leads to several questions: If the repair facility needs this number, do the workers there then have to cross-reference the RTA number with other information on the form to find it? Or do they not need the RTA number, in which case why is it on the form? And why hasn't someone reformatted this form - say, moving this number to the left edge - so the entire number prints? It's easy enough to do. But this is not really germane to my complaint, except insofar as it points up what appears to me to be the general inefficiency and haplessness of Nokia customer service.) According to the report from your Repair Status page on the website, it got logged into their system on 10 Jan 06. Despite the sunny prediction on your repair web pages about ten days for turnaround on repairs, apparently nothing happened with my phone for over a month.

In response to an inquiry that I made by email from the web page that allows inquiries about the status of phones being repaired, I got the first of a series of saccharine, idiotic and unhelpful responses from the "Executive Resolution Team." I got responses from Executive Resolvers calling themselves "Jay," "Adrian," "Milton" and "Jessica." [An aside, Mr. Andersson: You really shouldn't try to buffalo your customers: That kind of title for a bunch of gofers just makes your customers at least cynical, if not downright angry. Executive Resolution is hardly what I got. And having had a recent chance to speak with one of your Executive Resolvers - more on which later - I am even less convinced of their Executiveness. Their execution certainly leaves something to be desired.] Shortly after that message, I got a response by email from the repair facility (see attachment #2). That message indicated that my phone was not under warranty, in contrast with the initial determination on the web site. Neither did it indicate that the failure was a result of any physical damage. It further indicated the steps that I could take, one of which was to pay a $100 repair fee and a $15 shipping fee. It gave a web site through which I could make the payment, which I promptly did. According to that message, dated 2/28/2007, I was required to take action within fifteen days. My credit card statement shows the payment on 3 Feb (Ref. # 24492157062820026567791, to “TELEPLANWIR 925-279-5757 MN”), well before the fifteen-day deadline. A couple of days after making that payment, I received a phone call from someone at Teleplan, inquiring as to what I planned to do about my phone. I informed the caller, whose name I neglected to get, that I had made a payment and the choice that that payment entailed: repair the phone. He seemed surprised by that, and said that he would have to check.

Shortly after that call in early March, the status shown on the repair website for my phone changed to “Awaiting replacement device.” It has stayed at that status up to the present, 7 Apr. Is the replacement coming from the far reaches of the Empire on the Millennium Falcon with Han Solo? You now have had my phone three months. I have been paying for three months of service through T-Mobile for a phone that I don’t have, and I have resorted to using a prepaid phone, which I am also paying for. The cost to me is mounting.

On Friday, 6 Apr., around midday Pacific Daylight Time, I took time out of my workday to call the “Executive Resolution Team” to see what was happening. Not much time to be sure – not enough to justify a chargeback – but enough to raise my blood pressure. The Executive Resolver with whom I spoke was not entirely clueless, but the quality of the response was marginal. After hearing the details of my case, she put me on hold to check on some information. When she came back, she said that I could either have my phone back as is, or she could look into having it repaired. I told her that she should have it repaired, and that I had already made a payment for that. She seemed surprised by that, and put me on hold to check further. (Left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing?) When she came back on the line, she said that she would have to do some more checking, and would call me back later that day or the next. (Presumably she meant “business day,” because to date, she has not called back.)

If one were cynical, one might hypothesize that this series of events is a strategy on the part of Nokia to avoid having to repair the phone, and have me take it back as is. Almost certainly, the economics argue in favor of this strategy.

This is a very unfortunate blot on the Nokia escutcheon. I think your phones are great, or at least they serve my purposes very well. Your customer service, if this experience is anything to go by, deserves a goose egg.

I remain your sincere, disgruntled and humble servant,

Bob A.

— BEN POPKEN

Comments

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  1. GenXCub says:

    He may want to help his situation by using “07″ instead of “06″ in his letter as it is the year 2007.

  2. niccernicus says:

    Will someone please tell Bob to get an unlocked phone to use on his T-Mo account, rather than using a prepaid and racking up more bills?

  3. niccernicus says:

    @n1ckel5:

    Or better yet, get a new SIM for his original account and put it in his T-Mo prepaid.

  4. LAGirl says:

    not to kick a guy when he’s down, but if his phone skills are anything like his writing skills, not surprised the problem hasn’t been solved yet.

    Bob? got one word for ya: EDIT.

  5. outsiderlookingn says:

    The first thing I would do is contact T-Mobile and let them know what is going on and see if they have a “loaner phone” available until yours is returned from Nokia.

    T-Moble also has a very easy policy for dealing with defective phones were they provide you with a new phone once they send your phone in for repair. http://support.t-mobile.com/knowbase/root/public/tm21963.h

    If T-Mobile is unwilling to work with you and you have the Equipment Replacement Program, I suggest filing a claim with Asurion 1-866-268-7221 and telling them you LOST it. You can also file a claim online at http://www.phoneclaim.com/

  6. Buran says:

    @n1ckel5: Why should he have to spend more for something that should be fixed under warranty?

    By now I would have filed a dispute with the company and demanded mediation, if they do that, or filed a lawsuit if they don’t.

    He tried to solve the problem. They didn’t fix it. He’s entitled to more help than the “executive team” is giving.

  7. Youthier says:

    It took Nokia almost three months to repair my phone as well but I requested a loaner from my phone company (Centennial) and used that. The phone was a rock-bottom refurbished model but it got a decent signal.

    What the hell is the opening line of this letter? Does this guy not have a clue on how to efficently get a situation resolved?

  8. niccernicus says:

    @Buran:

    Why should he have to spend more money? He shouldn’t!

    Exactly the point of my post. One of the best features of being a T-Mo customer is the SIM card “swappability” from phone to phone, with no CS interaction. He already stated he bought a prepaid plan that has costs piling up. Why not do what you can to eliminate unnecessary costs? Swapping his SIM to a different phone would allow him to use his plan (which he’s already paying for).

    There’s no excuse for the crap service Nokia is providing. But there are some options for him to keep his pocketbook a bit fuller in the meantime.

  9. Canadian Impostor says:

    He can also just stick his regular SIM in his T-Mobile prepaid phone and it would work as normal, which is what someone up above said.

  10. ScramDiggyBooBoo says:

    3 Months? Are you retarded? And pay the bill!! Do i need to say more?

  11. somedood says:

    I had a similar problem. My (imported/unlocked) Nokia E70′s control stick stopped working within 3 months of purchase, so I had it sent back to Nokia in Finland through the store from which I purchased it. It was sent out in November 2006. I did not get it back until mid-March 2007.

    Fortunately, I had purchased a replacement US version of the phone at the NYC Nokia Store. I did this because I did not want to have to send it back to Finland if I had any other issues, not knowing it would take five months to get it back. About three weeks ago, my replacement US E70 began to exhibit the EXACT SAME ISSUES (design flaw?). However, when I took it to the NYC store, they were happy to take a look at it and repair it while I waited. (The store had originally refused to look at my imported E70 since it was not a US version.)

    Meanwhile, I have a Euro version of the E70 to sell. I have already attempted to sell it on eBay, but my auction was immediately “won” by a an obvious Nigerian scammer, and I’m now dealing with eBay’s abysmal customer service. But that’s a whole other story…

  12. superbmtsub says:

    Tmobile will not provide a “loaner” fone or make a deal for a phone (like the N90) that did not come from Tmobile.

    The idiot shouldve used his simcard on his pay-as-you-go phone since both are Tmobile.

    Nokia Repair Centers are infamous for their tardy work or response rate.

    And goodluck getting your phone back. I’ve heard one too many sob stories about victims who had trouble with the repair centers returning handsets.

  13. Shorteh says:

    I have a similar situation with Teleplan here in Canada. They have had my phone for almost a month now, and I have not heard anything as to the repair status. The phone is less than three months old and the firmware locked up and would not allow me to go past the boot up screen.

    I’ve spoken to teleplan a few times, and have discovered that the rep from the carrier did not properly fill out the repair request, and they were holding my phone until they got more information from the rep. However, they neglected to inform the rep as to what they were doing, so my phone has been in limbo. Their customer service stinks here in Canada too.

    Several calls from my Rogers rep, as well as myself go unheard. My phone is still being held hostage and I am sick of them. Thank god I kept a back up otherwise I would be seriously fucked.

    Two things:
    1) Never EVER send your sim in with your phone when it goes away for repairs. Teleplan has sims they can use to test your phone.
    2) if your pay as you go phone is with T-MO then get a copy of your sim sent from T-MO and put it in your PAYGO phone.

  14. boback says:

    The followup: Today while I was at lunch, “Jeff” from Nokia called me, said that he had seen my letter, apologized for the delay, said that he had ordered a replacement phone which should be in his hands in two days which he then would send to me Fedex overnight, and asked if I wanted an extra battery, a headset, other accessories. Nope, just the phone. We’ll see how it goes.

    Thanks to everyone who posted well-meaning advice. I’ll keep it in mind the next time I run afoul of corporate bumbling and haplessness.

    Bob A.

  15. palaste says:

    Robert Andersson is not Nokia’s CEO, he’s head of the Customer and Marketing department. The CEO is Olli-Pekka Kallasvuo.