Verizon And Nokia Announce "Constant Reboot" Feature

Ryan’s new Nokia Intrigue 7205, which Verizon gave him, doesn’t work with the Verizon network: “48 hours ago, the phone began cycling on and off continuously.” He’s not the only Intrigue owner experiencing this problem on Verizon, although Verizon is following that tired old “it couldn’t possibly be our fault so let’s make you jump through a dozen useless hoops” protocol. Sadly, a single Google search would give them the quick fix for Ryan and other Intrigue owners.

Ryan found a discussion on the Nokia Support forum regarding Verizon/Intrigue issues, which made him suspect it wasn’t necessarily a lone defect in just his phone. He then brought his phone to Verizon to fix the problem. This is what happened:

I headed down to my Verizon Wireless store and consulted one of their technical guys. What I was told was that Verizon has never heard of this error. I told the tech about the accounts of this same error I found on the net, and even explained as he worked on the phone what would happen with what he tried to do, based on others accounts. When he gave up on the phone he told me he could have a new Intrigue sent to me by Tuesday, and I told him that this would not be a fix as it was not a hardware defect. This was disregarded, so I asked him what would have to be done to switch this phone out for a different model. He said that I would have to pay full retail. In the face of that, I asked what would happen if the replacement model suffers the same error, and this is what I was told.

“To follow our procedure, we will have to be certain this is an issue from our end, so you might have to go through two or three replacements before we could consider switching you over to a different model phone.”

The Nokia discussion we mentioned actually has a solution posted to it by other Intrigue customers. We don’t know if the solution was there when Ryan first checked it out, but it shouldn’t matter; Ryan should be provided a bare minimum level of technical support from the company providing the phone and service. In fact, I do have a lot of technical skillz when it comes to consumer electronics, and I have run into the same dullheadedness from support techs when I’m forced to escalate a troubleshooting issue to them.

This is a great example of one of the biggest failings in technical support today, which is that many tech support centers wall themselves off from the hivemind of the Internet where people are constantly discovering and sharing solutions. There is no reason the Verizon rep who “assisted” Ryan shouldn’t have known about the IMEI-registration fix—that’s what internal memos and emails are for. Or if he was really just a sales rep, why was he offering technical support in the first place?

If Verizon had known about the workaround listed on the Nokia user forum, they could have fixed Ryan’s phone in 20 minutes and sent him on his way, and he likely would have credited Verizon with having some competence on phone-related issues. Instead, they failed a customer who came to them with a severe problem, and the only solution they offered was a drastic one that would have cost Ryan lots of money.

It just makes no sense, when the information was out there. Tech-savvy consumers already know that official tech support is usually the middle-to-last line of attack when troubleshooting. But not everyone has that skill set or interest level in consumer electronics—and you’d expect the company selling you the phone and phone service would be able to offer expertise at least as good as random forum postings, considering they can access those postings as easily as we just did when typing this up.

Okay, end of rant against impotent, overly formal technical support departments. Ryan, if you’ve got a second phone and can do the IMEI registration trick yourself, we suggest you do that. If not, try printing out the instructions from that Nokia forum board (we’ve reprinted them below) to bring with you when you return to Verizon.

Here is the workaround for Nokia Intrigue owners, from Nokia Support Discussions:

My 7205 started experiencing this continuous reset loop on 8/19. I brought it into a Verizon store the next morning to exchange for a new one. First bad sign: the greeter at the door seemed to anticipate my problem once he saw what phone I had. Of course, as soon as my # was connected to the new Intrigue, same problem. I decided to research the problem myself online and came across this forum. Seemed straightforward:</p

1. Assign my phone # to a different device using its EIN.
2. Startup the other phone and make sure all text messages & other undelivered stuff is picked up by the other phone.
3. Turn the other phone off, reassign my # to my 7205 Intrigue, and start it up. Problem solved! (Yes, it was!)

Some key points:

– you can do this yourself on Verizon online—if you have another operable device to switch to; otherwise, you can go into a Verizon store and have them switch to a test phone for you. Obviously, the other phone cannot be a 7205 Intrigue.

– after switching your # to this new device, you MUST wait SEVERAL MINUTES and confirm that all the msgs floating around in the system while your Intrigue has been malfunctioning are delivered to the new phone. The Verizon rep who first tried to help me in the store switched back and forth too quickly and the problem was NOT solved.

At one point during this ordeal I called Verizon customer support. The (snotty and completely unhelpful) technician told me that Nokia is aware of this problem and sent a bulletin on 7/30 stating that the bug will be addressed in the next software release for this phone (no target date specified, but the technician said it will presumably be “soon”. By asking pointed questions, I also found out from her that Intrigue owners will not receive any notification when this software release is available, and that you will have to bring your phone to Verizon to have them load the update.

My advice, if your phone has this problem, is to do one of 2 things:

I. Unless you’re attached to the Intrigue like me, exchange your phone for a different model and avoid this headache! (That is, of course, if you kept the original packaging which Verizon requires for exchanges of even faulty, nonfunctional equipment—don’t let me get started.)


II. Call verizon, and see if the software update has been released.

a. If so, go get it installed on your phone. Problem should be fixed forever, we presume.

b. If not, do the EIN switch. If the problem happens again, go back to step II.

Hope this helps others out there.


“Re: 7205 Intrigue” [Nokia Support Discussions]

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.