Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Nokia 770 - a real bust

This afternoon I purchased a Nokia 770 - which is a small internet device to browse the web. It is supposed to work on WLANs (which are commonly called WIFI networks). I am not sure I will keep the thing. It looks good but the performance and the underlying operating system and the support offered by Nokia is terrible.

The underlying documentation is very brief but not informative enough to allow a person with a reasonable level of experience in working with these kinds of things to figure out how to make the thing work. After charging the battery and setting the device up I had to call the support line - which is 1-888-Nokia-2U (and not easily found on the website). I waited on the line for more than 45 minutes - which seems like an inordinate time - I kept getting interrupted by an increasingly annoying voice which said "I had moved forward in the queue" - not giving me any indication of when I would get with a live person (a customer service representative).

When I finally got to the person he recommended that I first download the new software - that only works on a Windows computer although one of the features of this device is its supposed compatability and underlying software written in Linux - which is what the Macintosh operating system is also written in. I found a Windows computer in the office - they always seem to have a series of problems in doing things like installing new software.

But even with the new operating system I found that I still could not connect. The next call to Nokia started with another more than 20 minute queue. Again the "thanks for waiting - but no indication of when they would get to me" message and again I was asked to "continue to hold" - the whole process seems designed to encourage people not to use the customer support.

All of this leads me to two conclusions. First, the Nokia 770 has a lot of promise - it is elegant in design. But second, Nokia really does not give a crap about either customer support or designing either manuals or web support which answers one's initial questions. A lot of these things seem to become solved after an initial period. Alternative providers of tech equipment offer site rich with substance. It seems that most phone users don't need a lot of support. But this device requires better documentation. Without that it is unlikely that the device will sell very well - I plan to take this back to the store where I bought it and demand a refund.

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