Archive for August, 2010

Broken Droid

Posted: August 24, 2010 in Rants
Tags: ,

So I ordered a new Android phone. The phone was great, the company is bloody awful.

Let me explain. I ordered the phone from a company called ‘Simply Electronics’ through Google checkout. Google reviews gave it 4.5/5 and I had heard good things about them from various other people who had ordered fairly large electrical goods from them in the past.

So I ordered the phone – an HTC WildFire in black. One of the reasons I ordered the phone from them was that they were one of the few UK shops selling the black version of the phone – the brown (sorry Mocha) is OK, but there are about 5 HTC Desire’s in the IT department alone and I wanted a different colour! Vanity I know, but hey 🙂

Anyway they money came off my card almost immediately and I hoped that the ‘1-3 business days’ delivery stated on the website meant that the phone was going to be dispatched that day…. I was wrong….. 4 working days later I sent them an email asking if they had a dispatch date as I was still waiting.

Simply Electronics policy is to ‘answer all emails within 1 working day’….. so the next day I got a reply saying that the standard free deliveries were shipped within 2-5 working days…..and would be dispatched shortly. OK, well today is still day 5 and no sign of my new phone being dispatched…..

On WORKING day 9, I got an email saying my order had been dispatched and here was the City-Link tracking code…… Which didn’t work…

The next day I checked City-Link code again and see that they received the package that day (working day 10) and that it was due to be delivered the next day (working day 11).

City-Link (as usual I have to say) delivered (pun intended) and I was the proud owner of a new black WildFire.

Opening the box to charge the phone revealed a 2 pin charger and a cheap green travel adapter….. Mmm strange, but hey, I was using the USB on the computer, so it didn’t really worry me. I was too busy wanting to play!

So 3 looong hours later it’s charged and I’m ready to boot the phone….. Woo-hoo here we go…. hold on, why can’t I select English as a locale…. the wife’s HTC Tattoo basically let me select English from a selection of European languages…… Why is this only giving me English(Singapore), Vietnamese, squiggle, squiggle and some other languages I can’t remember?

Mmmm well it’s Android, so I’m sure that I just need to change some deep setting…… mmmm can’t find it…. I’m sure it’s not this complex on the Tattoo…. Google has no solution…… Ok, I’ll try and look up the answer on HTC’s website.

Hold on – where’s Navigation…….? Why can’t I undelete the Vietnamese keyboard?


I spent a couple of days with the phone trying to get around the issues, but after an email to HTC customer service it becomes officially apparent that my phone is wrong on nearly every level.

Double bugger.

Time to email Simply Electronics. I explain the problems – no UK charger, no European English, no navigation app – and get told to RMA the product. "I would like to inform you that most of our stock does come from the UK, and some do from other countries." OK, so it’s a Friday evening, I’ll do that tomorrow.

One ‘Special Delivery’ back to Simply Electronics with delivery before 13:00 on Monday.

On Thursday I email them to ask what is happening – the Post Office tracking confirms that the phone was delivered on Monday, but I’ve heard nothing. The bundle was clearly marked as a RMA with the number on the outside and a copy of the paperwork inside, so no excuse as far as I’m concerned.

One working day later they respond asking for the tracking code…… I supply it…… they reply: "Thank you for your email. We have forwarded the info to our return department. Once the item has been received we will inform you accordingly."

Monday (5 working days after delivery!) I get an email:

"This email is to confirm that the returned goods has been received. Please note that the relevant department is arranging the refund for the order. Rest assured that you will receive the funds back to your card as soon as possible."

As it looks like I’m getting a refund and not a black UK version of the phone (not holding my breath for either to be honest!) I started to see if anyone else stocked it. As before I looked at the suppliers I know, but also through Google checkout. Simply Electronics popped up again, still showing 4.5/5, but this time I actually opened the reviews. Going from what I read there, it looks like the 4.5/5 comes from a large legacy of good reviews… everyone seems to be saying much the same thing – ‘great when it works, you’re buggered if it doesn’t. Customer Service sucks and getting money back is difficult’.

I guess the moral of the story is to actually open the reviews and check…. 4.5/5 looks good on the surface, but check what the company is doing NOW, not six months ago.

P.S. I’m still waiting to find out what is happening…. no sign of a refund or a new phone……