The dark side of the Ovi Store

Cue dark, foreboding music. When I heard that Nokia was starting their App store named the Ovi Store, I was happy. I’d read about their roll-out issues on Techmeme and I just waited for the day I could use the store. I mean, I’d already fallen in love with Ovi Sync even though it still thinks it hasn’t synced with my phone yet (I’ve synced several times). I love the free Ovi Services like Ovi Mail, Ovi Share, et cetera. How could I not love the Ovi Store? Because they fail woefully at a crucial element of online sales which is customer service.

You see, on a whim, I purchased the Joiku Premium application from the Ovi Store (07/28/2009) and during the processing of downloading the application I had just paid for, I lost my internet connection, Murphy happened and I needed to restart my phone. I wasn’t too worried at the time because I assumed that because Nokia went to all this trouble to create Ovi accounts that they would somehow link the Ovi Store purchases to your Ovi account. Makes sense, right? Wrong. I sent the first email to the Ovi Support personnel on the 29th of July, 2009.

Here’s what I wrote:

I bought the Joiku Premium app from the Ovi Store and during the download, I lost my wifi connection. I would like to re-download the application again and I cannot file a link on my “My Stuff” page to download the JoikuSpot Premium application. You can verify my purchase of the item by checking my receipt number: XXXXXXXXXXX

The first response I received was asking for all sorts of phone identification material from me that I did not deem pertinent to the issue ESPECIALLY as I had provided my receipt number to them. For clarification, he wanted the following details:

  1. Name
  2. User Name
  3. Email
  4. Cell phone number
  5. Country where I am located
  6. Country where the app is being used
  7. Model number
  8. IMEI
  9. Service Provider
  10. License code if available
  11. Software version of the phone
  12. Language used for the application
  13. Date of purchase
  14. Name of the application
  15. How do you connect to the internet? (3G, GPRS, WLAN)

Also, the first responder wanted this information in order to send an SMS to my phone and I was not too happy at the thought of incurring yet more data charges from AT & T. Why? Because my bill was ~ $270 due to an error that has since been rectified. At the time, I was operating under the suspicion that my bill was going to be ridiculous. Anyhow, I replied to him:

I’m about tired of incurring SMS charges for verifying things so I would rather not receive an SMS to download the application. Surely, you can either email me a link that expires or something. Just to clarify, I am NOT disputing that I purchased the application. I want to re-download the application because I was unsuccessful downloading the application. I believe the verification information you need from me is my order number which I have provided below in my previous email to you. I would like to see this simple issue resolved. I don’t feel secure putting my personal information via email so if I could receive a number to speak directly customer service representative, I’d would be very much obliged to provide the information requested. Again, my order number is: #XXXXXXXXXXX

At this point, all I wanted was to re-download the application, but the Ovi Store representative would not budge and he referred me to call the Ovi Support personnel via phone which I did. Cue pain, angst and suffering. For the record, his response to me was:

I understand your concerns in regard to providing the required information to resolving this issue. Jane, I understand that you do not want to incur SMS charge; however, Ovi Store is based on connecting to the Internet and receiving applicaitons via SMS. The link cannot be send to you via e-mail. It has to be sent to your phone. If you would like to speak to someone in regard to this issue, please feel free to contact us via phone.

It has been over 9 days since this issue began and I have yet to speak with the Ovi Special Response Team who is supposedly in charge of matters that get escalated. As I began to sense that I would get nowhere with the Ovi Store support folk, I decided to go ahead and purchase the JoikuSpot Premium application directly from the Joiku Shop! Then, I called the Ovi Store personnel again and told them that “I didn’t care to re-download the application. Can I have my money back, pretty please?” It didn’t make a difference to them. The Ovi store is simply dreadful in matters of customer service, in my experience. I have called the Ovi Store 3 times since July and they succeeded in getting my personal information. They have thrice promised to call me back within a certain time frame and each time, I had to initiate a call to check on the status of things. So, in a brief and ugly summary, STAY. AWAY. FROM. THE. OVI. STORE if you anticipate that there might be issues once money has exchanged hands because as you can see, they are not too concerned about refunding your money or making it easy to re-download apps that you have purchased.
Seriously. Merely reading a post on ZDNET by Matthew Miller about how Ovi Store reps. told him that an app which turned out to be incompatible with his Nokia E71x was essentially told that he was shit out of luck (SOL). It makes my blood boil that they are THAT desperate for money that they would stoop to such lows. Oy. If this post stops even 1 person from purchasing an app that’s easily available elsewhere, I’ll drink a glass of wine tonight. šŸ˜€ Oh, and you can track my posts on the Ovi Store Failure through my “Ovi Store Sucks” or “Ovi Store Fail” tag.

Published by

Jane Ullah

I wear many hats. In no particular order, I am a: wife, geeky blogger, a twitter-happy aspiring photographer, and passionate about things I believe in.