The Ovi Store is a hot mess, part three

So, I’m sure you all were on pins andΒ  needles in wanting to find out the end of my Ovi Store issues. Well, to cut a long story short, here’s what happened:

  1. I opened up a dispute with my bank even though I purchased the item using my VISA Debit card. I stress the VISA Debit card part because there is a little bit of a misconception that if you purchase items on the internet without a credit card, you may be SOL (s**t-out-of-luck) with regards to challenging suspicious charges, etc. In my case, I was able to successfully dispute the Ovi Store transaction. My bank’s policy was to place the funds in my account pending their investigation. In less than a week, they concluded their investigation and MY bank ended up refunding my account.
  2. The Ovi Store representatives NEVER called me back even after a supervisor “personally” assured me that my case would receive immediate attention. This issue really bothers me even though I’ve gotten my money back. How can you run a business in this fashion??
  3. For those seeking redress and need their money back from the money-grubbing hands of the Ovi Store, log into your bank’s website and check out the customer service section.
  4. For Wachovia, the link is: https://www.wachovia.com/customerforms. I simply sent a secure message via the website about the issue. In fact, they recommend you call to inquire or dispute a transaction. However, you also have the option of sending in a paper form as well. In any case, I’d recommend using a credit card for online purchases anyway over using a debit card that has your actual money in it.

I think I’m about done talking about the Ovi Store. In a nutshell, before you think about buying an app from the Ovi Store, visit Google, Bing or Ask! and search for the application you want. The odds are strongly in favor of that app being available on the developer(s)’s website or on Handango, Handmark, Penreader, etc. You get the picture. Cheers and I welcome any comments. πŸ™‚

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. πŸ˜€ Oh, and you can track my posts on the Ovi Store Failure through my “Ovi Store Sucks” or “Ovi Store Fail” tag.

Applications for productivity and fun on the Nokia E71x

So, it’s officially been over a month since I took possession of the Nokia E71x phone, which is an ATT-modified version of the Nokia E71 phone. My previous posts have focused on getting rid of the many ATT-branded applications that have littered the phone, some free & paid applications that add to the functionality of the phone and now, I’m talking about applications that are fun to have on the phone for the socially connected person. Phew. Here goes:

1) So far, I’ve spent a good bit of time researching what applications I want on my phone. I knew that I would benefit greatly from an application that would let me make screen recordings on my phone and I found an app for that: the Mobiola Screen Capture software application. It takes screenshots and can take video recordings of whatever is taking place on screen! It’s pretty impressive and if you are inquisitive like I am, you will definitely add this tool to your arsenal.

2) Again, being a blogger, I looked for a way to easily create rich posts for my blogs and I found a very robust freeware application for WordPress.com hosted blogs as well as self-hosted WordPress blog: Wordmobi. The installation is easy-peasy and it works as advertised. As a matter of fact, I’ve penned 1 or 2 posts via this application and while it could do better in terms of its user interface, I’m NOT staring this gift horse in the mouth. πŸ™‚ It works via Wifi which is great if you aren’t signed up for a data plan so it scores major points in my book. πŸ˜€

3) I love chatting with my friends and family. I’ve signed up for practically all the top instant messaging services there are so I was looking for applications that would allow me to add, at least, Yahoo Messaging, Windows Live, Gtalk, Skype, etc. I’ve searched high and low for an application to do just that. I didn’t want to spend any more money on applications. Thankfully, there were several freeware alternatives. The top two that come to mind are: fring, Gizmo, and nimbuzz. An important source for the freebie-loving Nokia owner is this website, Freeware for Symbian. I LOVE this website because not only do they tell you about the great applications available for free, they allow YOU to visit the publisher’s website to download the program yourself! This behavior makes them much more trustworthy than a site that offers the downloads from their site. So, I feel confident in recommending them to you, but as always, caveat emptor. My recommendation on the IM applications is to install and try them out. Here’s their section on Messengers. As for me, I’ve got Nimbuzz installed on my phone and PC. It fits my needs and you might come to that conclusion yourself so up and away! πŸ™‚

4) This fourth item is a hidden gem and I wish Nokia would do more to advertise it. Continue reading Applications for productivity and fun on the Nokia E71x