Ovi Store Failure, part deux

On the 28th of July, 2009, I made the mistake of purchasing an application (if you must know, it was the JoikuSpot Premium app) from the Ovi Store. My download of the app got interrupted and they made the dumb decision of not having your purchased apps available for re-download. I contacted them to get access and when I sensed that the process was going to be long and painful, I went ahead to purchase the same item from the Joiku Shop. Satisfied that I had fulfilled my craving for the JoikuSpot app (which sadly turned out to not be for me anyway), I decided to request a refund from Nokia/Ovi Store. You can track my posts on the Ovi Store mess through my “Ovi Store Sucks” or “Ovi Store Fail” tags.

Here is the full history of my contact with the Ovi Store:

  1. I communicated with their representatives via email at first when all I wanted was to re-download my application. See my first Ovi Store related post regarding the specifics of that conversation and how that went.
  2. Next, I contacted the Ovi Store via phone at least 3 times and each of those three times, my request for a refund was “escalated” to the Ovi Store Special Response Team. Each of those times I called, I was promised a callback in 24 – 48 hrs and I never received a callback. Each time, I had to initiate a call whereupon their response each time was to escalate the issue to the Ovi Store Special Response Team which is apparently unreachable by phone. I would like to take this opportunity to issue a $25 bounty (payable to whomever wins via Paypal) for anyone who can provide me with a working number for the Ovi Store Special Response Team. This fee will be payable upon my successful communication with the Ovi Store Special Response Team representatives. Note, I’m half-joking, but half-serious. If this transaction is illegal where you are, then you are out of the running. 😀
  3. My last phone communication with the Ovi Store was last week when I called and in a fury, demanded to speak with a real supervisor this time. This supervisor promised yet again that he would personally ensure that the matter was escalated yet again to the special Ovi Store Special Response Team. They actually gave me a number to fax my purchase details to and I absolutely balked at that because:
    1. I don’t have access to a fax machine.
    2. Is Nokia serious about needing everyone who wants a refund to FAX their purchase to a number? How 1990s is that?
    3. Has Nokia heard of identity theft? There is no way in hell I am going to fax my personal details to a number I have no idea about who it belongs to nor am I particularly inclined to trust that the Nokia folk aren’t blowing smoke up my arse.
  4. Of course and just as I had suspected, I still hadn’t received a call from the Ovi Store Special Response Team (OSSRT) and I decided to dispute the transaction with my bank. I made the mistake of using my VISA Debit card to make the purchase, but all is not lost as I took the following precautions:
    1. Allowed the Ovi Store time to resolve the issue. Again, see my first post for specifics.
    2. Have recordings of my conversations with the Ovi Store representatives on all occasions. If you don’t have a call recording application on your phone, I highly recommend you get one. I am currently using Best CallRecorder which I love because I can create rules as to which calls to not record i.e. conversations with my husband, etc. lol. The downside to Best CallRecorder is an annoying beep which, thankfully, doesn’t transfer to the actual recording.
    3. Followed procedures contained in their terms of service (Ovi Store Terms of Service) and followed the instructions I was given each time I spoke with the Ovi Store representatives. To make sure things haven’t changed suddenly, here is my capture of the Ovi Store Terms of Service document as of August 18, 2009 here.
    4. The particular issue that pertains to me are the sections highlighted. If you purchase an item from the Ovi Store, please memories this section (“Cancellations and Refunds”). To save you time, the relevant sections are: “You agree to the electronic delivery of Content being initiated concurrently with the placement of your order. You will not be able to cancel your order once it has been processed, and acknowledge that the nature of the Content is such that it cannot be returned. In the event that after your purchase you discover and promptly inform Nokia that (a) the Content license you have purchased is faulty; (b) the Content Nokia delivers to you does not match the description of the Content you ordered via the Ovi Store; or (c) technical problems delayed or prevented delivery of your Content, your sole and exclusive remedy with respect to such Content will be either replacement of such Content, or refund of the purchase price paid for such Content, as determined by Nokia. Otherwise, no refunds are available. If you encounter any of the above issues, please contact Nokia Customer Support at http://www.ovi.com/services/support/care. In the event Nokia opts to provide you with a refund, Nokia will attempt to process the refund within thirty (30) days. Please note that Nokia may not be able to process your customer support request if you are unable to provide your Transaction ID, which is provided to you by Nokia following your Content license purchase from the Ovi Store; provided you have supplied Nokia with a valid e-mail address at the time of purchase. Nokia may only process refunds for Content where the total price is above the monetary limit stipulated in applicable local legislation.”
    5. Thank heavens I also twittered about my frustrations because that will serve as further proof of the timeline and such.
  5. To cut this long story short, I contacted my bank today to dispute the transaction. I did this in good faith and maybe my bank will be able to get in touch with a person from the *gasp* Ovi Store Special Response Team or OSSRT. </end sarcasm>

Once again, the Ovi Store is a cautionary tale for all who are ga-ga about Nokia’s web store. It is nothing to write home about so do yourself a favor and purchase directly from the developers. I have since received a refund from the Joiku Shop in less than 2 weeks after letting them know that the application was not working as it should on my device. They didn’t ask for stupid stuff like my IMEI number yet again because guess what? They actually use the receipt numbers they issue as a means of tracking!! Who knew that things like receipt/order numbers served a purpose. Nokia would do well to take a leaf from the Joiku Shop’s playbook or hell, Handango’s!! At least, Handango keeps you in the know about the procedures and I got to know the representative! *sigh*

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