On my BlackBerry 9000 Bold diary of crashes and misdemeanors

Hobbes, you must know by now that my crackberry addiction (1, 2 and 3) keeps me off Nokias, Samsungs, SonyEricssons and Motorolas (well, in this case is just Motorola who keeps me away from Motorola), but since I am a bit mad at RIM trying to play cat and mouse with the wrong crowd (BB Storm for the iPhone-lovers and the Pearl 8220 for the SonyEricsson lovers of the world). You already have a niche product! Don’t lose focus just to increase turnover!

Anyway, since RIM doesn’t want to come up with updates to fix the Bold… I will just tell you what my potty Bold tells me…

2009/09/21
I think I was wrong. Battery life after update has dropped substancially to about 12h stand-by time  (aprox 1h30 on calls.) As I said yesterday, the Bold came up from the update with full-on 3G signal. As I commented in the past, using the 3G+2G signal option will drain your battery completely before you can say “Perhaps an iPho…”

I changed it over to “2G only” and regardless of that the full battery didn’t last 12h.

I am trying with a spare battery I’ve got. Just in case.

2009/09/20
I received yesterday an email informing me that a software update for the Bold was available. I downloaded it (it only works with Internet Explorer…), backed up everything on the phone (we’ve been down that road before, losing all the info) and went for the 30min-long update.

It might just be me, but my Bold seems… I don’t know, happier? Full-on 3G signal (never seen at home before), perceived longer battery life and speed.

2009/07/13
As always, I have no idea why it happens, but since I had to deal with it at least 9 times in the last three months, I’ll tell you anyway. The battery runs out specially fast, but the worse is when I go to bed. I lay down, switch the Bold off and, when I wake up and try to turn it on… nothing happens. For some reason the battery is completely worn off to 0%. I have to recharge it completely and even then it takes about 5 minutes to respond. With the battery completely drained, when the Bold gets back to life, even the time on the mobile was reset to 0:00 (and that goes without saying that, if you are in a hurry… you are screwed because it will take you about an hour to fully charge it).

2009/04/19
Since it seems I cannot surprise you any more, I thought of bringing this one up when you tried to browse the internet: “Input System Error. The System is being restarted”. You will have noticed that nothing was being restarted for a few minutes and only when you took the SIM card out and put it back in I started working (although the specially long time it took me to restart freaked you out again, didn’t it?). Continue reading

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On Vodafone and how to live off a brand name and nothing else

Calvin Ltd. has had a small business account with Vodafone for a few years now. We tried first with Virgin, then T-Mobile but they proved pretty deficient in terms of service and signal coverage, so in the classical crowd wisdom, we signed up with Vodafone. Surely a mammoth of telecommunications would know how to do business and treat its customers, surely…

Few years have gone by, and the amount of problems we have had to deal with has been so extensive and bizarre (from having to challenge a £17,000 charge that wasn’t ours to four new 8310 BlackBerry Curves in 2 months), that  I finally decided to write another diary, similar to the one I have been keeping on my BB Bold.

So please, enjoy and do not doubt to join in, as no matter how much time, effort and money I waste dealing with them, they never call back, apologise or explain what happened. We are playing the better the devil you know that the devil you don’t, but quite frankly, we are really tired of sending complaints to Vodafone.

Enjoy our misery:

(38) September 1, 2009
It has been a while since I had to spent longer on the phone to Vodafone than with my wife, mother and old friends together. But today I received the bills for July and September. For some unknown reason, they stopped (again) to send the call breakdown. We have been down this road before, so if I can gather enough strength tomorrow morning, I will call them before going to work.

(37) April 16th, 2009 at 9:34am
I finally got the patience to personally deal with Vodafone’s incompetence. I called customer services and it took me 13′ to get to speak to a human being (the usual “lines are busy”, I wonder how bad it is for normal customers, not business customers). I explained to Tracy, from Team 18 the situation with the USB Modem invoice and that I had been told last month that it wouldn’t happen again, but that it HAD happened again. She disappeared again for 3 minutes.

When she came back she said that she didn’t know what had happened, she apologised for the inconvenience and blamed the “brand new system”.

It was then, 18′ down the phone call when I asked her whether sending the invoice had been a mistake and the £14.15 were still outstanding. Silence. She rushed to say that the £14.15 were still outstanding (and due on March 31, by the way) but rushed to say that “as a goodwill gesture” they would credit our account with that amount.

“It won’t happen again”, she said, and I requested written confirmation. She asked for our email (what type of business doesn’t keep the email of their business customers?) and said that she would email it. I hope nothing. Continue reading

On doing yourself an expensive favour, avoid the new BlackBerry 8900 Curve

You know I am not a huge fan of the Blackberry 9000 Bold, but as a BB addict, I must confess that it grows in you. So many problems with it that in the end, if you are old school and grew up with Windows 2000 or Me, the random problems become a part of you.

Anyway, this afternoon I got the new Blackberry 8900 Curve, I think it also goes by the name of Javelin. At first, I thought of it as just an 8310 with a new fascia. Wrong, it is more than that.

Continue reading

On doing yourself an expensive favour, avoid the new BlackBerry Bold (III)

Hobbes, I am having second thoughts (again, 1, 2) about my by now, infamous Blackberry 9000 Bold. I don’t want to complain, because in the end is my fault for sticking to it, but browsing is really good and the keyboard a bliss for my thumbs.

But again, three things happened over the weekend that made me judge my judgement.

Disappointment #1. I spent Saturday working at the soon the open Westfield in White City, London, and I was constantly coming in and out the entrails of the beast, and the battery went down well over 60% in under 3h. Continue reading

On doing yourself an expensive favour, avoid the new BlackBerry Bold (II)

Hobbes, I know I know, last month I commented on the (lack of) virtues of the then brand new BlackBerry 9000 Bold.

But here I am again. Since Sunday night I have been trying to make it work and once I went through the problematic transfer of data (make sure you backup the information on your old device, twice) and ended up transferring one by one every database it allowed me to, I promptly deactivated the 3G network to avoid haemorrhaging battery. Continue reading

On doing yourself an expensive favour, avoid the new BlackBerry Bold

Hobbes, I had it already with the new BlackBerry Bold 9000.

I have had crackberries for the last 3 years, always getting the last model (what’s life without those little caprices?) and this is the first time I had to regret the change and go back to my 8310 (or 8300, it doesn’t matter if I can get away from the iPhone challenger).

At first I thought, reasons to move up to the Bold? Many. Edgy, 3G, larger screen, resolution, faster microchip… the lot!

But I got my first one two Fridays ago and had to exchange it the Monday after. It wouldn’t vibrate (I physically hate ringtones), and it would restart itself for no reason, even in the middle of a conversation. Continue reading