Nokia Lumia 920: No buy until further notice… (Update + 720 info)

Update 22/7: I finally agreed to repair the 920 with a charge (changing the main board or something similar…) but I’m waiting for it from somewhere in Hungary for 2 months now. For the last 5 months that I can’t use the 920, I’m using a red 720 which is a worthy replacement. Bought it for €250 in Abu Dhabi (but now I know that I don’t have a warranty). It does everything that the 920 with just two things to be aware of: the optical stabilization that helps 920 take incredible low light photos is not there and a restriction of the Here Drive+ app that can work with only one downloadable map (for the country that the SIM is “connected”). The amazing microphone (and the technlogy that supports it) is still there, so you can capture a live show like never before. And its battery keeps it alive for two working days! I completely ignore the 512MB “limit” because I don’t use my smartphone as a gaming console… Waiting for the 1020!

A major mess (in my opinion) on the way Nokia handles warranties and repairs/replacements makes all Lumias a no buy for me now.

I bought a Lumia 920 (an amazing black device) in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia while working there. The 920 model wasn’t available in Athens yet and getting it through my MO wouldn’t offer something special in price. After exactly 5 days of the best experience I had with a smartphone, things turned bad. But I wasn’t there. I was already in Peru and starting my 3 weeks in Latin America. A typical life for a modern nomad. Mobility is what keeps us connected to work and family… Right? Nokia has another idea of mobility.

The details of the problem can be the content of another post, a problem that has hit (as far as I understand from the fora) A LOT of users of 920. But this problem made the device unusable: overheating and an empty battery in a couple of hours, a camera that is actually destroyed. I contacted Nokia support online to check how I can visit a Nokia service center in Greece, the country that is my base for most of the time and the only place I can drop a device and pick up a repaired or replaced one after a couple of weeks. The “online” response was that my lumia was not covered by warranty in Greece because it was bought outside EU! Wow! I thought duty free shops at airports all over the world try to sell you something that can only be fixed in their country. You have to go back there. And not just at the airport (airport shops will not accept a device to fix) but outside in the city to find a Nokia service center…

I’m not talking about a TV or something for home use. I’m talking about MOBILE DEVICES. Smartphones that we buy somewhere to use somewhere else in the world. Some of us even spend most of the time outside the country which may be our home country and the country that we bought the device. I didn’t contact Greece because I’m Greek. I contacted Greece because this is the place I can drop the device for a fix. If I was planning to stay for a month in Malaysia, I would be contacting their service center because I would expect my smartphone to be fixed there. I need my smartphone. It’s part of my life. Isn’t it true?

I know another friend (he’s or was an MVP too) who had the same problem but buying a device in Europe and travelling to North America. If Nokia insists on this warranty policy, a “non-mobility warranty” that will make their power users, the ones who travel a lot and truly rely on these devices, switch to other manufacturers not because of Windows Phone 8 which is amazing, not because of the smartphone itself which has technology that really surpasses everything else, but just because of a silly decision of someone in customer services…

Nokia, I’m waiting. Till then, Lumias are perfect but their warranty works only where you bought it. Let’s say the Guadalahara airport while on honeymoon…

PS1: I don’t know how HTC or Samsung handle such a situation. I hope they treat their customers in a better way.

PS2: The criticism above is about a smartphone that costs more than a base salary in my country. I wouldn’t expect Nokia or anybody else to provide the same support for eg. Nokia 100 which sells for €27. I would just throw it to the bin…PS3: I accept that a Lumia sold outside EU is covered by 12 months while in EU by 24 months. I believe this is also reflected in the price difference.

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