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Nokia and Backorder Hell

Posted on April 17, 2009 by under Blog, Life, Reviews, Wishlist.    

If you have not been following my Tweets then let me fill you in.

On April 3rd I ordered a new phone through Nokia. I had some difficulties through their web site previously but through the assistance of the Nokia customer service center I was able to resolve the issue and get the phone ordered properly. However, Nokia failed to mention that I would be in backorder hell and would possibly never receive my phone. Below is a letter that I just send to there web site.

Let me start by saying that I have been a faithful user of Nokia for over 10 years. I have had just about every Nokia phone ever released. I know this probably does not amount to much since there are several people in this world that are just like me, but I thought I would say it anyway.

I recently attempted to purchase a Nokia E71. Due to some confusion on your web site my order was messed up and rejected. Despite this Nokia held almost $800 on my credit card for a week before releasing the held funds. The rep that I called (Rob) helped sort out the situation and assisted me in placing another order for the phone I wanted. He also offered me a free headset due to my phone being on back order (it was originally in stock when this whole mess started). Overall, I was pleased with the resolution and was advised that the phone would be in within 2 weeks and should ship shortly after that. This was the end of the good customer service. Things all down hill from here.

I had been following the web site waiting for the backorder flag to fall. Sure enough it fell off about 2 weeks later just as I was advised. However, I did not receive a shipping confirmation. In an attempt to find out why my phone did not ship I called customer service and spoke to another rep. This rep did not speak English very well and I had difficulty understanding everything that he was saying. I did not even get his name. I asked what was holding up my order and he advised that the phone was in but they could not ship my order because the headset was now on backorder. I was frustrated by this and asked what could be done. The only thing that he could do was apologize, nothing was offered to make amends for the error. Nothing was done to appease me for the inconvenience. Nothing was done at all. To make matters worse, the rep tried to tell me that I was offered a special deal by the previous rep. I had to immediately stop him and advise that the phone price is the same that is offered to every person that orders through the web site. I went on to advise that the headset offer was the one that is currently being promoted on the web site as well and that the free shipping is something that is offered through your company if you order anything over $200.00. I stated that nothing that I received was any more special and it was something that any other customer would have received if they had placed the same order. He then apologized, he did not say what for, I can only assume it was for trying to mislead me and getting caught.

I called again the following day and requested a supervisor. I received Jessica, a floor supervisor. I have worked in Call Centers before, I know that a floor supervisor is not a TRUE supervisor; their authority is limited (which I found throughout the conversation with her to be true). However, I gave her a chance. The only thing that she could offer was to remove the headset and then the phone would ship. I don’t see how this benefits me as a customer. I have to sacrifice something in order to get something. So now I am stuck in backorder hell. I am supposed to receive a phone with a headset but I cannot receive the phone because the headset is back ordered, then there is no guarantee that I will even receive the phone when the headset comes in because the phone may be on backorder again. The only option I seem to have is that I will have to sacrifice a portion of my order in order to get my phone, thus making my devise only partially useful in my opinion.

I have purchased many devices over the years from numerous companies and I have never had this much difficulty getting a device as I have through your company. I advised the supervisor that I would give it another week. I am sorry to say that if I do not see any progress from your company in this week I am going to cancel my order. I am also going to make sure that everyone that I speak to (Twitter, Facebook, blog, forums, text or e-mail including everyone I know in Wichita), is made aware of the trouble that I have had with your company and advise against ordering any Nokia products in the future. As it stands, my wife now refuses to purchase the 5800 Express. I had her convinced that this would be a viable replacement for her T-Mobile Wing and she was going to purchase it as soon as I had received my phone (she wanted to look at mine first before deciding) she now does not wish to purchase anything and suggested a week ago that I should cancel my order. I am trying to give your company the opportunity to correct its mistakes, but at the moment I do not see that you care to fix your error or even care about the customer at all. You seem to feel that a simple apology will suffice regardless of the situation or circumstances.

With the upcoming expiration of the contract between Apple and AT&T, the iPhone will soon be the most sought after phone on the market (more than it is currently) leaving companies like yours clamoring for business in the handset market. Exceptional Customer Service and customer loyalty are going to be the only things that will save a company in near future. At the moment my loyalty is fading by the day and if things do not improve I have no choice but to seek a new cell phone manufacturer.

I hope that this does not fall on deaf ears and I hope that someone takes and interest in the actions that took place.

After sending the letter I was shown the following message.

Your e-mail has been submitted. A Nokia Customer Care representative will respond promptly. Your questions and comments are important to us.

Since I am not satisfied with the service to begin with, I found it comical that the letter would go to the very people that I am complaining about. I guess my last little statement at the bottom is true after all. Some little CSR at Nokia will look at this and decide that its not a good thing for the rest of the CS group and can it. Which means I will most certainly cancel my order by Friday if nothing happens.

Lack of customer service and a decline in customer loyalty must be why Nokia’s earnings have declined by 90% in the last year according to Gizmodo. Looks like I will become one of the many iPhone Sheeple soon.

All hail the iPhone.

Related Stories

  • Phones of Memory [I am a Nokia Fanboy] on June 7, 2009
  • My Wishlist on May 4, 2009
  • Ching’s Old Phones [I’m a Camera Phone Junkie] on June 8, 2009
  • Ching is Ready to Pop a Gasket on June 13, 2010
  • Nokia E71 Unboxing on April 30, 2009

  • Replies to "Nokia and Backorder Hell"


    Iren  on May 1, 2009

    Nokia is bellwether for global cell phones business. Chip suppliers to handsets makers will benefit when cell phone business stabilizes and grows. I like and own shares of CAMD, which receives 70% of its revenues from handset companies including Samsung, LG, Nokia and Motorola. CAMD has strong balance sheet (lots of cash, no debt) and EV/ sales lower than most tech companies. I feel that RFMD, TQNT, QCOM and SWKS are good chip companies but CAMD is a better investment.


    Sandeep Tara  on May 4, 2009

    Dear Brian
    I have done the same mistake as you, and the result money is taken but wait for phone I ordered on April, 14th and today is 5th May the back ordered status still maintained by Nokia, I could not get any information about expected date as they rely on rain for their crops, So I am praying

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