My journey of using cell phones began in 2001, when I bought the Ericsson R600. Soon after, Ericsson partnered up with Sony, and Sony Ericsson was born. Although a vast majority of the people in India used Nokia phones (heck, they still do), I used Sony Ericsson phones for nearly 6 years. After using 4 different phone models from the company, I bought my 5th and final SE phone – M600i. This was the first time I owned a Smartphone, and that too with a touchscreen.
M600i ran on the UIQ3 platform, based on the Symbian operating system. The feeling of using this phone was great. There was so much I could do with it, and touchscreen was the cherry on top! However, after a few days of normal usage, shortcomings started to appear. The phone was buggy, and could not multitask very well. It was clear the phone had not been properly tested before release.
I, like many other loyal users of SE, had faith that they would soon release firmware upgrades and resolve the issues. To our unpleasent surprise, SE did little to address the problems. Firmware upgrades were few and far in between, and while they would fix some holes, they would also introduce several new bugs with every subsequent release! Informed powerusers of the platform gave regular feedback to SE through various channels, but it fell on deaf ears. SE’s customer support service is a bad joke!
Still, the adorers of SE (like me and thousands others) did not lose faith – we knew something was coming. Much to our horror, in less than 9 months of launching the phone and issuing 4 buggy firmware upgrades, SE dropped support for all UIQ3 models present at that time. Apart from M600i, it also included W950i, and their much-hyped flagship P990i. Not only this, SE also modified their white papers to delete some of the stuff they had falsely claimed their phones could do!
This created an uproar amongst users. Online protests followed, and angry users threatened to sue the company. After a struggle of 3 months, SE announced that it would issue one final upgrade for only the P990i. The users of other first generation UIQ3 models were abandoned. Soon after, peeved users of the platform came together and drafted a letter addressed to the new CEO of SE. This was a diplomatic business letter signed by more than 500 users. A hard copy of the letter was couriered to the CEO’s office, a soft copy was emailed. Till date, the letter has not even been acknowledged by SE!
More than having a buggy phone, what really pisses me off about the whole situation is SE’s attitude towards its customers. I have decided to voice my opinion with my wallet. I will never use Sony Ericsson phones again!