Letstalk == FAIL

I was quite excited when I found out I had been excepted into the N810 maemo device program. I own an N800 and really like it. Nokia is doing some really interesting things with both the N-series and Open Source, so I was looking forward to being able to get an early look at the device and post about it here. I even had plans to give away my N800 to someone who was willing to do something interesting for maemo. It has been epic fail ever since. The main target of the program was developers (so they could get early access to develop), documentation writers (so they could get early access to write docs), bloggers (to stir up interest), community supporters, maemo evangelists – well, you get the idea… early adopters and influentials. The first thing that struck me as odd was that this program made the device available long after the device was available to the general public. Ironic, considering the target market. For the deal I was getting though, I was happy to let this slide. Then came the mix up with discount codes. As this point, the device has been available in stores for about two months. The problem has been pretty well documented. I still held off on commenting. Hiccups happen (especially when the size of a program is so small, compared to the size of Nokia). They were doing a good thing, I figured, and I really like the N800 – so I’ll cut them some slack.

Then, I am finally able to place my order. I figured I’d still have the device in time for SCALE, where I could show everyone how great it was. The device came with 2 day shipping standard. About 5 days later, still no N810. I log in to check the status of my order. Status: CANCELED. No call or email from Letstalk, just canceled. I thought it might be a mixup, but yesterday I got an email saying the order was canceled (with no explanation). So, today I call Letstalk. They don’t seem to be 100% sure why the order was canceled, but it may be because I have placed too many orders with them in a short period of time. I have never even heard of this company, let alone order anything but this N810. So, I try to place an order over the phone. First, they tell me I’ll have to transfer to a different department right after my order, or else it will be auto-canceled again. Odd, but whatever. Then, they can’t get the developer discount code to work. A couple times on hold and finally that is resolved. Then, they place the order with a completely made up address (I kid you not – after telling him my address multiple times and having my previous order to look at… the confirmation email I got said Michigan). Another call and they straighten out the address, but my order has to be “confirmed”. Another call for that. The rep explains that they will need to call my bank and verify the shipping address and some other information. Sure, no problem. About 20 minutes later he says that the bank has confirmed all my information and identity. He now needs my SSN so he can access some public records and verify three questions. At this point, I canceled the order. I’m not sure what would have been needed after I answered the three questions, but I assume it would have involved a blood sample. If you getting word directly from my bank is not good enough, what is?

So, I guess I won’t be getting an N810 after all… which is a shame. I’ll certainly never do business with Letstalk again and it really reflects poorly on Nokia as well. The N-series is fantastic in general and the N810 looks to be the best yet. Nokia just bought Trolltech and seems to be moving more and more toward Open Source. I really do wish them the best, but I hope they wise up to the fact that Letstalk is giving them a very bad image.

–jeremy

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