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Back in November I purchased a Sony Ericsson Xperia Mini Pro Android phone as my daughter’s Christmas present. O2 had a limited offer on it at the time where you got an additional £20 voucher with it, so I snapped it up.

When I received it, I took the phone out of the box, put the SIM card in and generally checked that all seemed fine. There’s nothing worse than being given something expensive as a present only to find it a “lemon” on the day! I also took the opportunity to upgrade the phone’s firmware as well to the latest (if that goes wrong it could “brick” the phone, so doing this straight away seemed the sensible thing to me). This went well, so I packaged the phone back up.

Come Christmas, my daughter was very happy with her phone. Unfortunately, after a few hours, things turned sour. Whenever she left the phone it would lock (as it’s supposed to) but then turn itself off. A quick Google found that other users had experienced the same problem but I couldn’t find a solution. The PC software that you can use with the phone comes with a “repair” option but that refused to work (see screenshot to the right). A system reset didn’t solve the problem either. However, I did find that it didn’t turn off if the phone was charging.

Anyway, Christmas being Christmas (relatives to visit, etc) I wasn’t able to call O2 until Wednesday 29th. I rang Customer Services and they were very pleasant and happy to help. When they realised that there was nothing they could do and the phone would need changing, they put me through to their “exchange and repair” department. That’s where it went wrong. The new lady I spoke to was short with her responses, unhelpful and, unfortunately, speaking on a bad line which made the whole conversation even more difficult.

When she looked up my details she realised that I’d had the phone over a month. Therefore, it would need returning to be “repaired”. I explained that it was a Christmas present, so she said she’d speak to a manager. This seemed to take a while and when she returned she said that it was policy to wave the usual month limit in this situation 1.

Next, she told me that the phone was out of stock. Funny, they were selling it on their website. At this point they managed to find stock.

Finally, she gave me the details of where to send the phone and told me they wouldn’t send the new one until they’d received it – this may take up to 2 weeks. I sent the phone that day. The next day the new one turned up 2.

This phone works fine but, oddly, came with a more recent version of the firmware than the original had shipped with. None-the-less, it didn’t have the latest. BUT, I haven’t updated – I don’t know whether it was this update that caused the original issue or not. Unfortunately, I never noted the original phones initial firmware level but, for interest, the replacement phone (sans power issue) is on 4.0.2.A.0.42. The latest level is 4.0.2.A.0.58.

A return to form from O2 on their poor customer service. Meantime, I have contacted Sony Ericsson to see if they can shed any light on this problem.

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  1. question – if this is standard policy, why did she not say anything about this first, but speak to a manager instead?[]
  2. obviously inept in multiple ways[]