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April 17, 2008

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Amy Gahran

Hey, Beth

Honestly, you seem to have dug into this better than I did. Thanks for doing that.

I don't know whether my phone was a US phone or not, and I don't have the serial number since I returned the phone. It was sold to me as a US phone, just as yours was. I still have the "product code," but I don't think that's the same thing as the serial number.

And I'm sad to hear that in fact your firmware is as old as mine was. It should not be so confusing to figure out which firmware version you have on a Nokia phone. And no vendor should be selling phones with vastly outdated firmware, anyway.

I'd say that before you upgrade your firmware, you read the warranty language very carefully. And call Nokia (and record the call) to get a clear statement ahead of time on whether they will fix or replace it for free if the firmware upgrade STILL bricks the phone, despite their assurance that it wouldn't. And also find out how long getting your phone back would take. They need to be on the record about this.

Furthermore, Nokia's software upgrade program (the PC-only crap) gave me no choice about which firmware edition it was going to supply to my phone. That process was completely automatic, and completely under Nokia's control. And since my phone was sold to me by Amazon as an unlocked US phone, I had no reason to suspect it might be otherwise.

In my case, all I knew was that I wanted to use Nokia's own Share on Ovi service for moblogging, and I couldn't make it work, and it seemed the likely reason for that problem was the vastly outdated firmware on my phone. I followed Nokia's own upgrade process, using Nokia's tools and instructions, and got a brick. This was in no way my fault, yet Nokia would not guarantee they'd fix or replace it for free.

If your firmware upgrade works, then it's possible that Amazon sold me a non-US phone -- which means other US N95 users should verify with Nokia whether their phones are US models before upgrading the firmware, and exchange them promptly.

If your firmware upgrade bricks your phone, then Nokia is giving out incorrect information.

But in any case, it appears that US N95 users should make a record of their phone's serial number and firmware version the phone was issued with, in case that info is needed to pressure Nokia into honoring warranties.

Good luck,

- Amy Gahran

Beth Kanter

Amy,

I called again, but damn didn't record it. I will. See above. They claim that they will fix it for free (except shipping) and it take ten days to fix and that this problem has occurred before and they have fixed bricked phones.

Also, another point about battery juice or keep it plugged in.

I'm going to call again ... and record the call. Do I have to tell them I recording...:-)

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