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Old 11-01-2006, 12:47 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Why can't they make this thing easier to use?

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I've had an 8100 through TMO for a few days now, and I absolutely love it. However, it has taken me a lot of hours and hard work to get it to the point where I absolutely love it. Why?

For instance, when I first got the phone I wanted to set up email. I went to the my.t-mobile.com website, set up my email accounts and got no emails. The online help said "send service books" so I did. No email. There was no other information on the T-Mobile website on why I wasn't getting email. I then did something that most consumers shouldn't have to do to get a cell phone to work - I went online and searched google for help. I eventually found a lot of information on this site, but still no email. After a few hours of trying, I did the second thing a consumer shouldn't have to do on the first day they buy a new cell phone - I called customer care. While responsive, the best they could tell me was that there was network updates going on and perhaps it would work the next day. In fact, it did. But that's a lot to go through, and to ask a consumer to go through, to get a primary feature on the phone to work.

The fun didn't stop there though. My wife and I both bought 8100s and were testing them by calling and messaging each other. We noticed that her phone was missing some of my calls. We were sitting right next to each other and my phone would say "ringing" and her phone would never ring. WTF?! we said. So again, something I shouldn't have had to do - I went online to see why this might be happening. Turns out it was a bug in the TMO version of the OS. To get rid of it I had to upgrade the OS. Are you kidding me? I'm fairly technical and was willing to do this, and it worked and things are grand, but the average consumer probably can't, and definitely does not want to, have to do that to get their phone to not drop calls.

There have been other, minor things that I've relied on this forum for help on that should be either in the 8100 docs or on T-Mobile's website. Maybe other carriers have more information for their users, but TMO's site is sparse.

The final thing that took the cake was getting my 8100 to work as a modem for my laptop, a ThinkPad T43. This took me 5 hours to accomplish, and I didn't even find an answer on this site or any other site out there. I found hints that sent me in specific directions, but it was only through hacking away at my computer that I resolved my issues (solution posted elsewhere on this site). That's ridiculous for a mass-marketed consumer device.

Right now I love my 8100. But it took about as much work getting this thing to work to its utmost as it does getting a Linux distro up and running (and with distros like ubuntu, it might even take longer to get the 8100 up and going). Why? Why is it so hard to use this thing?

From reading online, it seems like Windows Mobile phones also have their issues, as do PalmOS phones. The only phones that don't seem to have these issues are ones that pretty much just dial phone numbers. This has got to change. There are far too many productive uses for Smart Phones and full-featured phone/devices for these issues to be there. More time has to be spent in making these things ready to go out of the box, or there will never be a large acceptance of these devices in the marketplace.

Finally, as a side note, TMO, at least, needs to give their sales reps a clue. I walked in to my local TMO authorized dealer (a different dealer than where I bought the phone) and this guy, who had been on the job for only 2 months, begged me to stick around and tell him all I had learned about the 8100 in the two days I had owned one. He had no idea about the phone (he didn't even have a functioning model, just a dead model with decals) and TMO didn't tell him anything. If the phone is going to have issues, the least TMO can do is inform their sales people a bit more so that the consumer can have a first line of help. It might even help their up-sales because it would create a better relationship between the consumer and the dealer.

Anyway, just my 2 cents.
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Old 11-01-2006, 03:01 PM   #2 (permalink)
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pressure to produce and money often leaves behind minor things such as the real answer to your question.
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Old 11-01-2006, 06:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default I agree, but...

I agree. This phenomenon has generated a lot of shabby products out there. The question is, why do we buy this crap? Instead of everyone adopting the hive mentality and buying bad products, why doesn't everyone adopt the hive mentality and *refuse* to buy bad products? Always amazes me. But of course, this isn't a new conversation - it's been ongoing for decades. Just always interesting when I encounter the blatantly obvious myself. Being fairly tech savvy and intelligent, sometimes I take for granted that stuff just won't work correctly right out of the box. I'm just amazed so many other people accept this too.
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Old 11-01-2006, 10:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The thing is that this will be happening more often with even newer things coming out. Soon enough you will need to read the manual and restart your car's computer before setting off
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