Two weeks ago, my 20-month-old Nokia E71 suddenly gave up and crashed. It took me about a week to find my system back, with minor abrasions and damages. Here are a few lessons from my experience that could be of help to those who may be walking a wedge in the age of digital lifestyles.
Back up your data regularly: I lost my handset but the last time I had backed up my contact book was in January. So I lost all the new numbers added over five months. Mercifully, in the case of photos taken on my mobile camera, only a week’s work was lost. Data includes messages, photos, music collections and even bookmarks.
Keep a second handset, if possible: You need time to load backed-up data and often these days, a day’s work involves dealing with contacts, calling them or receiving calls. A second handset with your contacts in them can save you the bother where they don’t give you replacement handsets when you are going through repairs. I am saying this because you can now get handphones cheaper than repair costs. Nokia wanted me to pay about Rs4,500 to repair a set that was no longer in the market before agreeing to swap my set for a used E72.
Don’t scale too early: Nokia E71 was 3G ready, they said when I bought it. India’s 3G services are barely starting and my set is dead. I was trying to be smart in an industry where a handset lasts less than an affair in a TV soap opera. A cheaper handset with a two-year horizon would have made me happier.
Look out for warranties: Advanced repairs involve spare parts and service costs that can cost as much as a handset. Think of a “usage lifecycle” when you buy a digital product. Try to buy maintenance warranties/contracts like insurance. Keep an e-guru handy – Nokia has its own not so well-publicised e-gurus. You were not exactly born to frequently read user manuals. A “digi” friend, usually an eager geek or a bright kid in the family, works better than a lousy call centre.