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When is a defect not really a “defect”

You can apply these comments to any Smartphone, or electronic device for that matter. But as the Lumia 900 is the talk of the town right now, lets stay with that. I have been reading several different forums the past two weeks, picking up tidbits about the L900 and users experiences. Here is a sampling of some of the things I have read:

– Got a couple scratches on my screen, so figure I will return my L900 for the data problem (although I don’t have one)

– So how many of you are exchanging your black or cyan L900s for white when it becomes available next week?

– When I tap the back of my L900, above the camera, I hear a rattling sound. Exchanged my phone and the next day I heard the rattle again. Gonna bring this one back when they get more in stock.

– My camera didn’t turn on when I press and hold the Camera button. Planning on exchanging my L900 tomorrow. Should I get the black or cyan?

– Can’t stand the camera on the L900, so went to AT&T and tried out a few other L900s. I think the one I got now is better.

– After a week I noticed that the front edge of my screen is slightly higher than the back edge of the screen. Exchanged my L900 yesterday

– Don’t like the vibration sound on my phone. So I exchanged it, but the new one sounds the same way. My girlfriend’s L900 sounds different. Think I will bring this one back tomorrow and try again.

Ok, I know AT&T has this “almost no questions asked” exchange policy, but isn’t this going a little too far. Let’s forget your legal rights for a second. What about ethics. I realize that of the thousands of L900s that have been sold, I am only reading comments from a small handful of perfectionists ( or shysters), but it’s still a problem. All these nonsensical returns and phantom problem comments cast a dark shadow on the L900, or any device.

Now I don’t have a problem with getting what you paid for (actually Nokia/AT&T is paying you a buck for the phone – $99 – $100 = -($1)) and if there is a physical problem with the phone; dead pixels, inoperative buttons, non-working camera, then by all means exchange your phone. But if the problem is subjective, not objective, or it’s an obvious software glitch, do you really think an exchange is going to change anything. It took Nokia less than five days to explain the data connection issue (guess I was lucky, no issue for me) and only another three to provide a solution, in addition to the $100 credit. Some commenters even refused to hard reset their phones first before going back to AT&T, explaining that they shouldn’t have to do that with a new phone. Instead, they would prefer breaking the seal on another box and effectively doing the same thing they would have done with a hard reset. Go figure.

I am not a very lucky person. Traffic lights “always” turn red when I approach. And you can be sure the cash register will run out of paper tape as soon as they try to ring me up. The one second power failures here in Florida are a new one for my list. Ten minutes while everything reboots. I did beat the NJ Lottery out of $42K about 20 years ago, but that wasn’t luck. I developed a system that was virtually foolproof. At least till they changed the odds and payout percentages six week later. But despite my misfortunes. I have never had the need to return a single PDA/Pocket PC/Dumb or Smartphone, and I have had my fair share these past 20 years. Yes, I did have an hX4700 that would hard reset if you tried to switch out the battery unless the device was plugged in. Only problem is the power plug blocked the battery, so I was stuck with two spare batteries and a charger that i couldn’t use for six months till the firmware was updated (thank you HTC for that). And my Surround would freeze if I didn’t immediately respond to an alarm, almost from the day i got the phone. Got tired of waiting for HTC to fix this one and did a hard reset, which magically fixed everything. And lets not forget the Live Tile fiasco from last year, and the continuing saga of the disappearing keyboard. Should I/we have exchanged our devices, for another device that would almost assuredly do the same thing. Of course not.

Now, if you try out the Lumia 900 and are not happy with the OS, or the style, or whatever, you have a right to return it and try something else. But to dupe the system and return your phone to get a different color, or maybe a slightly different pitch from the vibration circuit. Hey, that’s just wrong. It hurts the platform, and drives up the cost for everyone, because someone has to pay for it. And it won’t be AT&T. Can’t imaging how these perfectionists deal with trying to buy a car or find a soul mate. Yes I can. They do a lot of walking, alone.