Consumerism: the illness of our times

You know, it really bothers me when I read ramblings of people who bought a certain gadget and then they write how terrible that gadget is and that they are going back to their previous gadget and are selling their current one. No, I don’t mean that consumers should not write reviews of their purchases (on the contrary), but when the consumer is getting pissed off about missing features that he knew they didn’t exist when he bought the gadget, why bother writing a rant? It was his fault in the first place. He shed real money for a product and he should have done his research before buying it.

Bernie wrote a rant on his blog about his Nokia E61 experience. The Nokia E61 is actually a nice phone (and it DOES have a good battery life, contrary to what Bernie says), but it does have other problems as I have written in my review. But the thing is, Bernie was not ranting about the real problems of the device (e.g. VoIP not working as advertised), but about why he couldn’t find this and that application that he was used to when he was having a PalmOS device.

I replied to his blog, but he never authorized my reply. Basically, all but two of his points are third party application-related. It’s all about software he can’t get in the S60 3rd Edition platform compared to PalmOS’. Well duh! The S60 3rd Edition platform exists for only 5 months officially (last April was the first phone released based on that platform), while the PalmOS platform exists for over 7 years. There are 30,000 PalmOS apps and about 50 S60 3rd Edition native apps available. Yes, this is a real problem, but if this person actually did some research before buying this expensive gadget, he would know all about S60’s limited application library. This is not a case of a reviewer getting a review unit to write an article and mentioning this problem, but this is a case of a consumer shedding real money for a gadget without doing proper research. It was a waste of his money, and instead of being pissed off at himself, he is pissed at Nokia!

The only point where he is right to shout about, is about the ports/jack connectors. Nokia does not use industry standard headphone jacks and mini-usb for charging and that sucks. But we can’t do much about it (eventually they will listen, just like Apple did with their proprietary connectors and slots over the years).

If you want to read a FAIR rant on a Nokia product, read Vince’s article on his newly purchased Nokia N73. He did find problems, but these are problems exposed AFTER you actually have the phone in your hands and you try to make it work, and NOT about non-existant features that you knew beforehand that they weren’t there.

Personally, I don’t buy most gadgets. I have a closet full of them, but I don’t buy them (except if they are over a certain price point in which case I usually pay the difference). I am given most of them for free so I can write reviews about them. But when I actually decide to buy a gadget with my own money, it’s gotta be pretty perfect. The last gadgets I actually bought was the iPod Mini, 1.5+ years ago and the Canon A700 last May. And heck, I even got major discounts for both of them (about $50 on each)! When it’s about paying the full price, I research deeply before I buy something.

???e??a, ? f?a???f?????.

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Apotheosis wrote on September 1st, 2006 at 9:28 AM PST:

I agree totally, I do not think you are f?a???f?????! It is wrong to judge something on the merits of what it does not have, simly because, as you say, it’s like comparing apples to oranges. Oh my apple does not create this zesty orange feeling in my mouth. Well, then buy a bloody orange.

It is like when I read reviews on games that do not have multiplayer and the reviewer is bashing them for not having a multiplayer module. But thay are supposed to be single player only, why force a square peg in a triangle hole?


Bernie wrote on September 3rd, 2006 at 1:23 AM PST:

Hi there, I don’t know why, but I felt the need to respond to your rant about my rant ;)

First of all, it wasn’t my intention to delay the authorization of your comment (though if I did, I wouldn’t need to justify it). It’s just that I’ve been away from broadband and EDGE charges costs a bomb for me. So even though I did get email notfications of your posts, I didn’t authorize them.

Regarding your stereotyping of people ‘people who bought a certain gadget and then they write how terrible that gadget is and that they are going back to their previous gadget and are selling their current one’; I didn’t sell the Nokia E61. On the contrary, I didn’t even regret my purchase. If you read the first line of my post, I only regretted selling off my T5. That’s all.

However, you are right in stating I didn’t rant about the device per se, rather I ranted about how the E61 compares to a Palm OS device – that’s the purpose of my post. However, even if I had wanted to do a review of the E61, it still have a few bugs – LED blinking, failure of the email key when GSM signal is lost, failure to restore a backup from memory card – are a few that I can remember. My-Symbian S60 3rd Edition has a few lively discussions. I’m active there so feel free to join me there :)

Anyway, I’ve responded to your comments as well over at my blog.

mobilephoneextreme wrote on September 6th, 2006 at 4:08 AM PST:

Well, nice opinion.

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