A very bad user experience with my Nokia E61

Here is a bad personal experience with my mobile, a smartphone Nokia E61.

Over the first 8 months of 2008, i was billed more than 4 000€ (+/- 6 000$) in international internet connections. I never ever use the mobile internet. Every time i travel out of France with my Nokia, my mobile internet connections go live without me being able to stop it.

I bought a Nokia E61 at the end of last year after seeing a demo. Thought it was pretty cool for my usage: talk, synchronize with Outlook and read emails. Since i am not a techy, i needed help to configure it for my email addresses and my corporate server. At the time, i was discussing a business deal with Nokia and my contact introduced me to a Nokia person who offered to configure it for me. Let’s call her Lucie. Lucie got in touch with Joe, at my company. And it all worked well.

That’s when the trouble started. When i cam back from Christmas vacations in Senegal, my company’s accountant told me my phone bill amounted to €1 500. It happened again and again when i went to Barcelona for the Mobile World Congress, to LIFT in Switerland, to the WEB2.0 in SF, and to Malta for CEPIC. And again last summer during vacations in Grece where i was billed an additional €632.

Systematically, when i turn the phone on, the mobile internet gets connected.

Initially, i thought the problem came from SFR – Vodafone in France. It did not. In fact, SFR was really helpful and, most important to me, they cancelled all Mobile Internet related bills. Twice, with their technical staff, we tried to reconfigure the Nokia E61 to stop this automatic routine. I travelled after these tests but it happened again. I also talked to Chritophe from Services mobiles, but he could not find a solutions.

So guess what. The only way to solve this was to find out what Lucie had done to the phone. 2 weeks ago, I called Lucie and told her the story. She said she would call me back at the end of the day. She never called back and in spite of 3/4 additional calls and a couple of emails, the only thing i heard from from Lucie was silence.

I’ll be travelling to Berlin in October and will not dare take my Nokia, no matter what happens now. Easy, i’ll change phone. But isn’t that a pretty bad user experience? And the lack of answer? Talk about « connecting people ».

I must add that i also had technical challenges with my Canon video camera while i was in Malta interviewing; but there, i got outstanding online support from the french product manager and the technical staff. And i just bought a Samsung, and got the adequate support from the technical standard to set it up.

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  1. Hi Franck !

    I had the same problem when I traveled across the States. My carrier is Orange and I have a Nokia N95.
    My bill was about 700 € (less than yours) among which 450 of wap ! I complained about it, explaining that I was not a green horn in that field and that I just HADN’T surfed on my mobile while there.
    Orange answered me that « everything was normal » but eventually paid me back my so-called consumptions.

    So I got my money back but I still don’t understand what happened. Something must be wrong with the connection default options.


  2. Emmanuel,
    See how things have evolved on my French Post on YouVox Tech.

  3. Same problem. I purchased a Nokia E61 from a friend, a telecom expert and had him and my computer specialist set it up. The phone was for my wife who travels a lot. We were able, during the tests in Italy (where we live) to choose the connection accesses (open Wi-Fi)rather than an automatic Telecom Italia connection. The internet roaming bill came and fortunately it was only 350 euros for 4 days in Eastern Canada. But bis repetitat for another trip to Northern California. Fortunately for wife I had told her I would pay the bills. She has given me back the phone in the meantime.
    Note that while we were in Paris the same problem yet again occurred. All together I would suggest what my wife and I are doing, get yourself a notebook and drop your phone, unless the Telecom operators come up with a simple worldwide plan and fee.

  4. Maybe of some help to some of us.
    The answer comes from Nokia Europein Italy(NokiaCare.EUROPE@nokia.com):
    « Dear Mr Bood,Thanks to contact Nokia care Service.
    To resolve your problem, please cancel all access point from your phone related with your Mobile operator; to cancel them, go in Menù->Tools->Settings->Connection->Access Points, choose this points and cancel them; if you need to go in internet by phone, ask to your operator new settings, recommending them to send configutrations without automatic data connection.Best Regards »

  5. Christopher,
    I’ll do exactly what you and your wife did. Thanks for the technical patch. Nokia, in France, called me after the publication of this post. Which did not drastically impacted the problem.f

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