Friday evening, 14th of August, slightly bored I've been browsing Nokia Ovi Store on my Nokia E71 and eventually decided to give a try to a paid app for the first time ever, just for curiosity but also for a reason - that was a Best Birthday app that keeps track of people birthdays, and I've been already familiar with it, as I was using a trial some time ago.
Anyway, I clicked 'Buy' button and started wondering how the payment of ?1.50 will be taken from me. Credit card? Paypal? Google Checkout, perhaps? Nope. It will be taken off my phone bill. Clever. Clicked 'Confirm purchase' button later, which triggered a premium-rate text message, so it has nothing to do with network operator itself, it's just one of those 'expensive' SMS that you see in adult adverts on TV, and you'd normally never use (not officially, at least).
That nice impression so far has been immediately broken by a big, fat 'Connection error, please try again later' message on the very last screen - the one where I expected to download the app I've just paid for.
In the meantime, I have received a text message with purchase confirmation and a Transaction ID. Good, so at least I have a proof of purchase and I thought this issue will be resolved in no-time.
Having my billing checked for a premium SMS charge (in fact that was ?1.60, including ?0.10 standard network charge, which I wasn't anywhere noticed about), I went to the support section of http://store.ovi.com, filled in the contact form explaining the problem and providing the Transaction ID. My professional experience tells me that every modern eCommerce (or mCommerce rather, in this case) system should take the unique Transaction Identifier as the only and sufficient in most cases piece of information to lookup the issue. Imagine: 'OK sir, we've got that transaction here, it's paid but we can't see the successful download flag set, so you will get a refund straight away, sir, and we apologise for any inconvenience'. That's how it should work.
So, what I've got instead? Here's the email from so-called 'Ovi Support' that hit my inbox the day after:
Dear Arkadiusz Dawid,
Thank you for contacting Nokia Care.
I am sorry to hear about the issue that you are facing. In this case, I suggest that you get back to us with the details below for us to check further:
1. Software version: (type *#0000# while on the phone?s main screen)
2. IMEI and product code: (type *#06# while on the phone?s main screen)
3. Downloaded application:
4. Developer Name:
5. Transaction ID:
6. Date of purchase:
7. Method of Payment: Credit Card/PayPal/Pin Code/Operator billing
8. Did you access Ovi Store using phone or PC:
9. Attach a screenshot or scanned copy of any relevant bills / details:
10. Error message: (If any)
11. Ovi username:
12. Mobile Number:
Hope to hear from you soon! [...]
Since they forgot to ask my grandfather's hat size and my auntie's favourite colour, I have started worrying this case will ever find an end.
In fact, it's still unresolved. I have obviously responded to this questionnaire, filling all the required fields and also politely pointing out the complete lack of sense here. Few days later, having no response whatsoever, I've sent a follow-up email asking when is this going to be resolved. Yet again, no response. Started thinking - maybe there are lots of ripped-off people like me, hence they are dealing with a huge backlog of complaints? Who knows...
Nonetheless, I would never expect high-profile company like Nokia is going to be so poor in handling things like this. Or perhaps - because they are so high-profile company, they just don't care..?
PS. The day of publishing this post marks exactly the second week since Nokia decided to rip me off ?1.50.
UPDATE @2/09/2009: After contacting Nokia Ovi Support again, providing link to this post, I have received apologies and a valid download link for the application I have ordered. Finally.