When customers complain about a recently released flagship smartphone, there are apparently two ways to respond. You can pretend there isn’t a problem and stage an elaborate event with lots of hand waving and redirection. Or you can address the problem quickly, and do right by customers. Nokia has chosen the latter approach.
Remember Antennagate, when Apple’s iconic iPhone 4 was found to suffer from an endemic hardware design flaw that caused massive signal loss when the device was held in a commonly used way? And remember how Apple pretended it wasn’t a problem and then actually held a press conference that fooled many in the press into believing it wasn’t a problem?
Yeah, Nokia’s not doing that.
Just three days after the Finnish smartphone giant released its flagship Windows Phone handset, the Lumia 900, Nokia revealed that there was a software flaw that could, in some cases, lead to temporary data-connectivity issues. And instead of ignoring the problem, telling customers to wait for some future update, or holding a press conference with lots of hand waving and redirection, Nokia is instead doing something unexpected. Something noble.
Nokia is doing the right thing.
Those who did purchase the Lumia 900 already—it debuted exclusively on Sunday on AT&T Wireless in the United States—can hold out until Monday, April 16, when Nokia will deliver a software update that fixes the problem. Or, you can swap your phone for an updated Lumia 900 that doesn’t exhibit the problem. In either case, everyone who did purchase a Lumia 900 will receive a $100 credit to their AT&T bill from Nokia.
According to a post to the Conversations by Nokia Blog, the issue doesn’t even affect all Lumia 900s already in the market. And it can easily be fixed with a software update. “A memory-management issue was discovered that could, in some cases, lead to loss of data connectivity,” the post notes. “This issue is purely in the phone software, and is not related to either phone hardware or the network itself. As a proactive and prudent measure, we decided to take immediate action. We have identified the issue and have developed a solution.”
I hope Apple is taking notes, because this is how you respond to valid customer complaints. Not by telling them to hold the phone differently or by staging an elaborate event that tries to redirect the conversation to other topics. You respond by doing the right thing.