The obligatory update on my Acer phone – next time I’ll polish my crystal ball

Good news – it’s back. Acer shipped me a brand spanking new M330 to replace the wonky one. For reasons that will remain a mystery, the new one came all the way from Texas rather than locally. That’s not an issue, it arrived in record time so seriously who cares. I’m just a bit bemused.

Acer, replaced it with no quibbles, which was expected. However, I am annoyed by the process. When you send something in for repairs, you are assigned a case ID that lets you go online and track the status of repairs. That’s great … as long as the form actually gives real progress reports. They received the phone Monday morning and by Wednesday morning, it was marked “Closed” with no updates or explanations. Nothing. No indication as to what’s going on or the status of the phone. Was it being returned as is? Was it repaired and being returned? Was it being replaced? When could I expect it back? Nothing. I waited a few hours, hoping the system would update and give me details. By 1pm I decided to contact Acer.

Well… that introduced a new level of frustration. First thing I did was give a case id number and said it’s marked closed, but that doesn’t really tell me a thing. Is it being returned repaired/replaced or being sent back as is? Seemed like a pretty clear question to me. The person asked for the serial number for confirmation, which I supplied. But for some reason all this was a rocket science level query that set off cascading nonsense which I’ll list here:

– phone was never received (I have proof they rec’d it)

– we are still waiting for you to send proof of warranty (already supplied)

– you have 2 options re sending the phone in to us (you already have the phone, under warranty)

– looped back to there is no phone with that serial number at Acer (um yes there is, I have the paperwork)

– looped to you haven’t sent it (please read my previous statements)

– we circled back to the “there is no device with that serial number listed” (yes there is, by this time I was typing in ALL CAPS)

– the serial number is attached to a case that was marked closed because the device wasn’t rec’d (once again, I said it was there check again)

– serial number is not attached to any case number

It was at that point the penny dropped and I realised the fellow on the other end hadn’t bothered punching in the case id. He went straight to the serial number for a phone that was now replaced. I was almost hammering on the keyboard by this point typing in all caps – CASE ID l************* Check again. He came back in under 30 sec with the information I was looking for – phone was being replaced, tracking #*********. Voila. My question was finally answered. Turns out a replacement phone had already been shipped out (at 4am Wed morning no less) and I could expect the phone by 10:30am Thursday morning. That was all I wanted to know.

And this brings up 2 important issues:

The repair depot dropped the ball. They should have had some information about the real status, not some vague “closed” line. That told me zip. A small line indicating the phone is being replaced and a tracking # should have been included. How else is the customer supposed to know what’s going on? Seriously Acer… I’m not a mind reader, I couldn’t throw some chicken bones and divine your intent.

Second issue is equally important. The support person on the other end ignored the first thing I sent – CASE ID. That was the very first thing I typed. Instead of insisting I hadn’t sent the phone in – which by the way was a guaranteed method of pissing me off so severely, I’m sure I left scorch marks along the internet – all he had to do was READ what I had sent. I’m not new at this. I supplied all required information, including double checking serial numbers and ID numbers. No matter how many times I told him I have paperwork proving Acer has the phone etc he wasn’t paying attention. Only when I literally shouted did he stop to look at the actual case. And what do you know, I had my answer in under 1 min.

This could have been so easily avoided if the status reports included real information. Clarity, that’s all I asked for. Acer is not unique in this. I have an archive of tech support calls that periodically make me weep. As far as horror stories go, this one doesn’t even rate as a blimp on the screen. It was miscommunication. One day I’ll tell you about the Sympatico techie that told a customer she could solve her email problems by going down into the basement and shut all the power down at the circut breaker. No, she didn’t do that.

For the record, the new phone works beautifully. Slapped in the sim card and micro card, fired it up and everything went tickity boo. I’m over the moon happy with it. It’s fast, works well with Win10, the sound quality on phone calls outstrips pretty much everything I’ve tried out and all my apps are back. Sometimes shit happens and devices go phhttt. That’s what a warranty is for. Acer replaced it outright quickly, without any arguments. I’m pleased with all of that. It’s the lack of communication somewhere in the middle of the process that got under my skin. One easily resolved issue was screwed up by someone not paying attention.

This is irritating pt 2 – Acer phone funeral

Well, guess what? The wonky touchscreen issue I wrote about last Thurs had nothing to do with the updates. (read the article here). It was indeed a coincidence and my beloved little Acer M330 was malfunctioning. Oh Acer, I hardly knew you! sigh.

I tried a full reset to factory specs and the problem became progressively worse at a rapid pace. I contacted Acer via their support chat (after being disconnected twice by the same support person, which left me very pissed off by the way Acer). But the second person I dealt with went over a few steps and quickly said it was a hardware issue. The screen alignment is completely fucked (my words, not hers). So, I packaged it up and shipped it off to them Friday afternoon. Bugger. I have been without a functioning phone since Thurs.  Still no word on it’s status.  I hadn’t realised how many customers used text messaging until I didn’t have it. Not to mention the ease of having my calendar and customer emails and addresses so handy. What a bother. The phone was less than 2 months old. I realise shit happens and it’s under warranty, but well crap.

So, my phone is in the hands of Acer. Hopefully they will be fast and simply replace the phone.

Win 10 mobile update Aug – Well this is irritating

Installed the latest rounds of Windows 10 mobile updates for my Acer phone and woke up to a 1/2 functioning unit. Yea, I’m pissed off. A number of apps that worked yesterday have been rendered non functional. But the worse part is the smart screen sensitivity. It seems to have adjusted itself so when I type, anything on the bottom 2 rows of the keyboard has to be precisly tapped at the top part of the letter or I end up hitting the space bar or exiting the screen. I thought, at first, I had a bad case of fumble fingers, but after testing email, the store, couple of apps, I’m sure it’s something about the update. The alignment of where the keys are is off kilter.

I figured out part of the touch screen issue. The update readjusted the screen size to 150% (recommended), a size I never use. I adjusted the screen back down to 125% and touch screen issue seems to be resolved most apps, except for the browser. Oddly enough it’s still a mess when it comes to tapping. The apps are still wonkier than hell. I’m not sure what I’ll do, but I suspect I’ll reset the phone tonight and leave out the last update. Either that or I’ll force the Windows Aniversary update. I’m also working on the notion that there is a slim chance the update isn’t the culprite and perhaps something is wrong with the phone itself.  Be a hell of a coincidence if that’s the case. I’ll let you know tomorrow.

And while I’m ranting, why are the only two options available for screen adjustments 125% and 150%? Where is 100%? If the ability to set the screen to 100% doesn’t exist, that means the 125% option is, in fact, the default 100%. This type of shit drives me up a wall.

Colour balance issue resolved on Acer Liquid M330

Colour balance issue resolved on Acer Liquid M330

I was a bit worried last week when I noticed the colour bleached effect on greens with photos taken on my new Acer Liquid. I was, quite honestly, puzzled by the lack of colour depth. All other colours were STUNNING and crisp. But the greens were drained. I fussed with settings, tried to over ride the white balance etc but no luck. Then I fell back on the tried and true – I rebooted the phone and checked for any updates. Sure enough there was one for the phone that I had missed. I slapped that in and the green balance is perfect:

Nasturtiums on balcony = taken with Acer LiquidThat’s what was missing – the rich, deep shades of green. Now that I have that straightened out, I feel much more confident in heading out to take photos. I must admit, the lack of greens irritated me over the weekend.  You can see a few other shots I took today over on my Memoirs post – the great aphid battle of 2016 I grabbed them on the fly this afternoon. Compare the difference with previous photos here Lillies in bloom – testing the Acer Liquid phone camera.

Better ones to come … promise. But work first; play later.

Lillies in bloom – testing the Acer Liquid  phone camera

Lillies in bloom – testing the Acer Liquid phone camera

I took my new cell phone out for a bit more fun today. The colour balance and crispness has really surprised me:
Orange yellow lillies in fulll bloom

I think the greens are a bit off still, I’ll have to sit and stew over that before I decide what to do. I wanted to test the focus and closeup features primarily so I kept taking photos of the same plant. All you need to do with the Windows 10 camera app is tap the screen where you want the camera to focus and it pulls up a sharp image very quickly:

Orange yellow lillies in fulll bloom I didn’t expect to be able to get so close and still have any photograph worth seeing without a decent macro lense. But …

Orange yellow lilly stamen

Move in, tap section you want as focal point, tap camera icon and out comes a photo.  Not bad for a modest, inexpensive little smart phone camera.