Sunday, 22 June 2008

Lousy Sony Ericsson software update

Can I first start this post with a big GGGGGGGGRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR!?!!?!

That doesn't even begin to describe my annoyance with the lousy little programme from Sony Ericsson that is meant to 'fix' a malfunctioning six week old mobile phone handset (the K850i tethered to the 3 network). Two weeks ago the handset developed an annoyance in that it decided that it no longer liked to send or receive SMS text messages. Initially, this little bug bear didn't bother me so much as this handset actually belonged to my fiancee but most tech issues end up getting passed to me at some point or other. In the meantime I passed my dearest an old unlocked K800i I had in a drawer so that she could text away.

After a phone call to her mobile network help desk they directed her to the Sony Ericsson UK website to download the magic bullet miracle cure, namely Update Service Version: (Release date: 12-12-2005!). As soon as I saw that release date I felt a pang of pain as I've suffered at the hands of terrible Sony software in the past (the Sony Connect application for their early Network Walkman MP3 range was terrible, as is the Sony PC Suite which regularly fails to read that a phone is connected despite XP/OSX being able to 'see' the damn thing).

So, I downloaded and installed the software only to find that it failed to load because a version of Adobe Flash 8 or later must be installed on the target machine. Strange, as I run a fully updated CS3 with Flash Player installed. I thought this was later than Flash 8. Either way, the Sony software refused to acknowledge its existence forcing me to reinstall their update and Flash player several time (with obligatory restarts - yawn). The end results was the same every time - the software refused to work.

In the end I had to install a clean version of XP on my Macbook without a Flash update and then try to get the damn software to work. Success! Total time wasted on this task: 2 hours. Now, it really does come to something when software 'solutions' are hampered by bad design and aren't kept sufficiently uptodate. C'mon Sony, pull your finger out. I tend to love the design of your hardware but you could learn a lesson or two when it comes to software and user interfaces.

If a regular non-tech orientated person had encountered the same scenario I'm sure they would have echoed my opening frustration and would have given up early on. They may have then been stuck with a phone with limited usability and a poor regard for Sony Ericsson products, and be unlikely to purchase future products. We all know how word-of-mouth feedback operates. This could be damaging enough to warrant a little software update?


Scott Goodacre said...

I had four of these within a month, every single one broke down. I work for o2, and we get a silly amount of customers bringing them back. If it's the "operation failed" message you're getting in the text screen, to my knowledge there is no fix. A temporary one is to do a master reset (under "settings") but it may just reappear in the near future.

No-one knows why this happens either. Thankfully their new phones have been in testing for six months now, so work perfectly. I've now went four full days without my w760i breaking.

Rob said...

I'm glad to hear I wasn't alone in this one. We got it working in the end but that still doesn't prevent me griping about Sony software/firmware. Every Sony phone I've had (4 and counting) has 'lost' (for want of a better word) my data account tied to the mobile web meaning that services just randomly vanish. This happened on O2 and Orange and meant I had to get a install file sent to the phone...

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