Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Motorola Mobile phones and Me: End of the road.

This is the last Motorola phone I bought.  It is also the last I will buy.   It has been a long story between me and Motorola, but there comes a time when we have to choose. I have chosen to say "Bye" to Motorola phones.

My first one was in the Razr days.  I still hold on to the Razr V3.  That one was a sure Legend.  I so loved it that I still cant bring myself to retire it after almost 7 years!  Phones have come and gone.. but that one.. it is a veteran of a phone.

My "divorce" with Motorola is a long story.  I will try and tell it as it is..

I am coming from one of my trips.  I am transiting through Dubai. I always go to that outlet where phones, cameras and laptops are  sold.  I go there and I see the  Motorola EX 128.  Those days, it basically met my basic needs.  I pay something in the neighbourhood of 200$ and I head home.

I spend some time customising the phone to my taste.  Until at a point, I started feeling comfortable.  One day, the phone fall off my drink table.  The low table that is half a meter high. And the vibration dies out.  I tell myself.. "Okay, you can live without a phone that 'vibrates before ringing'".  And I move on with my life.

A couple months go by. And on this fateful day, it really falls!  This time, from the dining table.  Which is over 1 meter high.  Immediately I hear the sound, my brain tells me "this time around, it may not recover".  I pick it, and try to put it on. The screen is whitish, with a line running from top to bottom.  I put it off, and on again.. same thing.

I send out an SOS on Twitter.  I get a response.. the screen's mercury has been affected. I  needed to change the screen.  They refer me to the nearest mall.  I tell myself, "okay if it can be fixed at the mall.. no worry".  I go to the place by the mall, and hand it over. I receive this response "We will call you once we get a replacement screen".  48 hours later.. I go back and no, there has not been a screen found to replace.  Maybe I can check the "mobile phone market".

In Abidjan, there are several of them. I go to the first one in Treichville, then Cocody and finally the one in Adjame.  "No madam, we dont have it".  A guy tells me  I have to order it from guys who bring in goods from Dubai.  I pay, and I wait till they go and come.

Since I had a trip to Nigeria, I told myself that if  there is a place where I can find a Motorola screen, it will jolly well be at the Lagos Computer village. So I bundled both of us.. and we went down to Lagos.

For hours.. they searched.. and no... none was found.

Next trip was to Accra, Ghana.  I went to Accra New Town.  If you know Accra, you know that is also the headquarters of  mobile phones.  We both spent hours on end.. and  you guessed right..

No Motorola screens for EX 128 were available.

So where do you think I will go to?  Dubai.  Yes.  I actually went back to "square 1" To that shop where I bought the phone.  There sure were  other EX 128s there.. and some  fancy new ones..

I explain my problem and I get the response: "No madam, we dont sell the parts here".


I have me a few questions
  1. The Warranty shows that Motorola has centers in Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Tunisa, Morocco and South Africa.  What kind of "continental coverage" is that?
  2. Can a company be said to be "doing business in Africa when it completely ignores Central and West Africa?
  3. Does anyone know the reason behind Motorola's disappearance from West Africa?  I know they used to have centers.
I wish I had answers to these questions, but no, I dont.

One thing I can say is this: if you are a mobile phone user in Africa.. think twice before you invest in a Motorola phone.

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