I’m getting my Nokia N95, but not from Nokia

Nokia
The Nokia N95-3, which will be in my hands tomorrow, no thanks to NokiaUSA or LetsTalk.com.

On Sunday, I finally took the plunge and ordered a serious moblogging tool: the Nokia N95-3, finally available in the US. (It’s been out in Europe for a couple of years.) It’s got everything I want: a good camera (still and video), pretty good audio recording quality, real gps, wifi, a decent web browser, an OS that allows third-party apps, works easily with a folding bluetooth keyboard — and it also happens to be a cell phone, too. (So I can finally ditch my landline, a needless expense these days.)

I ordered it directly from NokiaUSA.com, with 2-day shipping. Or so I thought. Actually, Nokia funnels its online US sales through a company called LetsTalk.com.

This morning — the day I was expecting to receive my N95 — I get an e-mail from LetsTalk.com saying that they need “more information” from me to complete this transaction. So I call them and give them my order number.

This is the really annoying part: LetsTalk.com did not need any more information from ME — they really needed to hear from my credit card company, American Express. Mind you, they already had my AmEx account information. But for some bizarre unknown reason they stalled this sizeable purchase by requiring ME to call THEM — for nothing at all!

Here’s how LetsTalk.com wanted to proceed: They said they would allegedly contact AmEx today to have AmEx call me to verify this transaction by phone. Then AmEx was supposed to call LetsTalk.com back with the OK. And then, finally, allegedly, LetTalk.com would ship this phone to me.

I had a better idea: I canceled that purchase and went to Amazon.com. There I found the exact same phone, keyboard, and carrying case. And I bought it from Amazon. I even splurged $15 for overnight shipping, so it’ll arrive tomorrow. (Well, the carrying case may take a day extra. Big deal.)

And here’s the beauty of it: NokiaUSA (via LetsTalk.com) was going to charge me about $860 total.

Grand total, with shipping, via Amazon: $675.47.

Yep, I saved about $185 by choosing better service. Suits me.

16 thoughts on I’m getting my Nokia N95, but not from Nokia

  1. You wrote: “So I can finally ditch my landline, a needless expense these days.”

    It’s getting harder and harder to find people I can interview for my podcast/radio series these days, as people ditch their land lines. The audio quality over a cell phone, even in the best of conditions, is just not intelligible enough for a professional-quality media production. I tell them to find a wired phone (not a cordless even) or I won’t interview them. Yeah, OK, I’m an audio snob.

    But even when I’m talking to someone cellphone to cellphone, I often time can’t understand much of what they’re saying. The lossy compression cellphone technologies use to minimize the data bandwidth over their networks throws out many important cues for speech intelligibility.

    I’ll keep my land-lines, thank you. Thank way I can actually understand the other end of the conversation without having to ask them to slow down or frequently repeat what they’re saying.

  2. Steve — If you want to interview me, you’re welcome to call me on a neighbor’s phone. They need a landline. I don’t.

    Or we can use Skype. With the CallRecorder add-on for Skype, I’ve gotten some high-quality audio recordings. Better than a landline, even. Of course, that depends on the level of skype network stress, so best to do that at non-peak times.

    Really, it’s not a high priority for me to pay every month for a landline I barely use just so audio snobs can record me to their satisfaction 🙂 I’m not dissing you for being an audio snob — just saying that it’s more likely that *you’re* going to have to find new solutions to get the audio quality you want from interviews, rather than hope that the best & brightest interview subjects will continue to hang onto their landlines to keep audio snobs happy.

    But I hate talking on the phone anyway. So it doesn’t matter much to me if I’m sacrificing audio quality. YMMV, of course.

    – Amy Gahran

  3. Amy wrote: “…it’s more likely that *you’re* going to have to find new solutions to get the audio quality you want from interviews, rather than hope that the best & brightest interview subjects will continue to hang onto their landlines to keep audio snobs happy.”

    Perhaps so. But in my case, the majority of folks who are experts in things outdoorsy, or who have positions in public land management agencies (the focus of my work) either live/work in places that are too rural for broadband, or are not sufficiently technical to deal with something as geeky as Skype. The expensive and slow alternative is to pay more remote field producers to go on-site to do the recordings. (Sigh!)

  4. Steve, good thing you cover a niche where landlines are likely to hang around for a few years yet. (Although I wouldn’t bet beyond that, much).

    I know a lot of radio and other audio folks who cover other beats though, and I’m sure they’re finding it harder and harder to get the kind of audio they’re used to. Gotta wonder how they’ll adapt. Saying “I won’t interview you unless you have a corded phone on a landline” is starting to sound like “only those with buggy whips need apply.”

    And I’m not dissing buggy whips — they were the best tool for their primary job for quite a while. But things change. Journalists and other media folks — perhaps more than anyone else — need to be able to adapt to changing circumstances.

    IMHO, of course 🙂

    – Amy Gahran

  5. Amy wrote: “And I’m not dissing buggy whips — they were the best tool for their primary job for quite a while. But things change.”

    LOL! I turned down an engineering job 3 years ago for a company that made high-end equipment for large broadcast TV operations. I said to my friends at the time that this company made the equivalent of high-tech carbon-fiber & titanium buggy whips.

    Amy also wrote: “Journalists and other media folks — perhaps more than anyone else — need to be able to adapt to changing circumstances.”

    Yes, you’re preaching to the choir on this point. But my complaint is that it’s painful when a new technology replaces an old technology before the new technology matures enough to provide all of the advantages of the old technology. [Geeky dissertation about core phone technology deleted.]

  6. Steve wrote: “my complaint is that it’s painful when a new technology replaces an old technology before the new technology matures enough to provide all of the advantages of the old technology.”

    I totally agree, it’s a problem. I remember in the 80s when desktop publishing debuted, the graphic designers and typesetters were up in arms — understandably. The amount of visually horrid crap that came out was astounding, and people who cared about typographic quality were appalled. They were also losing business big time. That was a far-from-optimum situation all around.

    Eventually the tools improved, and the businesses that offered quality production found new niches that allowed them to practice their art and make a living again.

    Yep, the advent of VOIP and the proliferation of cell phones, and the decline of landlines, has got to be painful for audiophiles, despite all its benefits. Still, it’s a question of how to adapt — even though the situation isn’t optimal yet. There have got to be opportunities in here that don’t require clinging to technology that’s phasing out.

    – Amy Gahran

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