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Old February 16th, 2011, 10:58 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'll give the forum the story behind this. So make yourself comfortable.

About 6 months ago I decided to get a 3G 'phone 'cos my PC was knackered so often that at least I would have email and Internet (have fixed PC probs btw since by going over to RedHat Linux).

The service in the shop was ******* awful (really _bad_), but the Racer had just been released and I saw no reason to spend double that on the nearest alternative.

Got it back home - turns out it doesn't run flash and cannot be upgraded (from 2.1), and that ZTE doesn't look as though it will ever in the future release an Android upgrade for it. Both of these things the shop assistant had assured me the Racer could do! But what was the final nail in the coffin was hackers were by about Nov. starting to reflash them, and ZTE hadn't released a formal eprom so it couldn't be flashed back. What the **** are we supposed to do if a hacker reflashes your 'phone for christs sake! (The warranty is there for 1 year, but after that I don't think even Carphone Warehouse would touch one of them - unless maybe if ZTE were to release an eprom.) Finally I tried to connect to AceVPN, who I have an encrypted Internet connection with for my PC. There is a bug in Android from what I can gather (so Ace say) that means that you cannot set up any sort of encrypted Internet connection with Android. (Having said that maybe I should post the problem on this forum to check Ace have got this right.)

So, the shop weren't going to take it back for alleged bullshit at point of sale, so I thought OK, cheap and cheerful disposable 3G 'phone.

About a month ago I noticed the time was 3 mins fast, thought odd, surely it should sync. itself, rang the tech. support line who initially tried to tell me the fix to the bug was to set the time manually; three 'phone calls later (they are free but I could do without having to spend the time), factory resets etc., hunts for apps to set the time from the Internet, queries about Android OS updates, and so on and the tech. support said OK take it back to the shop, see if the sales staff can do anything with it, and if not they will send it off.

First visit back to the 3 shop, again the absolute lowlife of the planet is to be found inhabiting the premises (customer service gets the award for the absolute worst on the planet, complete shite), they tell me that the 'phone does in fact not sync. the time automatically, the Automatic setting only automatically changes from daylight to daylight saving time. Now the manual seems to say it should set the time automatically, there are no manual settings for when the daylight saving change is to be made that year which if I remember correctly my old 'phone required to do this, there are no apps available to sync the time which you think there would be if it didn't sync. automatically... Anyway went back to the shop again, and thank G0d I finally got some (almost, not 100%) plausible customer service out of them.

They've sent it back (I've heard they are replacing the 'phones on account of the non-availability of eproms), and given how bad the customer service has been (no integrity whatsoever), unless they can put it in black and white - a spec. sheet surely should have this data on it, etc., then it would be nice to be able to resell it if I choose to sell it as a 3G 'phone that syncs the time on connecting to the network.

A note on security - I found Android hacked almost straight away, the only time I managed to get a secure Internet connection through it was piggy backing the wifi off of a wifi transmitter on my laptop, which was connected to the Internet using my AceVPN account (i.e., encrypted). I could disable the Internet connection on the 'phone to stop hacking, but what I found was all you had to do was switch the 'phone off and back on again, and even if password protected, the Internet connection was re-enabled on power up (which left only airplane mode, which you can't get calls or txts in, not very satisfactory). (NB I decided at that point to use a dummy forwarding gmail account so that when hacked hackers would not at least be able to download my emails - which is possibly what was going on.) Android is based on Ubuntu (or Debian) I think, and that is not a secure Linux. Google would either need to do a lot of security work on Ubuntu, or use one of the commercial opensource OSs (e.g., RedHat) I think.

wardlock (not happy 3 customer, but getting there)

PS The above is for peer review If I have screwed up technically please point it out, or if you have found 3 customer service in its shops nothing less than exemplary, by all means please say so.
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