A new 'phone duly (boxed and sealed) arrived in the post this morning. It is identical in every way to the one I purchased. It also does not sync. the time automatically on connecting to the network, and will not connect to a VPN provider (mine at least, I am not willing to swap provider to see if it is a problem with the VPN servers of this provider which I think is reasonable). I can also at this point say that I am testing the 'phone, from unpacking more or less (as best I can manage anyway), in cleanroom conditions. I've also tested the automatic time sync. in different areas of the country, so it is not just a local issue.
I rang Three, the frontline customer services started to process the matter as if it was the very first call I made to them ("you have to set the 'phone time manually"). It took two attempts to get referred to the manager, and after a bit of effort I managed to get him to the point where things left off yesterday. He now wants me to take the 'phones (I have two at this point!) back to the shop, who have said to me already they are not able to refund after 28 days from purchase, but Three customer services have said that if I can get the shop to ring customer services, they should be able to OK the refund.
At risk of descending into a state of irretrievable curmudgeonliness (can you sue for this \: ), something else that cropped up:
- Switching the 'phone on after powering down, it flashes up a quick message saying powering down again and duly switches off a second time, switching back on though it does re-powerup - this has just started recently I think, and does not happen every time.
It would help you know if maybe another ZTE Racer owner could chirp in and tell me if the time on their 'phone will sync OK (set it wrong deliberately, power down, and power back up again), and if they can connect to a VPN.