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Problems with BB 9850

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Problems with BB 9850

I’ve been a Sprint/Nextel customer for 13 years. In November 2011 I upgraded from a Blackberry Curve 8330 to a Blackberry Torch 9850. For about one month, the Torch worked perfectly. Features important to me such as syncing with Outlook contacts and calendar, backup of data and applications, management of multiple email accounts, and phone call quality all met or exceeded my expectations. The Torch was a beautiful, elegant phone with many user-adjustable settings and an excellent camera and touchscreen. Minor disappointments included a screen that easily scratched and a virtual keyboard that was easy to use in Landscape Mode but difficult to use in Portrait.

About 25 days into my ownership problems surfaced. Sprint sent me an email recommending that the phone’s operating system be updated (from version 7.0 to 7.1). I did so via my computer and my phone completely crashed. Nothing worked, even after restoring my data and applications from a recent back-up. After an hour on the phone (my land-line) with Sprint, they transferred me to Blackberry Technical Support. It took several additional hours, but my phone was completely restored after reloading the original operating system.

About 70 days into my ownership, I woke up one morning only to find that the phone was in the midst of wiping itself clean. All data and user-installed applications were gone. Fortunately, I had a backup from the previous day. I called Sprint. Their tech support people suggested I install the new operating system from the Blackberry Desktop Manager, then restore my data and apps from the backup. I did so (took several hours) and everything seemed okay again. But “seemed’ is the operative term. Since this most recent incident, the phone’s battery will only charge to 60% and will deplete after four or five hours. I did hard battery restarts (connecting the phone to the usb or wall charger, pulling the battery, then reinstalling and recharging). This enabled the phone to charge to near 100%. But, after 30 minutes or so, the battery will be 70% and will discharge very quickly. I'm in a well-served area with a strong signal (four or five bars)

Most frustrating is that Blackberry cannot be reached directly for warranty assistance. The phone’s owner must go through the carrier. Sprint keeps referring me to Blackberry via 877/255-2377. You cannot reach a human using this number without a carrier code or a “ticket” or “incident” number, none of which Sprint will provide. I went to a local Sprint store to check the battery and the repair staff said that it was fine and that a day of stand-by time and three or four hours of normal use will deplete the Blackberry Torch battery. But, Sprint advertises days of standby time and 5.8 hours of continuous talk time. Not so. Sprint wants $35 to check the phone out, even though it’s 70 days old and I began having problems within the first 30 days (they have a record of this).

The bottom line is that the Blackberry Torch 9850 is, in my view, an unreliable phone with an unstable operating system. It’s taken me 10 to 15 hours to restore the operating system on two occasions (time spent on the phone with Sprint and executing their suggestions). Sprint does not stand behind this phone. Sprint’s advertising regarding this phone is erroneous. And, Blackberry cannot be reached to obtain Warranty Service. Avoid the 9850. And, after more than a happy decade with Sprint/Nextel, I now am a displeased customer. While Sprint is the low-cost provider, it now charges for every service and will not stand behind the products it sells. It’s Customer Service and Tech Support people are competent, compassionate, and understanding, but they cannot or will not fix my problem (I asked for a replacement of the Torch or a different phone or, at least, a trade of batteries—all I want is what I thought I was getting for my $149 and two year contract: a phone that worked as advertised with a one year warranty)!

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