DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE - LG Does Not Honour the Warranty!
Reviewed on Wednesday May 6, 2009 by Andrew, Canada
DO NOT BUY THIS PHONE, or any other LG product for that matter.
I bought this phone in mid February. By mid-March I noticed that the battery life on the phone was less than optimal as it would run out of power during the day. It took me a while to notice that the problem with the phone was that the charger was disconnecting about 20 minutes into the charge cycle.
Since the phone was still working, I didn't immediately take in for repairs. Then, in early April I went on holidays and the phone stopped charging altogether. Upon my return, I took the phone to a local Telus shop to be repaired.
I heard back from the repair shop a week later and they informed me that the LG repair centre determined that the phone had internal physical damage and that such damage is not covered by the warranty. The warranty only covers manufacturer's defects. Apparently, the tech centre was saying that the physical damage was my fault. I am baffled since I did absolutely nothing to the phone and the outside of the phone is in pristine condition. To add insult to injury, they said that they charge a flat rate of $300 for the repair. I can buy a new Keybo for $300!!
I called Telus and they did absolutely nothing to help me with LG. They told me that Telus was simply the service provider and that they didn't sell me the phone, they merely "facilitated" the sale. This despite the fact that 1) I purchased the phone at a Telus store, 2) I paid for it by signing up to a three year service contract 3) this phone is exclusively sold through Telus in Ontario 4) "Telus" is stamped on the front of the phone. At the end of the day, Telus threw a $90 credit my way and sold me a refurbished Samsung for $180.
I proceeded to call LG. I spoke to a customer service representative who told me I had to speak to his supervisor. I was told he would call by the end of the business day. I sent in an email request as well. I didn't hear back from a supervisor that day. So I called back the next day and was now told that it takes 48 hours for supervisors to return the call. A full week passed and I never heard from the supervisor nor did I hear back about my email query.
After the week passed, I called again and was now put through to a supervisor (after being put on hold for 20 minutes). The supervisor proceeded to take down all of my personal information and other information for about 5 to 10 minutes. Then, without discussing the matter in any way, he told me that there was nothing he could do and that they would stand by the assessment of the repair centre. Never did the supervisor make any enquires, discuss any options or even apologize for not returning my call. He went so far as to imply that I was lying to him about not doing something to the phone, saying that they didn’t watch me 24/7 when I had the phone. At the end of the day, LG will not honour the warranty, heck they won't even bother to take a second look to see whether the technician was mistaken. When I told the supervisor that I would never purchase an LG product again, he was not bothered by this prospect. The bottom line is that LG does not give a damn about its customers and a company with this level of service is bound to have problems with its products.
I also have several precise criticisms about the phone aside from the fact that the thing broke down within a month of having the phone. First, the keyboard: The full key board is nice and it is good that they have attempted to keep the symbols on the same location as on a regular keyboard, this is a rather unique function on this phone. However, the keys, while they are generally in the correct spot, are shifted slightly from a regular keyboard, making it difficult to type accurately. This is not helped by the fact that the keys are very small.
My biggest criticism of the phone is in terms of the software. I can’t believe that the phone was released with such obvious glitches. The phone’s software frequently jams, especially on the outer screen when you use the email notification function. The software for the use of the keyboard is also quite odd when it comes to the CAPS key; it is not at all intuitively designed to facilitate typing in terms of when it decides to stay on or go off. I used the keyboard all the time and could never figure out the logic. It doesn’t help that when you use the email function, the software governing the operation of the CAPS key is completely different.
The music software is also very odd. I am a sophisticated enough user that I know how to alter MP3 tag information (not particularly hard, I know). When I would download music into the phone, it refused to recognize 2/3 of the music I put into the player. It would also ignore or misread the tag information on about half of the tracks that I managed to get the player to recognize. Sometimes it would not recognize half of the tracks coming from the same album! It got to the point that I had only managed to get the phone to recognize about 2-3 albums worth of music. I know there was nothing wrong with the tracks because my regular MP3 player handles them fine.
My last point in terms of the software is that the memory management on the phone is rather bizarre. Despite having tons of internal memory, for some reason they decided to allocate very little memory to the telephone, contacts, and messaging functions of the phone. For the little time the phone was working, it would tell me that the memory bank for the messages was full roughly once a week (I send about 80 text messages a week).
In terms of the physical features of the phone, I would have to say that the phone is rather bulky. It doesn’t seem bulky at first, but something about the shape of the phone makes it feel bulky. I think that the problem arises because the phone is relatively short, but also thick. I just purchased the Samsung Instinct as a replacement (incidentally, a much better phone with much better features), and although the phone is a good 1.2 cm longer, it is also a tad thinner and this makes a big difference. LG should have done the same and gone with a slightly longer but thinner phone.
Another comment about the physical phone is that, while the interior screen is fantastic, the outer screen is totally useless. It is far too small and the image quality is terrible. This means that you have to open the phone to do just about everything which is a real pain.
The battery life on the phone (even when mine was charging properly) is also pretty bad. I don’t know how they arrived at their 5.3 hours of talk time estimate for the battery. I do not talk much on the phone, but I found that the battery life declined drastically if I made any sort of significant use of the phone (not even close to 5 hours).
Lastly, in terms of the reception, the phone was mediocre. I live in a high-rise and the voice quality was not great. My old $50 Motorola was much better.
My advice is this: definitely forego the LG Keybo, this is a terrible phone with terrible support from LG (and Telus won’t go to bat for you, though at least they were kind enough to throw some money my way). But frankly, all of the phones in this price range ($200-$300) with a full keyboard are not great and they are all pretty bulky. Instead, what you should do is call your service provider (Telus in my case) and ask if you can buy a refurbished phone directly from them. I got a Samsung Instinct in “medium” condition for $180 (minus the $90 Telus credit). Two of the corners are slightly chipped (not at all noticeable unless you are looking for the damage) and there is a two-centimetre-long scratch near the bottom of the screen that is invisible when you turn on the phone. Overall, the phone is regularly $400 but the $180 refurbished model is much better than anything in the Keybo price-range. The minor damage is worth paying half the price.