My Phone: Neonode N2

this is my cute phone:

it is this small:

I’ve been using this phone for about 9 month. My friend Shahabudeen Jalil sold it to me for RM 190 brand new.

The N2 is produced by a Swedish(?) company called Neonode, and is manufactured in Malaysia. The phone uses a touch-screen for almost all functions (there is a small joystick, but it is rarely used).

I have two stories to tell about my cute and trusted N2:

Story #1

When I first started using the N2, I complained to Jalil that I had two problems. First, the conversation volume is too low, even at maximum. Second, because the volume is too low, I had to press my ears on the phone, and oftentimes my ears would brush against the touchscreen and unintentionally activate some of the functions. I told him that my phone is faulty, and asked whether I can get a replacement.

A few days later, I wanted to do something on the phone, so I looked up the user manual.

After finding the manual and reading it, I was surprised to learn that the correct way to speak on the phone is with the screen facing AWAY from your face, not facing your face. In other words, you press your ear on the “back” side of the phone.

No wonder why the volume was so low, because they way I was using it, the earpiece was on the other side. No wonder I kept banging my ears on the touch screen; the screen was on the wrong side too. I laughed, and felt stupid for a few minutes.

Story #2

When I was in Hungary, I got a call from CIMB Credit Card center. They’ve been calling me every month to remind me to pay the month’s balance so I knew the number. I never picked up such calls, and moreover it would cost a fortune to pick up the call from overseas, so I just hung up.

Then I put the N2 back into my pants pocket. Now, the N2 is small, and the touch screen is very very sensitive. A soft jab or poke would activate some functions on the phone, if you didn’t lock the keypad.

Well, you can see where this is going. When I placed the phone in my pocket, I accidentally touched the touchscreen, and unintentionally dialed the last number in History (which is the CIMB Credit Card centre).

To make a bad thing worse, the CIMB Credit Card centre never hung up, and the robot just looped: “Press 1 for English, sila tekan 2 untuk bahasa Malaysia, chong cheng chong cheng…press 1 for English, sila tekan 2 untuk bahasa Malaysia, chong cheng chong cheng…press 1 for English,…” ad infinitum. For ONE HOUR.

Hungary is in Eastern Europe, not a very developed country, so the international call rate is very high. Moreover, I was making a direct call, not roaming (to roam, you dial *120* first).

And the worst thing is that I didn’t realize this was happening, until after I got back to Malaysia 1 month later. Needless to say, my phone was barred by Maxis immediately, and I couldn’t even get a signal in Europe. For one month, I wondered why I couldn’t use my phone.

I cursed Maxis regularly because I had to borrow my friend’s phone to call my mother in KL. I tried everything: plugging my SIM card into my friend’s phone, shaking my phone, wiping the interior, recharge the battery. Nothing worked.

After one month, I got back to Malaysia. This was a few days before the 2011 Raya. The first thing that greeted me in KLIA was an SMS from Maxis, basically saying that my account is suspended and asking me to settle my outstanding balance.

And the balance: RM1200. FFFUUUUU–

I went to a Maxis Centre the next day. I told them that there must be a mistake. They told me that I made a direct call for one hour from Budapest, and the call costs more than RM1000. My kneecaps almost fell off. I’m fucked.

Then, in a panicky voice, I gave all sorts of excuses: I was never in Budapest, I don’t know what’s this number you are talking about, I never made the call, I never even used my phone in Europe, a gypsy stole my phone, blah blah blah.

The Maxis customer service rep then agreed to de-suspend my account for one week, so they can investigate the matter.

After a week, they gave me a call to break the bad news: sorry Mr Suhaimi, you actually made the call to Budapest, we have all the evidence here, and here is how much Maxis already paid the telco provider in Budapest so we expect you to fully reimburse us.

At this point, I couldnt find any more excuse so I finally gave in.

I told them that it is ridiculous to pay RM1000 for a very minor mistake, so can they pweety pweety please let me go lightly this time? I asked with the sweetest face I can make.

(This is stupid by the way, it was my mistake so who else should pay for it?)

They sympathized and offered a discount. I asked to pay only RM 300. They said that Maxis already paid the Hungarian telco 60% of the amount they charged me, so I should pay at least RM 600.

Having no more excuse to make, finally I surrendered and remitted the amount.

Moral of the story is: there is no moral of the story. It was an expensive and totally useless mistake. At least you expect an error this expensive to come with a lesson or two, but there is nothing I can learn from this story (lock your keypad?).

Despite that, I still love my N2. Sorry for throwing you at the mirror when I got upset after I saw the Maxis bill. And thanks for being so small and light that you didn’t break my mirror.


2 Responses to My Phone: Neonode N2

  1. Datin Lulu says:

    This story ending was touched my heart. Huhu.

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