I got my Vertu Constellation in a round about way, and while I have greatly enjoyed owning it there has never been a day when I thought for even a moment that I was in the same financial bracket as the typical Vertu owner.
Today I got proof positive of that fact in the form of a repair bill; more on that in a moment…
I had noticed soon after getting my nearly new Constellation that the leather on its battery cover was rubbed and might one day start to peel back. This is certainly not uncommon with the model, and my device’s peeling issues were certainly much more minor than some of the peeling examples I have seen on say, eBay.
Nevertheless, on a $5,000 phone the peeling was an affront, so I made plans to send the phone in for repair. This was after calling and asking if I could just buy a new battery door and learning that it was simply not possible.
When I phoned Vertu customer service about the repair, nothing was said about estimates or any other charges, and the helpful CS agent offered to send me a FedEx box the next day. For a moment, I entertained the thought that Vertu might regard leather peeling on a gently used, less than one year old phone which cost $5000+ as a defect, and perhaps it would be fixed under warranty. I knew that was unrealistic, but hey – nicer things have happened.
Since I didn’t have a phone that I wanted to use as my daily driver right at that time, I held off sending the phone to Vertu after the FedEx box arrived. It was a good thing too, because in a moment of typical Judie clumsiness, one day I knocked my Constellation off the dining table onto the hardwood floor. I looked at it with wide-eyed horror, but since it wasn’t a truly hard fall, I wasn’t concerned just yet…
As might have been expected in a 4′ drop, the battery door flew off, and the battery skidded across the floor. What was unexpected was that the ear cushion on the front completely fell off; it didn’t break, it just fell completely off. Eeep.
Bear in mind that this is supposed to be a beautiful and tough phone; yet it could not manage a drop onto a wood floor without breaking. This result was a far cry from the much more satisfactory experience I had when I dropped my Ascent onto a gravel driveway; in that debacle only the battery door suffered a ding. But I wasn’t too concerned, because the ear cushion was still in perfect condition – it had just popped off and needed to be stuck back on, right?
Upon closer inspection I decided that it looked as if the ear cushion was held in place with some type of double-stick tape. Truth be told, I could have probably reapplied the ear cushion myself with satisfactory results. But since I had a FedEx box waiting anyway, I figured I would just let Vertu do it “right”.
A few days later Dan had sent me his wife’s 16GB first generation iPhone to use. Since I now had a replacement phone that I was very happy with, I boxed up the Vertu – including the displaced ceramic ear cushion, and sent all in for repair.
I joked to Kevin that it would probably be a couple of hundred dollars to fix everything, which honestly seemed high. I suppose that in the back of my mind I was still secretly entertaining the hope that Vertu would perform my repairs gratis. I can be naïve like that, sometimes…
Today I received my estimate via fax.
$206 for the basic service which includes electronic diagnostics, a full mechanical inspection, a full functional test, a final inspection, and a software upgrade (if applicable).
$207 for the pillow replacement (gulp!!)
$236 for the antenna/battery cover replacement
$52 for North American shipping
Grand total $700.
I have no choice but to repair the phone, and then I suppose it will have to go on eBay. I obviously can’t afford to own it.