At the end of Octobre I needed a new smartphone. Since my first experience with a smartphone was a ZTE Skate, I wanted to buy another ZTE, the phone was really good compared to the price.
After a lot of Googleing I choose to buy a ZTE Grand X at http://www.funbookes.com. I contacted the people behind the website first to be sure of a few things:
- It were trustworthy people
- The phone worked in Europe (Belgium)
- It had Google Play on it.
A day or 15 later the phone arrived with DHL. The seal of the box was on it, so I was assured it was a brand new phone. Oh yes! A new smartphone, can you feel the excitement?
I quickly unpacked, connected the charger and booted the device. Then the horror with funbookes.com started.
It was a Chinese device. There was no Google Play store (Instead it was the ZTE market, which contains few apps and most of them outdated), the browser was in Chinese, I could set the Android language to English, but that was only for the OS-menus, other then that it was completly in Chinese.
I quickly contacted funbookes.com, they told me they would investigate with the technical department. It took some days and on the meanwhile I also contacted ZTE.
THREE weeks later funbookes told me they couldn't help me. In reply I asked them for a refund which they were willing to give... 5 lousy $... for a brand new phone, which was displayed on their website as an international model and which costed 129$, they would refund 5$. This made me upset! I kept calm, because maybe ZTE could still help me out, they were sending my question to their concern department, this took some time, but I knew they were on it. The reason I kept calm was because I might still need funbookes.com after ZTE answered my question.
Another week went by and all at the sudden my smartphone was ringing, the phonenumber was from China. I picked up and it was ZTE themselves. It was a very friendly technician to ask me a few details about my phone. Then he confirmed this phone is especially designed for the Chinese market, funbookes.com should not sell them to international customers. There was nothing they could do, because the hardware of the Chinese phone is slightly different than the hardware of the international one. That's why the stock rom will not install on my model.
I mailed funbookes.com this answer and I also told them I wanted to try to install a custom rom on the smartphone, but I wanted to keep my warranty. They said it was ok, I could install the rom and if it succeeded, my warranty would still be valid. But after hours and hours of trying, the rom couldn't be installed. I checked with some guys who created the rom, they said the reason is probably that this smartphone is the Chinese model and I could not do anything about it.
That's when I started to get really angry with funbookes.com, I asked them for a refund again. And again they offered 5 lousy USD. I told them I demanded at least 100 USD and then it turned quiet.
So now I'm stuck with a smartphone which can only do about 20% of what a smartphone is able to do, simply because I don't understand the Chinese alphabet and there is no Google Play installed.
I wrote this post so that when people start to look for shopreviews or opinions about funbookes.com, they are warned that they sell Chinese products which are displayed as international products.
On the meanwhile I searched for the ZTE Grand X on their website, but they already changed the content and images to the model I've got. Before the page with with images of the international model and a full technical spec sheet of this phone..