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Nokia has branch plants they never knew about

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Old June 28th 03, 05:29 PM
J. Helmsley
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Default Nokia has branch plants they never knew about

Nokia has branch plants they never knew about


The Stupid Consumer rides again.

Prelude: In the steamy Laotian city of Luang Prabang, in a steamy room over a
steamy little teashop, a bunch of foreigners squeezed together for the
highlight of their steamy existence there — free movie night.

Tonight's movie was Chicago. The audience was keyed up, and no wonder. Only a
week before, Chicago had won the Oscar. It was still in its first run in North
America's movieplexes. Seeing it on DVD in a jungle clearing half the world
away wasn't just an exceptional cultural experience, it was flat-out
astonishing because the official DVDs and cassettes wouldn't be — they still
won't be — released for months. Where on Earth could this one have come from?

The answer appeared right off the top. Instead of the usual warnings from
Interpol and the FBI, a notice flashed up. From the producers of Chicago. To
Members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences voting in the Best
Picture category. This DVD is to assist you in making your selection. Do not

Do not copy?

With the Internet, it doesn't take even as long as it takes a jet to fly across
the Pacific for pirated movies to turn up on the streets of Southeast Asia,
where there's a joke going around these days. They say copyright means that
copying is their right.

Now to the continuing Adventures of the Stupid Consumer: Our story today is a
nice story about Mr. Rogers and his wireless phone system, Rogers AT&T. But it
wouldn't be much of a story if a little bad stuff didn't happen in it to create
dramatic tension, so there's some of that, too. This means it's a good story as
well as a nice story.

After some unhappy experiences with another "wireless service provider," I
threw its phone into the Don River and threw myself into the arms of Mr.

I bought a spiffy Nokia from a franchised dealer, and no sooner had I done this
than my wife, with the new Nokia in the glove compartment, drove off into
America to attend to a family emergency.

When she got past Buffalo, she called to tell me she'd made it through the
border without being hogtied and shipped to Guantanamo Bay. She tried to,
anyway. The Nokia couldn't pick up a signal.

Fortunately, she was accompanied by her daughter, a lifelong and satisfied
Rogers customer who had her prehistoric, steam-powered Motorola along. She
called me on that. It worked fine.

This was the way it went pretty well the whole trip. Old Rogers phone fine. New
Rogers Nokia, to quote wife, "a piece of s-word."

I got on to Rogers, and Rogers tried to get the Nokia and my wife up and
running. But nothing worked, and finally a highly trained Rogers investigator
decided something funny was going on.

So funny that when my wife got back, he rushed over to the house and stood in
the kitchen and popped the back off the phone and looked inside.

Aha! He held it up, pointing to the serial number. "Nokia claims it didn't make
this phone."

A fake Nokia?

Who knows how such a thing got into circulation?

Was there dirty work afoot in the Mexican factory where it was made?

(Regarding Mexico, a friend of mine in the information technology racket
explained: "The Chinese know where to go to find cheap labour.")

Instead of the usual Nokia components, this one apparently had chewing-gum
wrappers and hairpins.

The Rogers investigator handed me a real Nokia and took away the other one, his
eyes glowing like George W. Bush's when he's on the trail of an evildoer.

Fake Nokias.

A funny world, isn't it? Who knew there were such things?

It turns out my wife did. Business takes her back and forth to Vietnam where,
last fall, she bought a Nokia that she keeps over there.

Then suddenly Vietnam was rocked by a Nokia scandal. It, along with every other
country in Southeast Asia, was neck-deep in fakes. Copyright? Right. Real
Nokias were as rare as snowballs.

Remarkably, though, she had lucked in. When hers was traced, it turned out to
be genuine.

She had to come home to Canada to get her hands on a counterfeit.

If there's something funny about your Nokia, and your service provider is Mr.
Rogers, find a phone that works and call him. He'll be very nice about it.

Moral: Caveat emptor, especially if you're an emptor as stupid as I am.

John. H.


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