Warning - faulty Iridium 9505A satphones

Submitted: Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 01:35
ThreadID: 32239 Views:5634 Replies:7 FollowUps:4
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Hi All,

We have an Iridium 9505A satphone purchased about 10 months ago. Used it over an 8 week trip last year and only spasmodically since. Have been very happy with it until today when we got it out after it had been packed away for 4 months. Turned it on a got "Invalid battery" (or similar) message. Rang Telstra technical assistance who informed us that this is a known fault with this model of Iridium satphones and is software related. It occurs usually after the satphone has not been used for an extended period of time. In some cases the phones can be sent to Iridium in Sydney for a software upgrade but some phones like ours are not upgradable. I think it depends on the batch. Anyway, Telstra are replacing our satphone with a new one but we have a 4-6 week wait. They are also crediting our account with 3 months of service fee and one month handset payment (since we purchased on a 24 mth plan). Fortunately we aren't heading off on a trip until July so having to wait for the new handset is no big deal to us but it would be a different story if we had tested the handset only a week or so before a big trip and were relying it on for remote communications. So anyway, I suggest if you have this model of Iridium phone and it hasn't already been upgraded that you get onto Telstra's satphone division. They will be able to tell you from the serial no. if your phone is effected and needs upgrading or replacing.

:o) Melissa
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Reply By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 05:33

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 05:33
Melissa,

This happened to us in middle of 2005. Very similar story to yours, with 3 months credit on our account etc. Think it was at the peak of demand for the upgraded model, because we did wait 3 months or more.

There is some useful info on the Iridium website too.

The Company later bought a Globalstar, due to continue problems with landline, and am very impressed with it. Easier to use, and no worries about pin numbers etc. Their accounting is apparently rather "cut-throat", overdue accounts get temporarily cut off, hardly the thing for the Simpson, or Gunbarrel, in an emergency.

Regards,
Bob.
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Follow Up By: hl - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 06:37

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 06:37
Hi,
This is a very strange attitude by Telstra if I understand the facts correctly.
They know the phones are a problem, they know which ones they are by the serial number. They must also know that these phones may be the only means of communications in dire situations, presumably that's what some travellers have bought them for.
So, why don't they just re-call them and replace them.

Cheers

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Follow Up By: Member - Melissa - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 10:49

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 10:49
hl,

That's exactly what we thought. If we were heading off on a remote area trip next week we certainly would not be taking the lengthy replacement period on the chin. However, as I understand it, the problem only occurs if the phone has not been charged up and used for an extended period of time so if you had it on from day to day whilst travelling this problem wouldn't occur. But I bet there are a lot of users who like us wouldn't use the phone from one month to the next and then get it out when they start packing for a trip only to find it doesn't work.

:o( Melissa
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Follow Up By: Bob Y. - Qld - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 20:49

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 20:49
We did receive a Telstra memo, via the dealer, but only after I'd complained about the software problem. Probably a case of poor dealer service, or lousy communication on their part.

Not good for a company specialising in communications!!!

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Reply By: Member - Willie , Epping .Syd. - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 07:11

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 07:11
Especially knowing that many are used for emergencies . Thanks for the info Melissa .
Willie .
AnswerID: 163368

Reply By: Guedo - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 09:17

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 09:17
The problem with the Iridium 9505A has been a worldwide problem and lierally thousands have been replaced. If you purchased a handset from March-May '05 it is probably only a matter of time before your phone comes up with 'invalid battery'. Telstra are only receiving a limited number of phones from Iridium especially for replacement for this problem at a time, so if yours fails when a lot of others do likewise at the same time be prepared for a long wait. They replace phones for those whom they deem is essential first so I recommend you use the old addage 'the squeakiest wheel gets oiled first', ring them weekly. It is pretty ordinary service when you can get a new one in a couple of days but can wait months for a replacement.

Guedo
AnswerID: 163385

Reply By: Willem - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 09:24

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 09:24
Thanks for that Melissa

I have the Motorola 9500 and will stick with it...lol

Cheers
AnswerID: 163387

Follow Up By: Ruth from Birdsville Caravan Park - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 10:05

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 10:05
Willem - so do I. Good info tho Melissa. Handy to know out here.
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Reply By: Member - John (Vic) - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 10:10

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 10:10
This has been posted before on here, but still timely to remind people about the issue.

I would have thought that by now they would have picked up all the crook ones, Obviously not!

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Reply By: Dean (SA) - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 11:06

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 11:06
When I bought the 9505A 12 months ago I had too wait about a month as the retailer was getting all off his stock upgraded or replaced, as at the time it was a known problem.
Funny thing is I bought through Iridium direct, why is it that they could easily sort this problem out, but Telstra could not.
Iridium's web site has all the dodgy codes, worth checking if youre purchasing now.
Dean
AnswerID: 163410

Reply By: Member - Michael B (NSW) - Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 18:31

Tuesday, Mar 28, 2006 at 18:31
Had exactly the same problem from day one in May 05, called the retailer.and a new phone was sent next day, just as well as I was off on a 3 month trip in June.
No problems since, did not buy off Telstra though. Hope it still works OK as have just lent it to a friend sailing to Tonga for 6 months.
Mike B
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