Sony Ericsson C903 Dilemma: Network 3 Are Useless

Hi readers. I’m sharing this story in case anybody else is suffering the same scenario. If not, then you’ll probably be uninterested so don’t read this blog post! However, if your Sony Ericsson C903 has suddenly started playing up, then fear not and read on! I discovered a solution on Sony Ericsson’s website at the last minute and saved myself from undergoing the laborious and inconvenient procedure that 3’s help centre wanted me to follow!

The back-story:

My Sony Ericsson C903 (CyberShot) failed me last night. I closed the handset after receiving a call to discover that the wallpaper had gone white and it was suddenly stating “no netw. coverage” when I knew I was in a perfectly fine area. I tried turning my phone off and then on, and even resetting it, but it was still dead to the world. I tried plugging my charger in but a bizarre and incorrect message popped up saying something like “Does not recognise phone, insert Sony Ericsson battery.”

The 3 store:

I went to my local 3 store in the morning but discovered they’d given themselves the bank holiday off, so I went into an Orange store and the assistant was kind enough to give me details of another 3 store that was more reliable. I reached this store, to find the shop assistant there closing the place down at 4.30, despite their opening times on the door stating 5.30. I believe he mumbled some inaudible reasoning for this.

The 3 help centre:

So putting this corporate incoherency behind me I went home and phoned 3. Anyone who has tried this themselves will no how hard it is to find a contact number on 3’s website. Their help and services pages force you to sit through a clicking labyrinth of inappropriate but apparently frequently asked questions.

On the phone to 3, I was told that I would receive an envelope in 2 working days to post my phone off to their repair centre, because the C903 has a software glitch that is known about now but needs to be fixed by a technician. This would put me out of a phone for almost two weeks! They couldn’t guarantee that my local 3 store would be able to give me a loan phone, and if I wanted to quit my contract I would have to buy the whole thing out, even if 3 weren’t committing to their half of it! The lady on the phone (who was admittedly very kind) then told me that her operating centre’s computer system had gone down and so she would phone me back in 10 minutes.

The solution:

During this time I Googled the problem that my phone was having again, and found a page on Sony Ericsson’s website where I could download an update that would solve the technical glitch.

It didn’t work the first time, but the second time it did. So now my phone’s absolutely fine. I put some music on my stereo and did a little celebratory dance! I don’t need to send my phone off to 3 for weeks and weeks, thank God, and I don’t need to get up early and waste my morning in the local 3 store!

This is the page you need:

You’ll need a Sony Ericsson USB cable though to connect to your computer. If you’re in a hurry, 24hr Tesco sell perfectly good multi-phone USB cables for £9. I use one of these. They also let you copy photos and files to your computer (the software update will erase them you see).

Oh and by the way, when asked by your computer to hold down the “c” (cancel) key on your phone for ages you must do this BEFORE you connect your phone to the phone end of the USB. Otherwise it won’t work.

I hope this helps somebody. I just cannot believe that a company like 3 don’t have the intellectual capacity to find a simple solution to a common problem, but instead, train their call centre staff to recommend ludicrously longwinded and unnecessary procedures! I am also a bit shocked at the poor level of communication between 3 stores and 3 itself.


  1. Thanks alot for this Jack, this happened to my phone this evening and after finding your posting, i have sorted my phone out in 15 mins..So thank you for your pain to help others out :-)

  2. Me too! Thanks Jack, I've never read your blog before but this advice was DAMN on. Thankss!

  3. Hi Jack,thanks for the marvellous solution. I am having the exact problem as you have encountered and once followed your instruction, things just get back to normal. thanx!!!

  4. Hi.... thank you so much... I just dowloaded the magic phone medicine and all is well again!! Customer services were being of no help at all (even though they did sound like they were trying to be!!)Suz

  5. it just happened to me! Although 3 didn't provide a cable when I bought the phone - should they have done???

  6. I could kiss u..!!! THANK YOU!!! U have no idea how happy you have made me :) :)

  7. I have been trying to do the same thing but it says my battery needs to be charged for the updates to work and it is currently dead. I obviously can't charge the phone as the phone says it doesn't recognise the battery. Have you any ideas to solve this problem? Thanks.