Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tell me I'm going to grow to like this

Recently I crawled out from under my rock and joined the modern age.

I got rid of my "old dumb phone"....

and got one of these, a "smartphone" that makes me feel like a dummy.

I've avoided making this move for years because I did not want to be accessible to everybody all the time. I'm sure we have all heard about, or even known, crackberry addicts that cannot disconnect from the phone or let an email go unanswered.  I enjoy the fact that once the day is done I can walk away from work and not have to worry about it until the next day.  Having a dumb phone made that a lot easier, but the phone companies have a different idea.   They seem to have plans where one day a smartphone will be in every hand.  My dad and I joke that eventually the only option will be smartphones or a phone with 3 buttons (Home, 911, Power) for the elderly...sadly after shopping for a new phone I don't think we were far off.  The selection of non-smartphones are pretty underwhelming

In addition to my desire to not be accessible 100% of the time, I also avoided making the upgrade for so long because, well, I'm a bit of a cheapskate and the idea of shelling out an additional $30 a month for the required data plan made my wallet pucker up.  Alas the wireless providers had an evil plan in the works here as well.  Word circulating on the street was the option for an unlimited data plan was on its last legs being sent into early retirement.  Like a good late night infomercial, they created a sense of urgency and if I had any inkling that I might at some point want a smart phone I needed to act now.

True to my indecisive tendencies, I searched for months trying to decide what phone I wanted.  iPhone vs Android.  Motorola vs HTC vs Samsung.  Virtual keyboard only vs physical keyboard.  1 camera vs 2 cameras.  8 mega pixels vs 5 mega pixels. Etc, etc.  I finally narrowed down my choices to 2 possibilities and we made our way to the store thinking surely the salesperson would be able to help me make a final selection. 

We wandered the store and fiddled with phones waiting for our name to come up on the list for a salesperson blissfully unaware of the mess that was about to ensue.  I was less than impressed with the guy we got.
Salesguy: "So what brings you in here today?'
Me: "Well I'm eligible for an upgrade and I'm thinking about getting a smartphone."
Salesguy: ..............
Me: "Uh, so I've kind of come down to deciding between the Samsung and the HTC."
Salesguy: ....................
Dr. Love: "Is there anything about one or the other that would be better."
Salesguy: "They're both good phones."
Dr. Love: "Do they have Gingerbread operating system?"
Salesguy: "Yeah they're both newer phones so they come with the new operating system."

WRONG.  Samsung had the first version of the Android OS, and the HTC had the second.

Dr. Love: "Have you heard anything about the unlimited data plan going away anytime soon?"
Salesguy: "No, we still have the unlimited plan."
Me: "The rumor on the street is it's being discontinued soon."
Salesguy: "Oh well, they usually don't let us know about stuff like that until a week before it goes through."
Me: "It's supposed to happen next week."
Salesguy: .................
Me: "Well let's get back to the phones."
Salesguy: "One of the tech guys showed me this neat trick last week."Tap, swipe......Tap, swipe...........Tap, Tap, Swipe..........Swipe, Tap......Tap, Swipe, Tap.  "Hmm, well it's not working now, people are always playing with these and messing them up."

Sure, the problem is customers using the phones, uh huh.

Me: "Where do you go to send a text message?"
Salesguy: "Right through this icon here."
Me:  fiddling with the keyboard "Does it have Sw.ype?  I know the Samsung does."
Salesguy: "It should."  Tap, Tap, Tap.....Swipe, Swipe......Tap, Swipe, Tap.  "Uh well I'm not seeing it here.  Let me go in the back and look it up."

By now my patience and my blood sugar are running low and I can feel myself getting grumpy.  During his 5 minute break to the back of the store, Dr. Love looked up several forums on his phone discussing my question.
Salesguy: upon returning "I couldn't find any information on whether it has Sw.ype installed or not.
Dr. Love: "I found a couple of forums talking about it.  We'll check that out later."
Me: getting visibly frustrated "Ugh I just don't know which one to go with."

I'm no salesperson but I think this is an open invitation to sway the customer and make the sale. 

Salesguy: ...............

His stunned silence was not reassuring, I guess I should have written the words "SELL ME SOMETHING" across my forehead.  At this point I basically turned my back on him and looked to Dr. Love for advice.

Dr. Love:  "They seem to be pretty equal so I would just go with the HTC since it's the newer of the two."
Me: "Fine, let's get this one."'
Salesguy: "Ok, meet me at the desk over there and I'll go get it for you."

I'm done with this whole mess, I'm cranky, I'm being forced to fork over money when I don't really want to, and my salesperson is about as helpful as the teenager working the drive through at Burger King.  When he came to the counter he even offered the symbolic fries to complete my order....a case for my phone.  He brought 3 options, a black one and 2 different BRIGHT PINK cases.  Now I like girly things but I have a limit on how much girly I can take and BRIGHT PINK phone cases crossed the line.  He directed me to the wall where my other "options" were though selection was severely limited.  I took down a purple case to examine it.

Salesguy: "That's the same one I brought out at the desk."
Me: "Um this one looks purple."
Salesguy: "It just looks darker because of the black behind it."  Takes it from me and looks at the back, "Oh it does say Purple."

Thanks genius, pretty sure I can tell the difference between BRIGHT PINK and purple.  Let's complete the sale before I explode.

Me: "I'll take the purple one."
Salesguy: "Ok I'll ring it all up and get your contacts transferred over.  Is there anything else I can help you with?"
Me: "I think that will be all."

So the relationship with my new smartphone had a rocky start.  I didn't really want to make the move now, the salesguy was less than helpful, then you throw in the inherent learning curve in using / setting up the new phone, I'm surprised it didn't get thrown across the room in the first few days...it came pretty close a few times.  Our relationship has improved since then as we took some time to bond over the fun things it has to offer such as P.andora anywhere, A.ngry B.irds, F.ruit Slice.  I tell myself things will improve, they wouldn't be so popular if they sucked, and one day I won't know how I lived without it.  In the meantime we are still in the early stages of getting to know one another.

1 comment:

  1. I am totally a dumb phone hold out. But you're right, it's harder and harder to find viable options among all the millions of smartphones. But I am cheap and - like you - I don't want to be at the whim of my phone. Calling and texting is enough - and I don't do either very often.


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