A journey in words...

Welcome to my journey in words! A story about health, exercise, weight loss, food addiction, humor, size discrimination, sarcasm, social commentary and all the rest that’s rattling around inside my head...

I now twit, er... or tweet. Anyway, you can follow me on twitter @Aeon1202

Friday, July 13, 2012

Tech is Great

Until it breaks.

Then it’s just about the most frustrating thing in the world.  For Christmas, my husband bought me a Smartphone.  I’d been wanting one for awhile and we hit up some of the post-holiday sales to get me a good deal on a really nice new one.

For the past six months it’s been great, I’ve enjoyed my new phone immensely.  I work in a place where you’re not allowed to use your computer for personal reasons even while on lunch break, so it was good to be able to retreat to the lunch room with my phone and check my personal email and other internet based things.

As Smartphone users go though, I’ve been pretty boring.  I barely use Twitter, I’ve downloaded about five APPs since purchase (hello Angry Birds) and I text fairly infrequently.

Yesterday morning, I noticed that my phone was hot to the touch.  I’m not an IT tech like Ted but I know enough to know that heat and computer devices are not a good combination.  By the time lunch rolled around and I pulled out my phone to go check my email, the battery was nearly dead and it was declaring that I had, “no service”.  Since I had unplugged it from charging that very morning before driving to work, I knew something was seriously wrong.  I turned the unit off.

This morning it was about as active as a rock, even plugging it into the wall I couldn’t garner a response from it, so – I called Verizon.

Here’s my problem; I don’t mind that the unit died, computers do that.  They’re wonderful but persnickety and sometimes tech just fails, even tech that’s only six months old and has been gently used that whole time.  What I DO mind is being talked to like I’m an idiot.

Yes, I realize that customer service people have difficult jobs and do talk to a lot of idiots who do dumb things.  (What do you mean my phone won’t work after I’ve dropped it in the toilet!?)  However, when I tell you that the phone is not broken because I’ve stupidly downloaded an untrustworthy APP I would appreciate being believed.  I haven’t downloaded any APP in the last month so I find it beyond the realm of unlikely that the copy of a Rovio game I acquired last month has suddenly caused my name brand phone to spontaneously and irreparably break due to incompatibility.  I would also thank you to believe me when I tell you I am smart enough not to download things from untrustworthy sources ever, either to my home PC or to my Smartphone.

I have been using a computer successfully for the past twenty years now, I am not new to this rodeo and I am also not a moron.

Basically Verizon’s advice on how to avoid your phone breaking is that it’s all usually the fault of users downloading bad APPs that we’re too stupid to avoid, so never download APPs even though running them is half the purpose of the device.

Whose an idiot now?

After getting lectured on correct Smartphone usage all the while performing a master reset on the device, as the touch screen then proceeded to stop responding, the customer service rep on the phone finally reluctantly agreed to send me a new unit.  They refused, however, to send me a new battery as well.  Apparently sending out a new phone and battery at the same time to replace broken ones is, “against their policy”.  So even though they admitted the battery becoming hot is a problem and that it shouldn’t be doing that, I’m getting only a new phone into which I have to put the old battery which may in all probability fry the new one just like it did the old one.

When that happens, then they will send me a new battery as well, and I guess another new phone too.

Oh – and since today is Friday none of this can happen until Monday, so I have no phone for the weekend.

But remember – it’s all my own fault and I’m the idiot, not them.

UPDATE:  After I told Ted this entire story he became irritated on my behalf and called Verizon back to complain.  They promptly apologized and agreed to send us a new battery with the new phone, as well as knocking a discount off our next bill and informing him that they would be reviewing and retraining the rep that I spoke to.  Basically he had an ENTIRELY different experience from mine.  While I am happy with the results I'm also somewhat offended because I believe his completely different experience resulted from his voice being obviously male while mine is obviously female.  Both of us are kind and polite in conversation both in person and on the telephone.  He does not agree, and plans to teach me his technique for getting stuff done while making everyone love him at the same time.  We shall see.


  1. I agree that gender is more the issue than tone and manner. Misogyny is still alive and well today, especially in customer service.

    1. I feel that way all the time, but I so frequently get told "it's all in my head" that some days I start to mistrust my own sanity.

  2. Ted is sweet, thinking the best like that, but I also bet he got better/different service because he is male.

    1. I feel quite certain of it too. It's a running joke in our house that if I call any service company the answer to what I'm looking for is always, 'no'. So I then hand the phone to Ted, he calls, and the person on the other end of the line happily gives him whatever he wants and then offers to bear his children to boot.

      I think it's probably fun to be Ted. LOL

  3. I get better customer service than Carolyn, but not as good as Ted. It's not simply because he's male, nor because he's sweet. I think when Ted calls he may strike a "dad" nerve. I think they may be subconsciously getting, "I'm disappointed and I know you can do better, but I'm not going to be angry because I still love you."

    1. Hmmm... I can see that, yeah. In which case I'm going to have a heck of a time learning how he does it. Maybe I can learn to have better Mom-mojo?

  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

  5. If this weren't so frustrating for you it would be really funny—in an "oh my God, customer service reps are so freakin' stupid it's amazing they can even speak in complete sentences" kind of way. But having now been the very happy recipient of up-close-and-personal conversation with both you and Ted, I have to agree that it's likely a vocal delivery issue, coupled, of course, with dealing with someone who should have never been hired for that job in the first place. BTW, Charles' comment is hilarious!!

    1. It honestly was both frustrating and funny at the same time. Oh, and an update: my "new" phone arrived Monday, but instead of being a new phone it was a "certified like new" AKA used phone! Plus instead of a battery, they sent me a phone dock for my car.

      Ted and I, fed up with dealing with them on the phone, gathered everything up and headed over to the Verizon store. Right before we went in I stopped Ted and murmured to him, "remember... I'm disappointed and I know you can do better, but I'm not going to be angry because I still love you. That is your power, Ted - USE IT."

      True story.

      Anyway my phone is up and running again, but I had no choice but to accept a used replacement for the new phone I paid for that broke because, "that is their policy." MEH!