Monday, June 8, 2009

Cell Phone "Repair"

This morning when I got to work I took my cell phone out of my purse to find it turned off. I never turn my phone off and it had full battery power last night so I was mildly surprised. I figured the battery was getting near the end of its life. I plugged the phone in and forgot about it. About two hours later I tried to turn the phone on again and it wouldn't turn on. I wondered if maybe my charger was broken and used a co-worker's charger. It still wouldn't turn on.

I was told by several people to take the battery out, blow on it, and put it back in to "reset" the phone. I felt like I was playing with the original Nintendo Entertainment System. Remember when you used to have to blow into the bottom of the games sometimes? Yeah, well it still didn't work.

So I trekked over to a Nextel "repair" shop. I put the word repair in quotes because, does one ever really repair a cell phone? In the hour of my life that was lost there five people came in and were told that their cell phone could not be repaired and would have to be replaced. And oh - do you by any chance have the insurance? Because if you do, it's just a $50 deductible instead of the price of a whole new phone!

Well it turned out that my phone was "repairable". I could spend $100 to repair it or I can have a new one shipped for free as long as I sign a new contract. Oh please! Please let me pay $100 to get my current phone repaired!

So I pick out my new "free" phone. I put the word free in quotes because it was $18 for an "upgrade" fee. And then $12 for the shipping. So I ended up paying $30. I know I shouldn't complain but I was told it would be FREE.

And then because it was noon and the guy wanted to go to lunch, he has me sign a form that hasn't been filled out and tells me he will fill it out later. And it had all the information about how much I am paying for the phone on it. Uh, no buddy, you can go ahead and fill it out right now.

And add to that - I now have to get all new chargers. The new phone takes a micro-USB. I had a mini-USB. This is the phone company's way of always making a profit I guess.

So basically, I have a sour taste in my mouth for the whole cell phone industry. Especially Nextel. Since I need the push to talk, they know that I can't go anywhere else. And they all know we are dependent on our phones and don't have the time to shop deals.

And yes - after reading this I'm sure you are thinking that I must be the cheapest human being on the planet. And I am.

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