Beatbox Giant Productions

The producers of Kinzai Ninjas, a new animated web series.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Mobile Phoning

Why does the US cell phone industrial complex suck so hard?

I read about Israel and Finland and Asia and how enlightened they are and how bleeding edge their cell-fu is compared to our barely adequate networks here.

And the customer support is a joke.

My cell phone, which was supposed to be the sexiest new phone from Verizon when I bought it last August, soon looked anemic next to the RAZR. But the RAZR wasn't available on Verzion which is CDMA.

Also my phoen had Bluetooth. Which mena I could use my laptop to connect and sync up numbers wirelessly. Except of course Verizon disabled that feature because it wants you to pony up for what ever lame service they can charge you to move pix and mp3s, etc.

So I was sitting with a phone that I had to have because it had an external memory slot, a megapixel camera, could play MP3s, and had bluetooth. But of course being a power user, I used none of those features.

Well I tried. But the camera takes pictures like it has it's lens cap on, dark, graininess is the only picture it will take. I never bought an external memory card because the camera sucked so hard and I spent so much money on buying the phone I didn't have much of an accessory budget. Bluetooth has been discussed (I coulda bought one of those creepy headsets, but again no money and did I really want to become one of those people).

But it worked rather well as a phone. Until Thursday. When it just died. I took it into Verizon. They hooked it to a charger and put a new battery in, but they agreed that it was dead. Wonderbar. I was expecting a new phone on the spot, but they said to call the insurance and they'll ship a new phone the next day.


So I called them. And they said that since the phone didn't actually get broken or stolen it wasn't their deal. What!?! Why was I paying them $5/month?

I called Verizon and a very helpful operator called back the insurance company and got the local tech to call and corroborate my story. Great. Wonderful. Gimme my new phone.

They said it was in the mail, and would be here by Monday, today.

So I get the phone, and I buy a $40 cable to get the numbers off my old phone (which rose from the dead) and sync them to my computer and my new phone. A cable that should have been unnecessary if Bluetooth wasn't crippleware.

Then the new phone won't activate. And the phone help can't help and the web interface doesn't work and I have to mkae my third trip to the store. They uncermoniously activate it and I grab a burrito at Baja Fresh.

I guess the best thing about the whole situation was a vacay from my phone. I watched all of Lost and got some writing done. It was good.

Total money spent: $90 -- $50 deductible, $40 for the data cable
Total time spent on phone: 2 hours
Total days without a phone: 5


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