The not-so-Smartphone

Smartphones operate at warp speed these days – I’d considered waiting until they increased from 4G to 11 before buying one but… while the cellphone I’ve used for the past 2 years is a sleek little item, texting is a major effort requiring a magnifying glass and a ton of techno-patience, neither of which I have.

So, two weeks ago I decided to upgrade to a Droid Smartphone.

I can’t tell you how excited I was when it arrived 48 hours later. It should have arrived 24 hours later but FedEx delivered it to the wrong address.

Anyway, following the instructions I charged the battery.

It came with a booklet full of helpful shortcuts and hints, none of which hinted at anything helpful.

I decided to download instructions online. An hour later my laptop crashed and the 3+MB manual hovered somewhere between computer and cyberspace.

I called Verizon to hear a cheerful message about long wait times and a suggestion to download instructions online. I re-dialed several times and eventually connected with a helpful human who was unable to help as all the steps I followed confirmed my un-activated status.

They apologized, suggested I visit a Verizon store and were unconcerned when I mentioned the battery needed recharging already.

Feeling still faintly cheerful and with battery recharged, I drove to the nearest dealership.

I found myself sitting in front of Smartphone multi-tasking Smartguy who simultaneously served two other customers. He transferred contacts, charged me extra to transfer pictures; sold me an expensive 2 year warranty that covers fire, flood, alien abduction, etc. and attached a nice snap-on protective cover the wrong way round.

However, he couldn’t set up my email and told me to contact my ISP. At this point I calculated that in the five hours I’d owned the phone, 3 and a half of those had been spent failing to activate it. Meanwhile, the battery threatened to die again.

I returned home and called ISP tech support; after 45 minutes in a holding pattern I gave up and tried their email ‘live-chat’. 15 minutes later someone typed ‘Hi, how are you today?’…then disappeared. This proved futile as they’re only allowed to spend 3 minutes chatting per desperate individual.

I called tech support once more and miraculously got a Smartperson who set up my email in seconds. Oh, joy!

Now I had email. But wait! The touch feature required 4-6 touches before responding. I tried light touch, firm touch, smack on the back of the head touch, all to no avail. A few seconds later it responded arbitrarily whereupon the battery promptly died.

Feeling increasingly Luddite-like, I set the alarm function and charged the battery before going to bed, only to be woken at 3:15am by an ugly noise warning me that the battery needed recharging.

I called Verizon again (from my home phone) and they confirmed the battery was a dud and would be replaced within 24 hrs.

So far, all I’d sent were 3 brief texts. A few people had called but I couldn’t hear a word.

24 hrs later I tried to install the replacement battery but the snap-on protective cover wouldn’t budge so I headed back to the dealer.

It took Smartphone Smartgirl 20 mins to remove it. The replacement battery was inserted and the phone got hot but wouldn’t launch. It finally fired up after two attempts and I learned that “…it’s OK for a phone to get hot as long as it doesn’t get too hot to hold”. Really?

I then sent 4 texts, read a couple of emails and recharged the now-dead new battery. I tried calling a couple of people but couldn’t tell whether they’d answered or not because I don’t have the finely tuned hearing of a bat.

As an aside, by now I’d received numerous salacious texts advising me on how to pick up men. Without my knowledge and according to Verizon, I’d signed up for a $9.99 pm service offering flirting advice….something I really need…not.

Still unable to make or receive calls and tired of charging the battery every 5 hours, this formerly excited Smartphone owner trudged back to the Verizon store.

On the door was a note: “Closed due to unforeseen circumstances”. It crossed my mind this was one of the best ski-days this season.

I drove 18 miles to another store.

After sharing my sorry story, the owner called Verizon tech support. A brief conversation confirmed that my Smartphone was in fact stupid and would be replaced in 5 business days. Excuse me? I’d purchased a 2 year Armageddon warranty so surely this warranted an overnight replacement?

Nope – not unless I’d dropped it from the eleventh floor of a condo building (which I happily would have, had I access to one) – no; replacements for ‘defective’ phones arrive by carrier pigeon.

Its now day 10 and I finally own a Droid that appears to work.

The irony of buying a superfast Smartphone being at odds with the length of time it took to get it working isn’t lost on me; I’m sure there’s a deep text message in there somewhere.

On the other hand, I hear Mercury is currently in retrograde.

Look out for my next posting; something that never fails: ‘The Perfect Roast Chicken’.

About edibletcetera

I'm passionate about food; I cook, photograph, eat...then writes about it in that order. I'm also an occasional restaurant critic and caterer; a former newspaper columnist; author; social media/marketing communications; world traveler; dog lover; skier...and wit, (according to those who know me).
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2 Responses to The not-so-Smartphone

  1. Dianne Lynn says:


    I hear ya sista! I now own a Droid….love having my gmail contacts automatically loaded without lifting a finger is “the bomb” for this dinosaur!

    I can sympathize with your utter frustration when climbing that slippery rock wall to technological advancement. As a stay at home Mom (20 years) I missed out in the computer learning curve. It’s all a challenge for me now. Hang in there! If I was able to manage my smartphone you too have hope!

    PS FYI: I was also given a rebuilt (twice) which was piece(s) of sh-t! Ugh!

  2. Laurie Riley says:

    Why didn’t you buy an iphone and skip all this stupid stuff.

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