(Preface: Yes I know this is a rant. Yes I know I am not swearing that much either. I am hoping that those who read this learn something. I sure as Hell did.)
Everyone goes through this at least once in the course of owning a contemptible cellular phone.
Your phone dies. It decides to pick the most inopportune of times to do it. You go insane.
You go to a store selling your cell phone. You go in with a plan and a purpose. It is formed around one desire: To get a new cell phone.
You talk to a sales rep. You make your wishes known as to what you are looking for. The sales rep shows you some phones. You discuss a few things, and make a decision.
You get the phone and you take off.
Everything is happy. Or is it?
I found myself in this boat on Tuesday last week. My trusted old LG VX8100 finally could go no more. I could not get the thing to charge, as the interface was shot. I mourned it, having had the phone for 3-4 years.
I went into a store and spoke with a salesman. I let him know up front that if the phone side flipped, was a slider, capable of doing my laundry, that I was not interested in seeing it. He promptly moved to action, showing me some standard flip phones. We talked and I asked.
I left the store with a Motorola Moto VU204. Seemed to be a good phone, with a rubber feeling exterior. I owned a pair of Motorola V60 phones years back and they were great phones.
I found myself back in the store the next day. I noticed the phone was chewing up the battery worse than I chew up Chinese. I saw the same sales rep, and he got me with the in store tech. The in store tech checked the phone and the battery and determined the battery was toast. He got me a new battery and away I went.
The phone did not see much use so it appeared to be fine. Over the last 2 days, I noted it once again was chewing up battery life at a ridiculous pace. I made sure it got charged properly, but that did not a bloody thing.
Today, I returned to the store. I told a different sales rep the story. He informed me that there was no way to test the phone. He also told me that the new phones used more power because of the 3G chip set in them. He also told me that if I was to exchange the phone I was going to be paying a restocking fee.
A restocking fee...on a phone that does not seem to be working properly? One that has had a new battery for it?
I took issue with this and voiced my displeasure. I got an option on the extended life battery, and told the guy I would think about it. I knew I could get it cheaper online.
I had made my mind up as I drove away and to my friend's to do video work that I would keep the phone and get an extended life battery. I calmed down to do work.
Then the phone changed my decision. By losing another bar of charge. After 25 minutes of talking. After about 15 sent and 15 received text messages. After taking 1 photo.
And just sitting idle the rest of the time, not doing a thing.
I called the store back in seconds. Asking for a manager, I informed her of my story in detail. She basically told me the same thing the sales rep had. I was now thoroughly disgusted with everything. Boiling it down, I was told the following:
We can get you a new phone of the same model.
We can get you a new phone of a different model, but you are paying the restocking fee.
That is just the way the phone is.
In my anger I decided to call the 800 number for my cell phone provider. I spent an indeterminate about of time on the phone with a woman who was most helpful. She listened to everything I had to say about the problems I was encountering. She was as baffled as I was by it, but refusing to hide behind statements like "Oh I hear that about the phone you have from everyone.", quite unlike the sales rep and manager from the store.
Needless to say the LG VX8360 ships tonight for delivery on Friday.
In short, my message to you dear reader: Be extremely careful if going into a store to buy a cell phone. Your best bet may be to buy the thing online or via the phone.