This Week In F-K You: Buying A New Cell Phone

05.24.13 4 years ago 62 Comments

My cell phone had reached the point of barely being usable. It wouldn’t stay on the network or on a WiFi connection, so I was constantly switching it in and out of airplane mode so it would find the signal again. I was constantly missing calls. What few apps I had took up most of the memory and they we’re constantly updating themselves, even when I had disabled automatic updates. It took lousy photos, so I was constantly swiping my husband’s work iPhone 5 when we were out so I could take pictures.

I’m not one of those buy the newest gadget to have the newest gadget people. If anything, when it comes to something that uses electricity, I hold onto them for as long as I possibly can. My coffee grinder is old enough to drink, my coffeemaker was a gift from a boyfriend during President Clinton’s first term, my toaster could graduate high school, I pushed my last computer for seven-plus years, Lappy is going on four and I’m hoping it makes it at least two or three more. The cell phone I needed to replace? Barely over two years old. What a waste. (And I only got that cell phone because the little nipple button on my Blackberry had fallen out and been lost so many times, they were no longer giving me new ones.) And while it wasn’t the best and the brightest phone on the market, it was supposed to be an open, unencumbered by nonsense bloatware device, the Galaxy Nexus S Google phone, but then Google had to go eff that up too by forcing Google Wallet down our throats and made my phone unusable for at least two weeks until they fixed a bug. YOU’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE GOOD GUYS, GOOGLE. WHY’D YOU SCREW ME ON THE GOOGLE READER AND THE WALLET? But I carried on. Maybe the next update would be better. Maybe I would no longer want to take a screwdriver to the screen and pry the Google Wallet app off if it.

Once I decided I finally had to give in and get a new phone last weekend, in one last act of rebellion, the screen cracked on my old phone. It knew. I’d dropped that phone thousands of times and this was going to be the one time it decided to give up the ghost. No, if I had made the decision to get a new phone, this phone wasn’t going to let me wait until the whatever-hotness was one, three, six months down the line. It was going to die sooner rather than later and I was going to be stuck with what was on the market at this very moment.Well fuck, you know whatever phone you buy is probably going to be the wrong one when you have to buy it in a pinch. Thanks phone, one last chance to screw me and you took it.

I considered getting an iPhone, but then I’d be one of those jerks with an iPhone, an iPad and a MacBookPro. No. My phone is the one thing keeping me from being completely intolerable. It also doesn’t help that there’s a new iPhone 5S coming in MYSTERY amount of months. Could be June, could be September. And after that? Probably an iPhone 6 next year sometime. MYSTERY TIME. Is it worth waiting for? No, it’s a damn fucking phone.

Luckily two new big phone launches just happened; the Galaxy 4 and the HTC One. Awesome. Two phones nearly the size of my iPad. I’m small, my hands are small, I want a small phone. I point this out to the phone store clerk, who says I should see how it looks when basketball players come in hold the Galaxy 4. I’M FOUR FOOT FUCKING EIGHT, A PROFESSIONAL BASKETBALL PLAYER’S WORLD VIEW AND KEYBOARD INTERACTION IS QUITE DIFFERENT THAN MINE. So we’re back at the iPhone 5 again. But this phone is going to be out of date soon. So back at the Galaxy 4 phone, but this phone is huge and seems plasticy and okay well what about this HTC One well the last HTC sucked but this one has promise but’s it’s also huge but at least it has a solid case AND LEAVE ME ALONE SPRINT SALES PERSON I JUST WANT TO TOUCH THE PHONES WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU DON’T HAVE A DEMO MODEL OF THE GALAXY 4 THEY’RE SELLING SO QUICKLY PUT A PHONE IN MY HAND SO I CAN YOU ARE ACTUALLY SELLING ME A PHONE AND NOT A PIECE OF CHOCOLATE HOW DO I KNOW HOW IT WORKS IF YOU CAN’T TURN IT ON FUCK THIS IS A PIECE A CHOCOLATE. NO, I’M NOT READY TO BUY NOW. I’D LOOK UP REVIEWS ON MY OLD PHONE RIGHT HERE IN THE STORE BUT THE BATTERY HAS ALREADY DIED EVEN THOUGH IT’S ONLY BEEN UNPLUGGED FOR TWENTY MINUTES.

So now to go home and watch endless YouTube videos comparing the Galaxy 4 and HTC One made by scruffy looking dudes in their kitchen talking into a Flipcam. Reading about a thousand blog posts about how the phone you pick is great but has some [insert nitpicky problem only scruffy looking dudes in their kitchens talking into Flipcams care about]. By the way? Not a single review mentioned call quality. I know that’s all network and location in relation to tower, but it’s not so separated from the phone you can’t mention it. Oh you care about actual phone calls? HA, YOU’RE AN OLD PERSON.

Okay, so I’ve made my decision. I know which phone I want. Back the the store, check-in, buy the phone and leave. I will be the easiest sale they have all day. Give me the phone, I will give you my money and can go finish my errands before the hockey game comes on.

It doesn’t work like that. You need to refuse to buy about sixteen items before you get your new phone.

Once you’ve selected your phone, the other sales pitches come in. Hard. Are you happy with your home phone service? How much are you paying a month? It could be cheaper with us. No. I am fine with my home service I don’t want to mess with it right now. Yes, yours is less, but my phone is tied to my DSL and I don’t feel like mucking about with it now.* Oh, you’ll give me half off this expensive phone if I switch home phone service? Nah, I’m fine. Just want the phone. A case? Guess I’ll walk over to the cases if you’re pretty much making me. No, I don’t want any of these cases. They’re huge. They are the actual size of an otter, which I guess is where they get their name from. Nope, not too worried about my new phone breaking. I have phone insurance with you and the electronics rider on my personal insurance. Last phone didn’t break for two years, I’m good with my electronics, I’ll find a thinner case somewhere else. No, you don’t need to put the sealing cover on the glass. Just want the phone. Okay, I’ll meet you back over at the desk so you can grab my new phone out of the stock room.

Oh hey, you’re back. AND you brought the stupid voice over IP home phone box with you, just in case I’ve changed my mind. No, I have not changed my mind. Yes I know I can add this voice over IP line with a separate number at no charge until my home phone gets worked out and then I only have a DSL line. No, I still don’t want it. Yes, savings of half-off my new cell phone is pretty significant, but not so much so I want to mess with this now. And look? You brought out the cases again so you could show me how they look on your coworker’s phone. Why of course I want to add another inch of size to this massive electronic brick, no thank you for thinking I wasn’t sure of my feelings before. Also, the reason I am going with the HTC One is for the metal case which actually looks nicer, why would I want to ruin both the function and the ascetic for $3 worth of plastic being sold for $34?  Just give me the phone, transfer my number so I can leave.

You’re still selling me a home phone and a case. And selling. And selling.

Car charger? With the battery life on my old phone, I have three chargers. My car, husband’s car and my bag, just in case I’m ever kidnapped I can at least get a charge before attempting to call 911.

Fuck you and your sales quota, I know I have an out.

“Hey, so can you make sure you set up an international plan on this phone? I’m going on vacation next week.”

Silence. Sales Quota’s brain has snapped.

“This phone only works in the US.”


“Would you consider the Galaxy 4 again? Or the iPhone 5?”

“Yeah, I’ll go home and think about it.”

Race to give me a card as I walk out the door, tells me they’ll be in all week except for Thursday.

Go to phone store on the other side of town the next day — a Thursday, just to be doubly sure Sales Quota won’t be around– find a sales person who looks like they’re just ready to get off and smoke a bong when the shop closes in an hour. Ask for phone. When company required, “Do you need…” questions come up, say “no” and they say, “okay.” I leave quite happily with my new phone in less than 30 minutes. It’s swell.

Would that have been so hard for you, Sales Quota? That could have been us, but you ruined it.


*I live in a canyon area where no matter which provider you choose, you will rarely get good calls in your own home. Getting rid of the home phone all together is out of the question and I don’t want to hear about it from people telling me over and over again I need to “cut the cord” to my home phone service. You can get your own special F-You post.

Around The Web