Sunday, August 26, 2012

More Fun With iPhones

You'll recall that in May of this year I got my first iPhone, which the industry deceptively identifies as "smart phones".  Then, in early August I got a new iPhone 3GS, though with some frustration.  Well, things got fun again.

One morning about a week and a half ago I was leaving for work and the new iPhone 3GS was dead.  I had forgotten to plug it in to the charger the night prior, and if you've ever owned an iPhone, you know that you have to charge them 8 times per day, otherwise the battery will die.  When I got to work I plopped it into my charger.  At about 10am I grabbed it to go to the gym and go for a run.  It has the MapMyRun app and my music.  Can't run without it.  Much to my chagrin, the phone was still dead.  What the heck?!!!

I ran without the phone.  It's not much fun running without my tunes.  You end up thinking too much.  When I got back to my massive corner office overlooking the park, I went through the normal process of trying to hold the two buttons and shutting it down and restarting.  Nothing.  Plug it into iTunes.  Nothing.  Ugh.  It's like déjà vu all over again!

I call AT&T.  They run me through the same processes that I just did.  They tell me they can't help me, but transfer me to Apple.  Apple runs me through the the same process, again!  Nothing.  They tell me to schedule an appointment with my conveniently located Apple store and it will get resolved, and I won't leave there without a phone.



My buddy Duckman is an iPhone Phanatic, except that he doesn't actually own an iPhone.  He wanted to go with me, so we went to the conveniently located Columbia Mall, which isn't really convenient.  The store is packed.  Granola-looking people are walking around with iPhones and iPads helping people.  After about 15 minutes past my appointment time, someone finally helps me.  I tell them that it's really crowded.  He looks around and gives me a smug smile.  "It's not crowded today.  Most days are worse."  Wow.

He takes my 3GS to the back and runs through a bunch of tests.  He said he took it apart and put it back together without any success.  When he returned he had that look of disappointment.  He said that he couldn't fix it and he had no replacements.  And since I already upgraded a week ago, he couldn't upgrade me.  So that means - I left without a phone.

The next day I called AT&T and told them my sob story.  I was really disappointed with Apple and couldn't believe they told me that I would not leave without a phone and yet they were unable to resolve my problem.  I asked if I could turn in my 3GS, cancel the upgrade, and get an iPhone 4S.  The customer service representative told me that he couldn't do that because I had already upgraded. I grunted and snarled and breathed heavily for a while.  Finally he relented and said he would talk to his supervisor.  He returned 7 1/2 minutes later and said that they were going to cancel my upgrade and I was free to get a new phone as if my upgrade never occurred.

In a matter of a few weeks, I owned 3 different iPhones.

I then asked what it would take to get an iPhone 4S.  He said I could order it online, but I wouldn't get it for a few days.  Or I could go to the nearest conveniently located AT&T store and buy one for $199.  I asked if he matched prices, and he said that Apple demands that they sell it for $199.  I told him (correctly) that Target was selling iPhone 4Ss for $149.  "Fantastic.  Go there and buy it."  I thought his response was a bit dismissive, but you know, I wanted a phone today, so I hung up and and called Target.

I spoke to a young man and told him my intentions.  He said he'd check to see if they had any 4Ss in stock.  He came back and said that he had one phone left, but it was white.  I was fine with that.  I worked a few more hours, then went to Target.  When I got there I saw a young man in the electronics department and approached him.  I told him I was there to buy an iPhone.  He asked if I was the one that called earlier in the day.  In a matter of a few minutes, Michael had me hooked up with a phone and it was already charged.  He was really cool  and I appreciated his help and told him I'd give him a shout-out for his awesome service.

So, if you're getting an iPhone, check out Target in Owings Mills.  And take your favorite Duckman with you.

1 comment:

Mouzzam said...
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