Monday, April 30, 2012

Phone Phiasco

I think this particular predicament is a perfect follow-up to my first post. Let me start by saying that I am the cheapest person alive; I am very careful with my money and I never buy things that I don't need. Don't worry, I'll try not to bore you with all of the ways that I save money (unless someday someone requests to know my awesome secrets), but that fact about me is important to know as I describe this situation. That being said, I decided to purchase a new cell phone. Now, deciding which cell phone out of the thousands that are out there is in and of itself a difficult task. After weeks of annoying all of my friends with questions about their phones and countless nights of browsing the web for reviews, I finally decided on an Android phone. Next, it was time for me to scour the internet to search for the best deal - here's where it gets tricky. If you go with new, you deal with the outrageous prices, but if you go used, there are so many things that have to be taken into consideration. For example, if I buy used, I run the risk of possibly getting a crappy phone that will work for a few months and then die a horrible death, or possibly getting a crappy phone that is in crappy physical condition, or possibly getting a crappy phone that someone stole and therefore cannot be activated. OR, all of the above. Of course, my change saving brain says, "But, it's cheap, AP*. Just go for it!" My response? "OKAY!"
*AP = Average Person. Clever, isn't it?
Let me take a second to write about my cell phone service. It's dirt cheap, it's no-contract, it runs off of a larger carrier, but you have to pay full price for the phone and it has to be strictly this carrier's phone. I say that to say that I found a phone that was a good price from a different carrier, but it was the exact same phone, so I figured it would work fine. I bought it and tried to activate it, only to be told that, even though it was the exact same cellular device, I couldn't activate the phone. That really wasn't that bad, though, I ended up making a profit when I sold it the next day. The search began again.
I finally find a seller on a known online marketplace that sells the phone that I like for rock bottom prices, and they have auctions for them ending every hour. Perfect! I finally win one after at least 5 assholes bid-blocked me (see what I did, there?) with a huge offer WITH ONLY FOUR SECONDS REMAINING. Did you catch that? Let me break it down for you: I spent right around 6 hours trying to save 40 bucks on a cell phone. Pathetic? Nooo. Had I actually been successful in making this phone my bitch, it would have been worth it, but it gets better. I receive the phone in two days (awesome) and take my lunch at work early so I can go get it from my mailbox. I try activating it on my own. Fail. So, I call in and "successfully" activate the phone, but it won't let me place calls. I call back and the operator tells me that I just have to wait 4 hours for it to work. That's okay, I'm at work, anyway. Four hours go by and I still cannot use my phone for its intended use: communication. I call my carrier again and am told that I should take it to one of the stores because they cannot activate it unless I do. This is a little frustrating because the only store that could help me is across town and Mini-AP (my son) has a doctors appointment right before they close. Long story short, I book it to the store with a cranky kid in tow, only to learn that the phone is unusable. Can't be activated.
"Okay," I think to myself, "I'll just return this phone and activate my old one until I can purchase another phone."
Sounds like a great plan, right? Wrong. My carrier only lets you "swap" phones once every few days or something.
A few days later, I finally had my old phone connected again and I had purchased another phone. This time (I'll never learn), it's been a week since I've ordered and the phone hasn't even shipped yet. I contacted the seller and she tells me that she is waiting on her phone to come in before she ships mine out. I reminded her that as a seller she agrees to ship the item within two business days and, while I'm okay with waiting, it would be nice of her to expedite my shipping. She says she'll do it "if she has the money to." I'll definitely get my cell phone by this weekend, right? RIGHT???

Probably not. Ultimate phone phiasco.


The Average Person

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