Technology Woes

Am I the only person who has had no end of trouble with their Motorola RAZR v3? I’m on my third one at the moment, and, after a particularly humid day on Wednesday, it’s not been behaving as it should. On it’s own accord, it decides to turn off. This happens most often when I’m using it. There’s quite a few people out there who probably think I’m a rude git who hangs up mid-sentence. Of course, it also took it upon itself to turn off at some point during the weekend, so all these tentative plans I had arranged (“Give me a call if you decide to do …”) fell through, and resulted in a a phone message that began: “What! Are you in church with your phone off?”. This is exactly how my first two RAZR phones failed, although they had the good grace to do it immediately. My third took 10 months to do so. The good news is that the phone is less than 12 months old, so it falls within the T-Mobile warranty period. The bad news is that they refuse to replace it with anything other than a new RAZR. I stick with T-Mobile for two reasons:

  1. It’s the only network that gives me decent coverage at home and at work.
  2. The people who work in the T-Mobile stores are wonderful.

There are, however, plenty of reasons to think very carefully about using T-Mobile, not least of which are:

  • Their customer service phone line is hopeless. You can usually get somewhere by asking to talk to a supervisor, but you still have to be bitchy. I really hate that this is the case. Today, the customer service line hung up on me. I was calling from in the T-Mobile store (because, you know, my phone wouldn’t stay on for long enough to get beyond the menu and music to a real person), and wanted to check the price of doing something in store, versus over the phone. I explained this to person on the phone, and they agreed to hold, but they still decided to hang up.
  • You have to go through the phone customer service just to find out if your phone is still under warranty, never mind getting a replacement.

The end result is this: I’ll get a new RAZR, and I’ll use it (it is, after all, free). When the time comes to renew my contract, I won’t be getting another Motorola phone. The people in the T-Mobile store were unanimous in the opinion that Motorola makes unreliable phones, and suggested that I go with Nokia in the future. This lines up pretty well with my Nokia experience, so I’ll trust it. Of course, it isn’t T-Mobile’s fault that Motorola makes such bad phones, but you might hope that they’d refuse to sell phones that are unreliable.

It also got me thinking that cell phone reviews focus on the wrong things. They’re full of information about the screen quality and the capabilities of the built in camera, when all I want is a solid phone that will make phone calls, that will work internationally, and that won’t turn itself off whenever the mood strikes. Of course, reliability is a much more difficult thing to review – you need to monitor a large number of phones for a reasonable period of time – but, at the end of the day, I’m willing to bet that it’s the reliability of a phone that is of most interest to the majority of consumers.

Really, the worst of all this is how it has left me. The bitchiness required on the phone, which in the end didn’t make a bit of difference, has left me drained, and with a tick in one eye. I’ve been feeling like I’m going to burst into tears all afternoon – and very nearly did in the T-Mobile store. The upside was that the guy who helped me in the store was lovely. In better circumstances I would have endeavored to find out if he was single. Still, I guess he has my phone number.

In other technology woes, my new computer, the one I just raved about, has developed some dodginess in it’s spacebar. Just the right hand side of the space bar, mind you, but this, of course, is the side that I use almost all the time. Luckily, the computer is well and truly under warranty – I even bought the extended 3 year coverage – but I didn’t have time to deal with it today – partly because I can’t stay on the phone for any extended period of time, and partly because I was too busy visiting the T-Mobile store to fit in a visit to the Apple store, too. That said, this is a problem that’s a mild inconvenience (I can put up with it until I have time to deal with it), and it will most likely be fixed in a satisfactory way with no cost to me. Things could be worse.

In happier news, I spent a very pleasant day yesterday reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

I’ve never before read an installment of Harry Potter on the day it was released, but I’d ordered it online months ago – when I needed to make an order up to $25 for the free shipping- and was pleasantly surprised when the shipping notice arrived in my inbox on Thursday, and unexpectedly excited when the book was delivered on Saturday.

For the first time, I was really worried that someone was going to tell me how the book ended before I got to it – that didn’t happen, and I’m not going to spoil it for anyone else, other than to say it was a most satisfying read, and that I nearly shed tears (although I didn’t come as close as I did in Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which I listened to on a particularly well-read audiobook). In many ways this is the most mature of the books in the series: it’s quite a dark book in some places, but there’s also less coddling of the reader (the reminders of the story up until this point, etc.) than there has been in previous books. This was probably happened at least partly because there’s a lot that happens in this installment. The book would be unreasonably long if Rowling were to assume that the reader had not read the earlier books.

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3 thoughts on “Technology Woes

  1. Whew! Everything going kaput at once. (I don’t think I’ve ever written the word ‘kaput’ before now!) Hope your replacements/repairs are all a-okay. I’m holding my breath that our cell doesn’t give out. It’s old old old, no pictures or any other fancy stuff – but I like it. And when it goes, I just know they are going to make us buy a different plan. ‘Different’ equating to ‘more expensive’, of course.

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