Sunday, September 14, 2008

3:10 to the Broken iPhone

My "old" Samsung. The way phones should be made. This guy has bounced off floors many times with no issue and still works.

My broken rectangle of glass that I have been using for the last 2 weeks has become a case study in patience. I have patience for some things but not for others and this is one of them. The glass is shattered like a web and while the actual screen itself stayed in tact though was legible.

As the days went by, the screen began to morph into simply horizontal lines similar to an Etch a Sketch. Day by day the Etching grew until my text messages became a guessing game.

EXAMPLE: "This shitbox phone is worthless at this point. Need to do something about it quick", became "This shift phon if word st the poubt..."

I was hitting letters that were in the vicinity of the letter I really wanted. Suddenly the A was neglected because I couldn't see it, while cussing became out of the question. My text world became a mess and the people on the receiving end were probably like "Wut thw fuxk?"

Fast forward to a few days ago and part 2 of my fruitless encounter with American Express. "It's beyond the 90 days after purchase," said the kind AMEX woman a while ago. "Can't you make an exception?", said guy with broken glass rectangle. "Sometimes we do, but not on the glass rectangle," said AMEX woman (well she didn't say that, but she basically said no.

So my plan was then to use my sister-in-law's boyfriend's "old" iPhone. Before I resorted to that, AMEX sends me a note saying they credited my account for $250, roughly the cost to fix the glass rectangle. I shipped the old girl out yesterday to Apple's facility and in return I will get a brand-spankin-refurbished-glass-rectangle of the same variety as my "old" one in the mail in 3-4 days... hopefully.

In the meantime I have bought a new rubber case for it with some serious grip and while this thing will always break when it hits the floor (a real weakness of the phone), I am psyched that i can get back to my impersonal text messaging.

Moral of the story? Raise hell with your credit card companies and glass breaks.

Saturday, September 06, 2008

The 'Genius Bar' Chronicle

So going off of my last entry of the broken rectangle of glass (iPhone), I made my appointment with the concierge for the 'Genius Bar'. Unlike normal bars, you can't just walk up and say 'Hi Skippy! Can you help me figure out my broken iPhone?' Nope, you have to make an appointment similar to one you would make at the DMV or to get your tires rotated. It was a Thursday, and the only opening was for the following Monday at 10:30 am. So I did. Why appointments? Is is that packed? What does it say about your product if the fix-it stand is backed up? It's like that auto repair place on the corner that has 25 cars sitting on the lot in various states of undress and disrepair. One is missing wheels and on blocks, another has the hood up with spider webs dressing the underbelly of the hood, and on and on.

I came back on the Monday, 15 minutes early of course, because you have to be early for some reason. If you are late, you are F'd because Skippy will, well, skip you. So I sit for 15 minutes and observe the shop. The Apple store is a great place to people watch. Some people futzing with the new iMac, some checking out over-priced iPhone cases, a group of 5 out-of-towner dudes buying the 3G phone. The best are the nerds sitting in the area of comfy chairs doing their own thing. They aren't there for any other reason but to be at the Apple store and feed off the free wireless. It's 10:15 am, shouldn't you be at home on your own wireless, sipping coffee, enjoying the morning? Whatever.

Oh, by the way, I do this for 25 minutes while my wife looks around and my son plays children's games on an iMac. Oh, by the way, it's now 10:45. And the smart guys at the 'Genius Bar' are helping a woman with her dated laptop, and some guy is wondering why his iPod is skipping.

Now it's my turn and the bed-head kid with glasses doesn't smile. I'm screwed. 'How's it going?' he says. I reply 'Not so good, my iPhone is broken.' His reply: 'Bummer, that will be like $250 to replace.' I proceed to tell him that the phone is not worth that much, which sparked a trigger in him that spilled out dribbles of the Apple Kool-Aid he drinks every morning: 'What do you mean, just the software alone is worth that much!!' Game over. Once you get an Apple-ist fired up about the shortcomings or what you think the shortcomings are of an Apple product they proceed to reach deep into the section of their brain that holds the Apple bundle of nerve endings. I had no chance. I got zero compassion from Skippy and had no answer to his Koo-Aid-induced reply. Before I left, I got in one last line: 'It's a mobile phone, it should be stronger than this.' 'Next in line' was all I heard.

Do I spend the $250 for a replacement? In the end my expense for this phone would be about $750. Is it worth it? Hold on, let me take a sip of the Kool-Aid. Yes my friend, it is, it really is.

For now I hold back and use the spider-webbed, glass rectangle. Text messages are hard to read and typing them is even harder. I am not sure what I am typing, so the word 'shit' turns into 'shut', etc. I roll with it now.

My brother-in-law has upgraded to a new 3G phone so he is giving me his 'old' 2G phone. I still may get mine fixed though ad sell it on craigslist for a crazy amount. We'll see.