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The ordeal of replacing a cell phone

I left my cell phone out in the rain a few weeks ago, and while it was working, it really wasn't working very good. It would suddenly turn off, and the sound quality was really bad. Well, it had gotten rained on!

So, yesterday I gritted my teeth and went to have it replaced. When I got there, I had practiced my lines: *This cell phone is damaged, I need another one just like it to replace it.* Of course, it turned into an hour-long ordeal that made me wonder at the time if it was going to be funny in the future.

I've seen some pretty bad business models, but cell phone stores make even the Department of Motor Vehicles seem efficient. Of course, although I'd been a customer for many, many years, with the same phone number, etc., the system couldn't find me. And I stood at the counter. Since all of this takes so long, it would have nice if the counter had had chairs. Or cots, for a quick nap!

Of course, there's the upsell to the new model, and the new plan, which is just like walking through a blizzard. *No thank you* has to be repeated, politely, over and over. As a marketing person, I was amused to find that the latest thing is *no contract*, which is another way to increase the monthly cost. The salesperson had already assumed that sale, telling me that my bill would now about double, when I stopped it with a *no, thank you*.

To my delight, the phone works. I really shouldn't be surprised at that, but after seeing how much goes into the process, I am.