Friday, May 2, 2014

A Tale of Four Phones

Technology-wise, this week has been weird.

On Monday, Elijah dropped my phone as he was getting out of the car - screen cracked. Ugh. Okay, I have a Windows phone and James works at Microsoft, so surely he can fix this. After a visit to the Verizon store on campus, James calls and says that we apparently had insurance on the phone (that we didn't know about) and a new one was going to arrive the next day at the cost of $100. Not bad.

Tuesday, UPS brings me a new phone. Only, it's not new - it's remanufactured. I get it all set up, and then answer a call from James. He can't hear me. We try lots of things, and eventually figure out that I can only talk using speakerphone. Well, that's not going to work. We call the insurance company, get hung up on (we prefer to think accidentally), and finally get a second replacement sent, due to arrive on Thursday.

Wednesday, I use the first replacement phone. Needing to use speakerphone is better than getting mini cuts on my fingers from the broken glass on my original phone.

Thursday, UPS arrived too early, and didn't leave the package (even though we specifically asked to not have to sign for the package). I switch the package to Will-Call and plan to pick it up the next day.
Friday, I head down to the UPS Customer Service Center and pick up my new (remanufactured) phone. I get home and try to call James. He can't hear me. You've got to be kidding me! After lots of back and forth, we finally decided that it would be best to return the two replacement phones and go to Verizon and just pony up the money for a new one. Happy (early) birthday to me!

I go to the Verizon store, and am helped by a very nice guy named Justin. I decide which phone I want (Nokia 928B, if you're curious) and he figures out a way for my to not have to pay the full no-contract price for the phone. He saved me $150. Awesome!

That's when it got weird. He pulled me over to the accessories wall, and told me that when they do this special plan he was doing they like to include some accessories - phone chargers, headphones, headsets, etc. - with the phone...for free. Wait, what? So, you're saving me $150 and giving me things for free? "I like to think of it as included," he said. Whatever, same difference. I picked out a pair of Beats ear buds for James (the headphone junkie). I thought it was a pretty sweet deal, they're expensive. Then it got better. When Justin brings out my phone and ear buds, he also brings out a battery pack (it's a little box that you charge, and then can use to charge your phone or other USB device) and includes that in my package as well, "just because". Seriously, what is Verizon getting out of this deal? At this point, I was seriously confused and wondered what my bill was really going to look like.

Want to know what it looked like? $250 - the exact price he quoted me on the phone. That's what I paid for my new Nokia phone, Beats ear buds and a battery back. Crazy! Then Justin introduced me to someone else. The Nokia Rep just so happened to be in the store, and he was very excited that I was buying another Nokia phone. He went out to his car and got some swag - lip balm/mints, a puzzle ball, and a stylus/pen - for me. He was very apologetic about not having any coffee mugs or T-shirts. He also talked a lot about some new awesome update that's coming this summer, but to this non-techie it sounded a lot like the adults in Charlie Brown. I smiled and nodded...much like what I do when James talks about the details of what he does at work. No disrespect, I just have no idea of what he's talking about.

There was some time in this whole exchange when Justin and I were just chatting about kids and what not. We discussed my husband's job (working on the Kinect) and how he used to bring XBOX games and accessories home before we had an XBOX. I mentioned having three Kinects sitting in the closet at one point, and Justin asked if we still had any. I didn't know, but once James got home and said we still had one, I knew exactly how to thank Justin for his excellent customer service.

He was shocked when I showed up with the Kinect in a bag for him this evening. He offered me a pen (umm...thanks...?), said we were awesome, and if we ever needed anything, he would make it happen! Sweet deal! Remember that in a few months when my husband wants to upgrade to some ridiculously expensive phone that I think is completely unnecessary :)

All and all, the situation turned out awesome! Thank you, Lord, for taking a frustrating situation and turning it into one that truly makes me smile every time I think about it. And thank you for giving us the opportunity to bless someone for doing a job well done.

Now, to make sure we get the refund from the insurance company...

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