Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Cailleach Shops for a Cell Phone

Welcome to "The Gods Are Bored!" Do you understand this new millennium? No? Well then, you're in luck! I'm Anne Johnson, the Cailleach, and I will explain all.

The day before Christmas, my cell phone broke. It was two years old, almost to the day, so of course it fell apart in my hands. Now, in the previous millennium, one could use a telephone for two decades without need of repair. But this is a new era. Things wear out much quicker. They are made to wear out quicker, so you need to buy a new one.

I had to go to the phone store to purchase a new cell phone. This is what I discovered there:

1. The price listed on the phones is not the price you pay. The price listed is a price after a mail-in rebate, which you need to fill out the paperwork for yourself, and which comes to you in the form of a Visa gift card.

Okay, I don't curse here much, but this is bulls@$@#. If I wanted to be royally scammed, I would go to a car dealership or a televangelist.

2. Buy one, get one free. Again after the same mail-in rebate, the same false prices, and the same Visa gift card, which -- trust the Cailleach who loves you -- is not the same thing as cash or a check or a money order, or a traveler's check, or even green stamps.

3. Get a phone with a keyboard for easy texting. My thumbs already ache, sales boy, and that keyboard doesn't look user-friendly. And just so you know I'm not withering on the vine, let me just say that I can see into the future, and within just a few years we'll have voice-activated texting. I'll wait for that.

4. The phone you're choosing doesn't take pictures. Cameras take pictures, not phones. If someone takes my phone, do I want them also to be able to see pictures of my beautiful young daughters?

5. Here's a nice feature: a button that calls 911 for you with one click. That feature sucks. Suppose you hit it by mistake? It's right there where it would be easy to hit by mistake. However, since this is the only @#$@# phone in the store with a real price on it, I'll just have to be careful how I use it, won't I?

6. Are you sure you don't want to take advantage of the special offers available through your account? Yes.

My daughter The Heir tells me that I just bought a "senior citizen phone." Screw that! I bought the only phone in the store with an honest, affordable price, with no features that I'll never use (except the bloody 911 button ... Gods willing), and which serves the purpose for which it was designed: urgent communication with others while abroad from home.

Free advice from the Cailleach: At the rate technology is changing, wait it out. Get all the life you can out of your current phone, then buy another affordable one, and in less than a decade you'll be able to shell out seriously for that voice-activated technological wonder. And remember, nothing lasts more than two years, so do not waste your money on a protection plan. By the time you need it, a better gizmo will be out there to tempt you.

Don't get me wrong, youngsters. Phone booths were gross. Cell phones are good. But, buyer beware. Even if you get the paperwork filled out right, and the Visa arrives in the mail, you may leave a few pennies on the card when purchasing something. That money adds up ... for them, not for you.

As always, this advice is given freely and with joy. 

Cailleach image one of many by the incomparable Thalia Took, see Sidebar.


Aquila ka Hecate said...

I hope to never have to shop for a phone again - a forlorn hope, as the RICA act (aka we know who you are and where you live) is about to catch up to me and my cheap, un-rica'd phone I've had for about 3 years now.
Those are some seriously good tips you're giving, but it's my dream to be able to throw this phone against the wall, smashing it to smithereens, eventually...and never have to burden myself or the planet with one again.

Terri in Joburg

Lori F - MN said...

Ah for the days when you can get just a damn phone. Not a phone / camera / internet link monster. I carry a phone for 1 simple reason. If I need to let someone know or have a quick question. I'm not the one with the phone pasted to my ear or wearing a headset in the car. My phone is tucked in my coat pocket, ready for emergencies.
All hail the telephone. May it once again be what it once was. Just a phone.

Intense Guy said...

The "helpers" at the cellphone store might just be the next-gen used car sales-persons.

I hate getting a new phone. I went simpler this time - just like you.

The Wizardess said...

I once got a cell phone for a buck. It was mocked by my children; it worked fine for me. This is how we Cailleaches (wow, what a strange plural) roll.

Davo said...

mm, Ceiledh .. whatever happens in the commercial world; the notion of "Ceilidh" (metinks it's pronouned 'Keayley", with a lilt) always brings a lift to my spirits.

Cheers and best wishes from Australia for tyhe Festive Season.

Davo said...

trow t phones out
sing wit yer voice
dance wit yer feet

wot wer yer born wit

Wit, or technology?

Thalia said...

Thank you.

Jennifer said...

Hah, yeah, my ex told me to get the protection plan. What does that get you? A shitty refurbished phone of the same type you had that's X # of years old. No thanks. I only just now got my carrier to take me off of it, though.

I just had to bite the bullet and get a new cell phone, mostly because my old one literally has the numbers rubbed off the keypad and I am totally guessing when I attempt to dial a number. And texting? Forget it on that phone. I have a lot of people pissed at me because I don't text. Oh yeah, and I was literally holding it together with rubber bands. (I got it in 2006.)