DalyDose of…SmartPhone Down!
This phone is only good for talking…it’s useless! -JD
Remember the film “Black Hawk Down”? That wasn’t nearly as tragic of a problem as I’m currently facing. This blog entry has two purposes. The first is to give you an idea of what happened. After that I will pontificate on how important having a smart phone has become in my life.
Let me lay out the scenario for you:
I was out doing the ‘ole Hollywood networking thing; I was meeting people, they were eager to join the JD Experience. I whip out my trusty AT&T/HTC Tilt 2 to load up some contact data. I have to swipe my finger to bring up the unlocking code input screen. I started to do so, but the screen wouldn’t respond. You read that correctly: The SCREEN wouldn’t RESPOND. That meant that I couldn’t even unlock the phone. It was now useless to me.
I instantly went from networking to NOT working!
Let’s go back one day. I had been noticing that the battery wasn’t staying charged as long as it had when I first got the phone so I was investigating whether the battery was covered under warranty or not. Timing is key.
My investigation uncovered that I had three potential sources of support:
- AT&T – they are my service provider, but I didn’t buy the phone directly from them.
- LetsTalk.com – this is the 3rd party provider that I bought the phone from
- HTC – the manufacturer of my phone.
So Lets Talk wasn’t any help. They don’t really do the whole customer service thing once your phone has been shipped and surpassed the return/exchange deadline. They directed me to HTC. I called HTC and was on hold for a long time, only to hear that I had to call another HTC number that is only available Mon-Fri from 8:00am to 8:00pm and they would give me clearance and instructions for…uh…mailing it in. Not acceptable.
So I hit up Facebook and my technophile friend suggested that I take my phone to the AT&T Service Center in Torrance. She relayed a story about a phone bought from Amazon and resold on Craigslist and AT&T still administered warranty satisfaction. Keep your fingers crossed for me.
My short time without a phone has made me realize how important that device is to me. Consider the following:
- I do about 50% of all emailing from my phone.
- I also do about 50% of Facebooking on my phone.
- I do about 98% of my Twitter activity from my phone.
- My phone is my calendar and address book. (Thankfully, that stuff is redundantly backed up on my laptop and in the ‘cloud’ via miqlive.com)
- I use Evernote to keep track of everything in my life. (it is mirrored in the cloud…phew)
- I read the AP News on my phone
- My phone is my main GPS device (Lovin the new Bing app and I use Waze as well)
- I run with my phone using SportyPal to track how far/fast
- I regularly take pictures with my phone
- I occasionally take video with my phone
- I check the imdb app when I’m watching TV or movies (not in the theatre b/c I wanna kill people who use their phone in their)
- I have an invoice template in Excel so I can fill it in and send on the fly
I could probably put a few more things in this list, but I think you get the idea. The phone has become an integral tool and partner in my everyday life. It begs the question on whether I am TOO reliant on my technology. I have had bare cupboards paired with an empty fridge and not panicked as much I did when my phone didn’t respond to my touch.
OK, that’s it. I apologize in advance that you won’t know where I am tomorrow since I won’t be firing up the 4square app. For now, I’ll just have to talk and text and use the mobile browser. That is sooo 2008, but I’ll survive. It’s kind of like camping…or being downed in Mogadishu.
UPDATE: I went to the AT&T Service Center in Torrance today and they are arranging a replacement phone to be sent to me by tomorrow. I was ready and willing to cause a scene to wrestle satisfaction from the customer service rep, but to my surprise they were pleasant, professional and prompt. (my favorite 3 P’s) She put the order into the computer, gave me instructions on what to do when the replacement arrives and I was on my way. I asked about the battery seeming to lose it’s life and she offered up a replacement one of those too. I don’t know where all of these bad customer service stories for AT&T started, but they’ve got a new advocate…for now. 😉