Here’s the story of how I ended up buying a Motorola Droid even though I hung up on a sales person who tried to sell me one a few months ago and told the salesperson in the Verizon store last week that I thought it was highly unattractive. Now, I wouldn’t trade it for any other phone.
We got my oldest son (let’s call him son #1) a cell phone the Christmas he was 13 years old. The age of cell phone achievement in our household was then set. Reach 13, get a cell phone. Our youngest (son #3), who is 6, is pretty sure that’s the stupidest rule he’s ever heard. He’d like a cell phone NOW. Fortunately for him, we didn’t stick to it long. Instead of waiting until 13, we got son #2 a cell phone this past Christmas at the age of 12. At this rate, son #3 will have one by the time he’s 8. And so go the rules at our house.
In either case, in December of this past year, I tried to order the phone for son #2 as a Christmas present through our carrier’s website (let’s leave out their name, shall we?). I love to shop online – especially at Christmas time – and I was a bit overly pleased with myself for getting my online shopping started in time to get the presents to my parents’ house where we’d be spending the holiday.
I ventured onto my carrier’s website to order the phone and add a phone line. How hard could that be, right? There’s even a little button that says “Add a Phone Line”. Yup. That’s what I want to do! Click.
Click….click…select….click….backup….click….what the *(#&$)(*&#!
So much for making things simple. For the life of me, I could not add the phone line, much less order a phone.
Oh, but there’s a cute little live-chat option. I’ll just ask someone to walk me through it. (I’ll save you the long description of that fiasco. Let’s just say that didn’t go well either.)
Next, I call my carrier and tell them what I want to do. Sure, no problem, he says (evilly – I swear!) “The reason you’re having trouble adding the phone line is that you are up for a free upgrade on your main phone and you’ll have to use the upgrade before you can add a new line.”
Really. That makes no sense whatsoever. Before I can add another line, I have to upgrade my own phone? I have to order a new phone for myself before I can get one for my son? Are you kidding me? I just want a Christmas present for son #2 (who really should be waiting another year for a cell phone so, of course, this whole disaster is what happens when you don’t follow your own rules).
“Yes, we can upgrade your phone right now and then add the line and order the phone for your son. Click here and here and you’ll see your free upgrade options.”
I don’t find a single phone that I can get for free that I like better than the one I’m using. Of course.
I tell little-evil-salesman (whom I don’t believe for a second, by the way) that I don’t see a phone I like for free, it’s Christmas, and I just want to buy a present for my son.
“Have you seen the Motorola Droid? It’s a great phone….blah…blah…”. I tuned him out.
I get it now. I don’t have to upgrade my phone to add a line – you just want an extra commission around the holidays. The Droid. Sure – to get a $50 present for my son I’ll just spend another $200 for myself. I knew what the Droid was – a phone and a half. I’m a gadget freak, don’t get me wrong, but that’s not really how I planned my Christmas budget. No matter how many ways I told him no, he just kept going.
I hung up on him. He just wasn’t listening to me and I’d had it. I really have no patience for customer service people who don’t listen.
I went into the store and had the phone I wanted for my son in 20 minutes. So much for saving time by shopping online.
Flash forward to February 2010. My cell phone broke. A piece just snapped off one day. Gone. Now my little flip phone was hanging together with just one hinge instead of two. Each time I flipped it open, I had to jiggle it back together. This just wasn’t going to cut it. I didn’t feel bad about replacing it – I’d had it for the full two years and I still had my upgrade available through my carrier.
My friend had just purchased the Palm Pre. I oohed and ahhed over it’s curves when you slid open the keyboard. I loved the feel of the touch screen. My eyes lit up at the beautiful, rich colors of the screen. Oh, the QWERTY keyboard was a bit small but the phone just felt so right. And look at all those cool apps!
My mind was made up. I wanted the Palm Pre. Off I went to the store to replace my little thread-worn cell phone.
When it was my turn to be helped, I told the salesman exactly which phone I wanted. Here’s my account number. Ring me up.
“Hmmmm….” he said, “are you sure? Have you seen the Motorola Droid?” Oh gees, here we go again.
He hands me this black brick of a phone. No sweet little curves like the Palm Pre. No silver trim. No color whatsoever. No perfect fit in the palm of my hand.
I told him it was ugly. (I may be a nerdy-tech-wannabe-geek with a love for gadgets but I’m still a GIRL!)
I think he bit his cheek. I could tell he was thinking the same thing. Girls.
Oh, but he was good. “See how the browser works?” and with a flick of his finger, another bright screen popped to life. The Google search bar is right on top. Always present. Even has a microphone button so you can just speak the words you want to search.
And he went on:
- no need for the navigation upgrade on my plan – turn by turn voice directions straight out of Google Maps
- tons of free apps and more being added all the time
- bright colors and incredibly easy navigation
- all your text messages displayed in a thread by contact name so you can easily scroll through the timeline
- slide open QWERTY keyboard that was larger than the Palm Pre (not that I’d need it because the touch screen keyboard works better than the one on my iTouch)
- 3g speed
- massive network
- 5.0 megapixel camera with video (5.0 megapixel on a cell phone?!)
My mouth started to twitch. I was half tempted. Then he pulled out his final magic trick. He brought up an app called Bar Scanner. It looks just like the bar scanner they use at the grocery store to swipe the barcode on all your products. He picked up a box of tissues at the sales counter, swiped the barcode on the tissue box with the phone and it brought up a description of the product, the suggested retail price and where in the vicinity the tissues could be purchased.
I was hooked.
I’ve had the Motorola Droid for nearly a week now. Haven’t found a thing I don’t like about it. In fact, each day I’ve found something new that makes me love it even more.
Mind you, I still think it’s ugly….until you turn the screen on. When it’s off, it’s just a rectangular, unstylish small brick. But when you turn that screen on and start sliding your fingers through all the options and screens, you enter a completely new world.
Oh, and it has an app that tells me the distance of every Starbucks in my current vicinity with turn-by-turn directions. I’m telling you, that Motorola Droid was made for me.