I recently went through a series of dramatic career changes. While transitioning from one occupation to another, I found myself without a computer, blackberry, or any other means of electronic communication. As someone who checks email so frequently it practically serves as IM, I was in serious withdrawl. So strong was my addiction to give and receive constant updates that I actually waited in line at the Enoch Pratt free library for over an hour just so I could check my Gmail. Sick, right? They ought to consider having tech rehab for people like me, as I know I am not alone.
At any rate, I had to find a solution to my dilemma. I sped like a bat out of hell to my closest Verizon store only to hurry up and wait. While I perused the 10 million phone and PDA choices they had (none of which were particularly awesome) I began to grow very anxious. Just give me my new Blackberry and get me out of here so I can start reading my emails, checking facebook, and online shopping (beads of sweat rolling off my forehead)!!!! Sheesh!
Finally, a salesperson calls my name and I practically knock him down with the agressive nature by which I respond to my name being called. He looks alarmed; probably because I am wild-eyed and was wearing a bathing suit top and a fedora (just an average outfit for me, FYI). I tell him I need a new Blackberry TODAY and he kindly obliges. The tension in my neck begins to ease and I can feel the anxiety lifting as I near the check out counter. I take the new box up to the counter to pay while being bombarded with the usual rigarmarole they give you each and every time you purchasesomething, change your plan, or even consider entering a Verizon store. At this point I am so crazed I don’t even care.
And then they drop the bomb on me (and not in a fun disco way): the new Blackberry, before the $150 rebate, is close to $350!!!!! What??!! Really?!!!This can’t be happening. I think everyone knows I am a high roller; with my frivolous coupon clipping. I am so close to beingback in touch with the world only to have all my hopes and dreams dashed! So, being the metal giant that I am I tell them I simply won’t do that. So I will be taking my phone number to another carrier. They are fine with that, for a $150 early termination fee, since I am locked into my contract until 2010. Awesome. So when I am almost thirty I might be able to get a new Blackberry with another carrier. In the meantime, my need for instant e-gratification is not being absolved. I finally tell them to forget it and I leave the store. I am furious.
I drive less than a block down the road to the AT&T store. Even though I have been highly resistant to purchasing, or even considering purchasing an iphone, I am highly vulnerable. I am practically in tears because of my frustrating and hopeless situation with Verizon as well as the fact that I STILL do not have a PDA to speak of. I am extremely skeptical of the AT&T store, especially since they didn’t have 8 million people mindlessly mulling around the store like a bunch of zombies. There were 3 people (including me) in the entire store. This made my trepidation about purchasing an iphone even greater, considering the apple store is usually an even greater train wreck where they recommend you make a reservation before you come in. Wow, I guess I didn’t realize that IT was the Ritz Carlton.
Well, the AT&T store was nothing like that. The guy who waited on me (which was instantanious instead of the 45 minute waiting period at Verizon) was SO nice and extremely helpful. There were no hidden costs, and guess what? My iphone and my minutes plan are LESS THAN VERIZON! Yes, you read that correctly.
One downside–I did have to wait almost 2 weeks for my new iphone as there is an ongoing waiting period of between 10 to 21 days for your new phone to arrive. But when it did, it was like Christmas. I love my iphone so much I think it is actually lowering my IQ. It does everything from track the amount of miles I run in a month, to making to-do lists, to creating a miniature virtual bookshelf right at my fingertips. I used to be a capable person; not so much anymore, but I feel comfortable about my slow decline into a two digit brain capacity. I am practically salavating as I write this because the phone is so cool. There are a ton of applications to choose from in a plethora of categories.
The other positive part of this experience is that AT&T has been absolutely kick-ass. Despite the fact that their company has skyrocketed well beyond Verizon due to the iphone’s popularity, the staff do not even remotely reflect what could/should be a smug company demeanor. They are as nice and attentive as though they were a mom and pop shop. I left my crummy old phone number with verizon (but I refuse to have it disconnected for $150 so it will remain in service, albeit inactive, until 2010). I love my iphone, I have my information fix at all times, and life is good. Verizon, take notes.