Friday, November 9, 2012

And that, ma'am, is why I threw my iPhone against the wall...

Okay, so I haven't actually done so.  But I am tempted to do so this morning. If a new one wasn't on its way, and it wasn't QUITE clear that I would be charged now at this point if it were damaged, well... Sit back and let me tell you the story! ;)

So a few weeks or so back, the top button on my iPhone started getting sticky and had trouble depressing.  It didn't take too long before it stopped being able to depress at all.

For you non iPhone-ers, here are a few of the uses for the top button:
  • to lock the phone - to prevent you from butt dialing, e-mailing, texting, or deleting apps amongst other things
  • to take a screen shot - I like to take screen shots with my phone frequently. 
  • to turn off the phone
And this is pretty much the order in which I discovered my issues with having the top button stuck.  I fixed the first issue by having the phone automatically lock after one minute.  I don't think I've done too much butt dialing, but it does, often, require I still hold onto the phone outside of my pocket while I wait for it to lock.  Not a pretty solution, but it was one that enabled me to live with the problem for a couple of weeks.

Well, I have still had several moments where I would like to have done a screen shot in the last couple of weeks, but I could grudgingly live without that function.  And, clearly have.

And frankly, I rarely turn my phone off, so it's taken me a couple of weeks to realize what the detriment is in not being able to.  When your software and your apps get wonky, just like any other computer, sometimes a reboot clears things out.  So, last night, while doing some cleaning, I had my iPhone on speaker and went to one of my playlists (with more than one song on it) and hit the Shuffle option.  It only played one song on repeat.  Period.  Over and over.  I could move to the next song manually, but if I didn't do anything else, it would just play that song over and over again.

So, that was the tipping point for me, and the point at which I realized that this is a very clear reason to have the phone replaced.

Now I have an iTouch, too - first generation I believe.  (I mentioned this last week for those keeping track of my toys).  I have dropped that puppy and cracked the screen.  God bless it, it keeps on working, anyway.  And before I cracked the screen, I even slipped and dropped it in the toilet.  It did recover, thank God, although for a few days there I was quite nervous.  I had no cell phone at that time, and it was my sole source of potential communication (within WiFi) when I was out and about.  But it recovered. 

When we went to buy the iPhone last year, there was no question in my mind that we would pay for the insurance.  My colleague and business partner was already grousing a little over the cost, but for me, having had one before, and having the iTouch, I was most comfortable with getting it.  (When all these problems did arise, she did not hesitate to poke me by letting me know that her Droid is working just fine)

Armed with the account info I need, I head to the local Verizon store that's only a mile away.  Because I really would like them to just physically replace it - but they can't do that these days.  And I should have known that because even when I bought the phone from their store, it didn't come from their store.  What's up with that? But that's another issue.

She inspected the phone, looked up the account, and given that it had been over a year since I bought it, concluded that it would have to be covered by insurance since the original manufacturer's warranty had expired. And, oh, by the way, it's a third party insurance company you have to make the claim with, but here is their phone number.

So, not even out of the store, I have dialed the number into the keypad, and immediately get the recording that it would be faster for me to go online, so I did.

But here's the problem that will bite me in the ass.  I don't know HOW or WHY it stopped working.  It got kinda sticky.  Did I unknowingly spill soda in it? I don't think so (hence the unknowing part).  But I don't know why.  And apparently that's a big issue with these phone folks, and by outsourcing the insurance (which in theory, I understand) a huge hot potato issue arises.

After going through three of the six steps to file an insurance claim, the website stops me and tells me based upon my description of the problem, it isn't their problem.  And that I should go back to Verizon and have them replace it.  They did give me the magic words: "Extended Warranty Program".  So I call back to the store - hoping that she will be able to give me my phone, but alas, I have to call *611.  Oh well.

I do.  And at some level what happened next was a small God-send because I really couldn't understand the first woman I was talking to.  Her microphone was too close to her mouth or something and her speech was really garbled and hard to understand. 

But I did understand her first part (and I understood it again the second time I went through the process) which was IF I WAS WRONG and they determined that indeed it was damaged, well, then, sorry dear, you should be aware that you are taking the risk of being charged.  Excuse me? Couldn't you just send me back the phone and I would send it on to the insurance company for a claim instead? Or even better yet, couldn't you then send it along to the insurance company?  Apparently, the answer to that is "no".  So.. do you want to continue and risk being charged full price for a new iPhone?

Okay.  Fine.  I'm really not happy with that risk, but what choice do I have?  Insurance takes care of damage, warranty takes care of manufacturing issues.  On a serious note, several folks did tell me that I should run over the phone with my car.  I am beginning to understand why - that would CLEARLY fall under the insurance company's responsibility.  No risk. 

Next thing she has me do is check my current system.  Now I've avoided downloading the latest system because I was kinda fond of my Google maps.  And everything else was working - so it wasn't like it was urgent.  But apparently, you can't return a phone unless it is upgraded to the latest system.  In theory, I understand.  What if the malfunction was a result of a bug they'd already fixed? Okay.  But this isn't a software issue, folks, it's a hardware one.  Wha-t-ever.  So, without thinking, I start the software update on my phone.  A-a-and, of course, cut off the phone call. 

While I waited the fifteen or twenty minutes for it to reboot and load the new system software, I thought to myself, well, the good thing is that at least I've rebooted it now, so my music will shuffle again. 

Imagine my reaction this morning when I hit shuffle, and the same freaking song just repeated over and over again.  :)


  1. And to add insult to injury - I have six e-mail accounts on my phone, but my primary account is refusing to download. The other five are current, but the primary one has not downloaded a single message since 6:34 PM last night. And believe me, I know there have been messages there. Ugh! Not like I can turn off the damn thing and reboot it... Grumble..

  2. Wow, makes me glad I have an atrix. Although it is getting glitchy and I should probably start thinking upgrade so I can stay grandfathered into my unlimited data.

  3. I learned the hard way that dealing with Verizon to get ur iphone is a complete racket. When u are able to upgrade, do it through Apple. The insurance is cheaper and no hassle getting the replacrment. Sorry for your troubles. It sucks when our techno-gadgets flake on us!