My phone's have to be some hardy motherfuckers due to the abuse I give them, either falling out of my shirt pocket when I bend over or me flinging them across the house or yard or store when I get pissed at whoever I was talking to.
I've had my current phone for over 2 years now, setting some kind of record, but the age is showing on it - cracked screen, some buttons that have to be pushed harder than others, a battery cover and battery that pops out on their own, speaker that works when it wants to and finally, turning off and on at will.
So the other day Lisa gets a deal in the mail from AT&T saying that Kenneth is eligible for a new phone upon renewal of my contract with AT&T and she basically tells me that she's getting a little tired of me bitching about my phone and just go down and get another one, after all it's free, right?
Let me interrupt real quick and mention how much I hate dealing with all the big phone companies - anything that can be done over the phone by one salesman that speaks passable english in 5 minutes is now made easier by having to go through a half dozen motherfuckers in the wrong departments in the wrong countries and now it only takes a half a day.
The phone store is no easier.
Okay, so I walk in there with an attitude - a resigned attitude, that is. This is something that has to be done, there's no getting around it, let's just get this shit over with.
The very first thing that I notice is that all their 'free' phones are cheap pieces of shit that wouldn't last a week with me. For one thing, I need a keyboard instead of one of those taptap things to text because my fingers are kinda sorta stiff and clumsy anymore. I also need something big enough that I don't lose it when I pull down my pants to take a dump, yet small enough that it'll fit in my pocket and be carried comfortably while I'm working. Plus the motherfuckers can't be very aerodynamic or I'd never be able to find it after I'm done talking to my mother.
I start looking around and the phones that fit most of my needs all run about 50 bucks with a contract which is just about what I figured I was going to have to spend on my 'free' phone.
Finally a salesman comes up and starts getting all of my information. Then he tells me after we go though all the bullshit that I have a balance on my bill of $137 that isn't due until the 27th, but it needs to be paid in full in order to renew my contract.
Wait a minute. I need to pay my balance that isn't due yet in order for me to continue to give you my business (money) for another 2 years? And then throw down another 50 bucks for a 'free' phone? Plus God only knows how many wasted hours and headaches dealing with piss poor customer service? All for a phone that I use less than 100 minutes a month? Almost $200 for a phone that I will use for maybe 1 call a day and a couple of texts? Are you fucking kidding me?
So I thanked the young man for his time (yes, I was polite and courteous - it wasn't his fault) and walked out. Tomorrow morning I will spend my half day on the phone with At&T to cancel my service, then I will go down and buy another throwaway phone from Radio Shack and 20 bucks worth of minutes that will last me all fucking month. Total cost - 25 US Dollars.