Print Story It's perfect 4s all round for the past few days.
By ambrosen (Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 05:58:23 AM EST) (all tags)
Inside: the title translated into USian units, fixing my mobile, the joys of cycling and //FIXME put a summary of whatever you get round to writing about in the intro.

I have a nice mobile phone which I broke the (254dpi) screen of back in December. I ordered a new screen pretty pronto, fitted it within a couple of months and started it up. Screen lit up, no logo appeared and nothing happened. So I took it apart again, looked carefully for hairline cracks on the motherboard, and took it to an official service centre, who said no can do.

So today I pop round to a local mobile phone shop and say I'd like him to flash the memory. Well, that's what I said when I got a word in edgeways, between him answering the phone to someone else, trying to get the bloke out the back to talk to the person on the phone, the word 'fuck' being used (in my line of 'business' we don't use that in front of the customers. Mainly because the customers are retired vicars in the main.), and so on. Anyway, he says it'll cost £20 to get it flashed and that it needed an version upgrade anyway (which it wouldn't if it were working, because I'd have done it myself). Then two minutes later he says it'll cost £25. When I press him on this he says he doesn't know, and maybe it'll cost £15, maybe £25, and prevaricates. Except that he writes £25 on the tag on the phone.

I don't pursue it any further, because it's not getting anywhere, and my inner voice is shouting 'would you be this contemptuous of a white person' so loud that despite the fact that I would, I just don't press the point any more. The whole issue of who'd set up an independent mobile phone retailer except for a hyperactive low concentration 'look, shiny' status obsessed kind of person means that there's no chance of finding somewhere where I can drop it off and say, "look, I know it may or may not work, but could you try flashing the memory for me, and if that doesn't hold then fine" and "I know it only takes ten minutes to plug into your machine and flash it, but I'm fine to pay the going rate for it", so they don't feel the need to add eggs and milk, but it's not possible.

And, I suspect, because people like me want to get the best from their gadgetary indulgences, not profitable. Maybe if I lived on a quiet village green somewhere, then there'd be a friendly and intellectually able shop somewhere I could go to. And the local computer people are friendly and able to sell me what I want and talk about stuff and what performs and realise that people don't need bling all the time, especially if bling is noisy.

And for the third status-soaked consumer good in my life, the car, I do have a knowledgeable enthusiast who can talk about stuff, and being an erstwhile 2CV racer, can't be called status obsessed. Stupid manufacturer's stopped treating you like knowledgeable and able consumers, though. No more downloadable parts diagrams unless you pay €1000 a year. Still, I didn't need them to fix the front door lock in the end, so now I can unlock from the right side again. The right side being the driver's side, and the right side for the driver's side, of course.

Title in USian units: Virtual no-wipers. Excellent. I'm really pleased about this, and can't quite tell why. Except maybe I've been undereating a bit so the semi-colon's a bit less overtaxed.

Cycling: I got my mountain bike out of the loft where I'd been storing it on the assumption that impromptu rides in winter weren't that likely, and that I probably wouldn't be partaking of any night riding on the way back from work. Such assumptions are self-fulfilling, of course. But it meant that on Sunday evening I went out for a nice half hour pootle that was, at points, pretty exhilarating. The stuff between the motorway and the railway in the map is great fun, and pretty scenic, being the settling ponds for the motorway drainage, and popular with herons, as well as having a rugged bumpy path. Map at . Anyway, apart from the rear shock being flat, my bike's in great fettle, and still as much fun as you'd expect a 12kg dual suspension bike to be. I'm off out on it in a bit, unless I decide to use my other bike and buy food while I'm out.

And yeah, I'll leave my diarising there. I was going to put this in the hole, but I guess I don't need to now I've censored myself, out of boredom. Post this:

< In lieu of services, | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
It's perfect 4s all round for the past few days. | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)
See, there's a problem with diaries like this. by ObviousTroll (2.00 / 0) #1 Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 08:40:20 AM EST
I have absolutely nothing intelligent, witty or even pithy I can add to it by way of conversation.

Except to say that manufacturers don't want intelligent and capable consumers - because they want you to go to their approved mechanic and bend over the hood while they, err..., sell you expensive repairs.

Cur etiam hic es?

Yeah, by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #2 Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 01:59:34 PM EST
The car thing's a bummer, but the fact that they had a free website with real service diagrams going for several years was amazing enough. In the end, too good to be true. My brand loyalty plummeted when I saw it, though. And it does mean I'm more likely to go to the OEM motor factor next time instead of the dealer. As well as not having bought the lock cylinder already.

The mobile phone situation is some sort of market failure, though. Well, the public and the handset manufacturers have the networks wrapped around their finger making them give away high value stuff almost for nothing then just about recouping the value of the hardware over 18 months from the contract and then getting their margins from extra unplanned charges on the consumer. All the while, they're paying for, what, 10-20% of high street and mall square footage in the UK, and smarmy ignoramuses get to think they're cool. It all makes for a lot of GDP and not a lot of human life improved.

Anyway, all this is tangential at best to your response. Thanks for writing it. I wasn't expecting or looking for big responses when I wrote this, merely to see what my life looks like outside my head, and to salvage a little productivity from the remains of a day that may have otherwise been squandered. And writing did get me up and at the other stuff, so it was worth it.

[ Parent ]
phones by Kellnerin (2.00 / 0) #3 Tue Jun 05, 2007 at 03:35:35 PM EST
Few weeks ago D and I attempted to cancel his mobile phone service; we have two phones on a joint account with him as the primary contact, and I'm keeping my phone, so we wanted to drop his phone and switch the account to my name.

First time we went into the store, they said they couldn't make such account changes right now because they were in the midst of retooling their entire computer system or whatnot, and we'd have to come back in a week. That was actually lucky for us because these account modifications had been frozen for something like 3 months; we just happened to come in at the end of the freeze.

So we went back the following week. "Hi, we want to take him off our account and put it in my name etc etc," we said.

"OK," they said. *clacking of keys* "Oh, you have to upgrade your plan because you're on an old one and I can't change it without giving you one of our current plans. The lowest one is 750 minutes."

I barely use 100 minutes a month. "There's nothing lower than that?"

"Not for a shared plan."

"We don't want a shared plan. We want to cancel his phone."

"Oh. Well, you can't do that here. You have to do that over the phone."

"We're standing here, in the store, talking to you face to face, and you're telling me we have to talk to someone on a phone instead?"

"That's right."

"Well, do you think you might have a phone somewhere around here that you could use to call the number for us?"

"Oh, OK." She actually walks us across the store to some other customer service station, so as to use the phone there. "When you're done, just come back to me and we can switch the name."

Person on the other end of the phone: "Thanks for calling mobile morons, can I get <bunch of personal information>?" After D gave the info, person continued, "How can I annoy you today?"

D: "I want to cancel my phone."

"Oh, I can't do that. You have to call 1-800-some-other-person."

"I'm standing in the store and someone called this number for me, so I think you have to transfer me to whoever the right person is."

"Hold on."

New phone person: "Hi, how can I blah blah blah?"

"I want to cancel my phone."

"I can do that for you. Can I get <bunch of personal information>?" D gives it, again. *clacking of keys* "I notice that you haven't updated your firmware in a while. Do you want to hit star-some-numbers on your phone?"

"I don't have my phone with me right now."

"It will update your listing of cell towers and improve service."

"I want to cancel my phone!"

"If a tree is impetuous in the woods, does it make a sound?" -- aethucyn

It's just a landgrab on the high street. by ambrosen (2.00 / 0) #4 Wed Jun 06, 2007 at 03:16:18 AM EST
I can see no other reason. The system's broken, and there's nothing that can be done.

But having a store, then getting you to call them up, that's genius.

[ Parent ]
Perfect 4s All Around by MohammedNiyalSayeed (2.00 / 0) #5 Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 06:04:02 PM EST

Rock, Rock On, good sir. Rock over London, Rock on Chicago, as ye olde saying goes.

You can build the most elegant fountain in the world, but eventually a winged rat will be using it as a drinking bowl.
Thank you sir by ambrosen (4.00 / 1) #6 Fri Jun 08, 2007 at 11:41:59 PM EST
The encouragement of the grand poop-ba is milk and honey to us novices in the great endeavour.

[ Parent ]
It's perfect 4s all round for the past few days. | 6 comments (6 topical, 0 hidden)