The Unfavourable Marriage Series: The Times they are a-changin'

Yesterday I regaled my misadventures with Vodafone in great detail, but I made no mention of the blackberry. I'll be frank. It has been quite sometime since i referred to that thing as a blackberry. It leaves a funny taste in my mouth. Whenever I refer to my blackberry the prefix crack, struggle, bad or shit is usually used to replace black. Why do I have cause to insult my blackberry so? Don't worry I'll tell you.

My first blackberry was the 8520 curve. I was so excited when I got it but I wish I'd read some reviews before hand. That's not to say that I have since read some reviews of the phone, because I haven't. I haven't got the time. What I can tell you is that we of  the Afam household have a three year old 8520 in our stores. The phone currently functions as a land line, or a desk top. If you disconnect it from the power source the device has the mobile phone equivalent of a stroke. You're probably thinking that I should replace the phones battery right? But why should I do this when the Nokia E90 communicator that I used to use is still completely functional after 6 years of use?

I was not informed that when I purchased the blackberry curve 8520, I would be buying an uncooperative twit with no respect for my social life. The phone was possessed. It hard reset when it felt like, deleted my blackberry messenger contacts when it had bad days and generally tried to disrupt my life in every manner possible. When a phone displays that the battery is full and then proceeds to die in the next 30 minutes, that phone is taking the Mickey. My 8520 was stolen in Chicken George and I was relieved. I was due for an upgrade so I planned to get the newest blackberry. I thought that the phone would be free of the personality issues that had come with the one before it.

The first flaw of the blackberry bold 9780 is that it looks just like the blackberry bold 9700. What's the point of getting the newest phone if it is exactly the same as the old one? Apple had the good sense to equip the iphone 4s with Siri but blackberry was not as clever. In my opinion they only changed the colour of the casing and downloaded their newest operating system. That operating system was also available to those with the previous bold. The phone worked fairly well, until 6 months after procurement. I was using it during a light drizzle when it hard reset itself and refused to reboot . I took it to the Vodafone store, where it was diagnosed with water damage? Water damage? From a drizzle? If I were to put my phone away every time there was a light drizzle in Manchester then I would never use my phone. I was given a courtesy phone by Vodafone as a replacement. They gave me the 8520. I promptly turned it off and placed it in the box. I had no need for it.

I informed the Vodafone staff that I was returning to Nigeria for three months, so I would be unable to pick up my phone until September. During the holidays, they informed me that my phone was fixed and ready for collection. I ignored this because I had told them where I was going and they could hardly expect me to purchase a thousand pound ticket for the sole purpose of picking up a troublesome phone. I returned to the United Kingdom only to find that they had disconnected the courtesy phone, because my phone was ready to be picked up. Did they not remember that I had left the country?

On the day of my arrival, I marched to the Vodafone store to collect my blackberry that had supposedly been fixed only to find that it had not actually been fixed.


(You can see that Vodafone is highly skilled in the art of corporate spanking).
It gets worse. 

The lady then told me that insurance could no longer take care of the repairs because I did not report their negligence and inefficiency after the phone had been fixed. I was stunned. I could not believe what I was hearing. This would mean that Vodafone had sent my phone off for repairs, received the phone unfixed and left it on their shelves for three months. Does such a thing seem possible. The repairs were not free. I had paid £25 pounds for them. That doesn't include the insurance premium that I pay monthly. I was informed that because I did not pick my phone up 2 weeks after it had been returned it could no longer be repaired by the insurance company. After I had gone through the trouble of telling the staff at the store that I was returning home for the holidays and that because of this I would not be able to pick up my phone immediately.

Had I not argued for several minutes about this, I would have paid for the repairs myself. In all honesty I might as well have paid for the repairs myself. The repairs would have cost £100 at the most. It is always and everywhere infinitely preferable to gain satisfaction from expenditure, than it is to lose satisfaction and a general sense of well being from expenditure. I fail to see how this can pass for customer service? It isn't even bad customer service, it's crazy!

When all was said and done, the phone wasn't repaired. I was given a brand new one phone. After all the stress I had gone through to get it fixed, I didn't want a new phone, I wanted my phone. While all this fixing was going on they added more strokes to the corporate lashing I was receiving by giving me a first generation samsung courtesy phone. They didn't even spring for a 1st generation nokia. I'm sure that I don't need to detail the damage my social life suffered as a result of this.

I find it amusing that I no longer know how to use 1st generation phones properly. Texting with one of them is IMPOSSIBLE!!

The new Blackberry 9780 was not as sturdy as the old one. It was like the reincarnation of my 8520, it did things as it pleased. It could not open web pages of a certain size, but I didn't mind too much after my experience with the samsung, I found great comfort in the qwerty keypad.

Yesterday my blackberry found itself in the Atlantic ocean. Although efforts to rescue it were successful, it remains an invalid in the sack of rice that the Afam household keep in the kitchen. If I know anything about my phone, I know that it shall use this opportunity to enjoy a quiet passage to the after life. So what should I do? After my experiences I will not be handing the phone to vodafone for fixing. I'd rather buy another.  I will not make any promises or overly bold proclamations, but I can assure you that the times they are a-changin'. In the mean time I'll make do with my trusty nokia.

I feel bad that I should have any cause to complain so. I would really prefer it if I never had to complain at all, that I may restrict my efforts to the enjoyment of the Earth and all the things inside it. But now that it's done, I can focus on better, more positive things, like my recent ungraduation from uni and my Lagosian adventures. Onward and Upward!!!

Happy Days

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