Four months ago I bought an iPhone and promptly fell in love with it. I knew I would. I’d been obsessing about buying an iPhone for close to a year before I actually bought one. I would stop to watch all the iPhone ads on tv. I’d point out iPhones in movies. When I was out with friends and we needed directions or reservations or any information off the internet, I’d say, “I could look that up if I had an iPhone.” But I didn’t let myself buy one. At first I was waiting for the Verizon iPhone and then I was just being me-cheap. That’s what I call this peculiarity I have. I can’t spend money on myself. Other people? Not a problem. My cats? Sure. But if I buy myself a new book or a shirt I feel guilty about it for days. (I’m sure a psychologist would have a field day with my self-worth issues.) So instead of buying an iPhone, I talked about it. A lot.
Then one day after a exceptionally nice weekend away, I stopped at a Verizon store on the spur of the moment and bought myself an iPhone. I was so excited I could barely drive home. And, this is how I knew it was meant to be, I didn’t feel guilty one bit!
I became addicted almost immediately, which is probably very unhealthy. (I even wrote a love letter to my iPhone for one of my blog posts. A friend told me that she was embarrassed reading it until she realized I was writing about my phone.) I’ve turned into one of those annoying people who always checks their email and texts. One day I walked to a restaurant right next door to my office for a business lunch. When I arrived, the person I was meeting wasn’t there yet. I sat down and reached for my phone. I was lost when I realized I had left it on my desk. What was I going to do for three whole minutes? Just wait? But I could be checking Facebook!
Then this week, tragedy struck. I was sitting at my desk, typing away and I glanced over at my phone. The glass was all cracked! I was devastated and baffled. I couldn’t imagine how it had happened. Later, one of my employees said that he heard something fall and when he looked over I was putting a metal ruler back up on the shelf over my desk. I’m not lying when I say I have no recollection of this at all. I don’t know if I was so engrossed in my work that I just returned the ruler without thinking about it or if I subconsciously knew that it cracked my iPhone and so I’ve blacked the whole thing out in my mind. But whatever happened, the iPhone was most definitely cracked.
Sitting there staring at my once beautiful phone, I remembered back to purchasing it just four short months ago. I vaguely recalled the salesman asking me if I wanted insurance because if I broke it I would need to buy a new one at “full retail price.” I barely paid attention when he said it. I didn’t need insurance. I’m very careful with my belongings. And I didn’t want needless paperwork to delay me from getting my hands on my shiny new toy. Beside, how much could the full retail price be anyway? I said no to the insurance.
After work, I headed to the Verizon store. The young man behind the counter asked how I was. I told him I wasn’t very good and woefully showed him my iPhone. I should have known by the look of horror on his face that I wasn’t going to be receiving good news. He looked my record up on the computer and slowly shook his head. “No insurance,” he said, sounding like Eeyore, the depressed donkey in Winnie the Pooh. He tapped a few more keys and then said, “And you’re not eligible for an upgrade until December 2012.” That’s when a Verizon manager came over. Eeyore showed him my phone and repeated his mournful, “no insurance.” Then the manager was shaking his head too.
At this point, I was close to tears. But I was also getting pissed off. Was I really such a bad person for passing on their overpriced insurance? I finally said, “Just tell me what my options are!” It turns out that “full retail price” is $649! For a phone! Granted, it is the world’s most perfect phone and although rationally I know I could live without it, I’m not sure that I’d want to. But $649? That made even me question if it was worth it.
Then the manager brightened. “Do you have your old phone? You could add another line for $9.99 (plus tax) a month (for a two year contract) and get a new iPhone for just $199!” You would have thought he had discovered a plan for world peace. Although cheaper than “full retail price,” the idea of having another line I didn’t use for two years didn’t thrill me either.
Since my phone could still turn on and work, I asked if I would do any damage if I continued to use it while I made up my mind. The manager said (and I can laugh at this now), “It’s all ready totaled. What more could you do to it?”
So I have a shattered iPhone. I’ve since learned that there is a store just two hours away that will replace the glass for $150 and guarantee it. I plan to go when I’m on vacation in a couple of weeks. Guess where I learned this valuable information. An AT&T store. The guy there informed me that if I had AT&T, I could have replaced my iPhone for $199. No such thing as “full retail price” at AT&T! Of course, I also would only have coverage about half the time, so I guess there’s a trade off.