Whatever Happened to "Simplify, Simplify"? -Playing the curmudgeon so you don't have to
The sun bent down like honey from the sky but I spent two hours in a Verizon shop getting my broken cell phone replaced. It’s the perfect Nigerian-like scam; they won't upgrade with a free phone so you're paying for their planned obsolesce policy. They warn any phones gotten 'free' online are liable to break and for some reason I don't doubt them. The upgraded phone means the old car charger won’t work, so they want $30 for that. (I said 'no'.) The $80 out-of-pocket price was coupled with one of those “drop and give me twenty” rebate offers. Vee muss prove to the manufacturer that you REALLY vant the cheaper price! And so the liturgical act of cutting a barcode from the box, save the receipt and mail it in and in 8 to 20 weeks you’ll receive a check which you’ll take to the bank and wait in line to deposit.
Rebates are something only modern man would tolerate because people had more sense years ago. They’d tell the guy trying to sell something like that, “well why don’t you just take that money off the price of it right now?”. Then, “Well, why don’t you give me the rebate and mail in the rebate for me and collect the money?“. Then, "this smells of scam." Indeed, like an email I got recently from a rep of the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation which has $12M.USD (TWELVE MILLION US DOLLARS) in an account that needs the lube of my money to free. The rebate is as anti-customer service as was ever invented and is designed to complicate life, which cell phones already do but I plead not guilty. My wife bought me one and insists I have one so she can get ahold of me.
For thirty days we have this free V-Cast service, a "service" that is unintentionally hilarious. You get to pay for what is otherwise free television. They have 8-10 minutes video clips of shows like Scrubs, 99% of which I wouldn’t watch on a 32-inch screen let alone short clips on a 1-inch screen. Makes about as much sense as the rebates. You can also check your spam-laden emails on your phone, which sounds about as appealing as a frontal lobotomy. These are called “features”. I'm tempted to view the push-button as the last legit phone improvement.
So every two years I get to spend a couple hours doing something that was completely unnecessary twenty years ago. Back then you had a phone at home and it came only in black and it sat there like a monolith but it worked like a mo’fo! It was virtually indestructible and believe me as children did our level best. There were no batteries that needed recharging, it wasn't obsolete every two years, and you didn’t have to sign “contracts”. Ah ol’ Ma Bell, I miss you. You almost make a Democrat out of me.