So I was talking to my wife on my cell phone yesterday when the clamshell just decided to up and break (ironically - or perhaps not at all surprisingly - in the exact same way that my wife's broke a couple of months ago). While the phone isn't entirely unusable, it looks kind of pathetic when I open it up and the display lurches slightly off to the side, so after we picked up Baby Exile from daycare we decided to stop by the local Verizon Wireless store to see what we could do about procuring a replacement.
If you haven't been to one of their stores recently, what you do is enter your name and phone number into a central kiosk, and then when it's your turn to be served someone in technical support or sales will find you. So me and the girls start browsing the latest models against the far wall when Joe Salesperson appears at our side.
"How can we help you today," he asks.
I hand him the busted phone. "The clamshell died on me."
He looks at it as if he was briefly considering how to fix it and send me on my way, but then reality intrudes upon this customer service fantasy and he bluntly informs me:
"Well, you're not due for an upgrade until April."
Ugh, I think. So close, yet so far away, and I'm going on vacation at the end of this week. "But I can buy a phone now?"
"Sure, if you don't mind paying the full retail price."
"If you upgrade before yoru two years are up, you have to pay retail."
"Oh. That sucks. Well, I guess I'll take a look anyway." I mean, how bad can retail be?
Joe Salesperon looks at me as if I've just told him that I'm going to race the Iditarod in the nude. "Okay..."
I walk back over to the phone display. Under the big giant numbers that indicate the price of the phone for new customers and two-year upgrades, I squint to make out the fine print that lists the full retail price for each phone. Suddenly I understand why my friend in sales thought I was smoking crack.
"Uh, I think I'll wait until April." I say, backing out of the store slowly.
"Yeah," Joe Salesperson says as if to say, Of course you are, you nitwit.
Guess I'll have to break out the duct tape until then. It's gonna be a long three weeks, especially now that I Twitter from my cell phone more than I blog nowadays...