My Phone…My Phone…My Kingdom For A Phone!

Ever do business with a company and then end up asking yourself “Why am I continually paying these people?”

Yeah, I’ve had that kind of weekend and I’m not too thrilled about it either.

Allow me to explain.

My phone is my life. And as the lovely Mrs. Nickels can attest to, I do everything on my phone. It is on my phone that I keep track of not only my many business appointments as “America’s Newest and Upcoming Writing Dad”, but also my personal appointments which deal with a wide variety of events consisting of various Dad/Husband duties.

Things like: Picking up Tigger from her Autopsy Class. Meeting with another set of nefarious government agencies, again, because of certain things our children have done to the country’s missile defense system. The upcoming NFL schedule. Knowing when The Midget (My Mother In Law) is going to be in town so I know when to be out of town. And other vitally important things like that.

One of the things that I use my phone is for the receiving and sending of, yes, you guessed it, phone calls. I really do use my phone to talk to people. What a Nouveau Chic idea! Imagine this for a second. People using their Smart Phones to talk.

Talk on the phone? What is this “Talk On The Phone” thing you speak of? It is a four-letter world involving the use of vocal cords found inside the human body to enable said carbon-based lifeforms to perform oral communication between the various members of their species via the handheld device that most people either carry in their pockets, on their hips in socially acceptable holsters or in their individual bras if they happen to regular customers of Walmart.

The point is that I need my phone to make can receive phone calls. Now, assuming you live in an area where you get a good signal from your cell phone carrier, that shouldn’t be an issue. The problem I have is that the house that Mrs. Nickels and I live in is perfect in pretty much every aspect except one: It is located in an area where getting a good signal from the towers around us, (which are in sighting distance by the way) is about as likely as finding a Kardashian that hasn’t yet made a sex tape.

You see my dilemma here?

But there was a work around. My phone also had the ability to make and receive calls via the Wi-Fi in our home. Now, me being the techno-geek that I am and being the one that had to have the most powerful computer type gear stuff on the planet (much to the displeasure of Mrs. Nickels), my system is so powerful, that I can be anywhere in my house or on my property and still get a signal in which to call or look up something with.

So, basically, I am not in danger of losing calls, business or that all important notification from Mrs. Nickels asking if we could have lunch together.

That is, until this weekend.

For some reason, I wasn’t getting the normal amount of calls that I was used to getting. I was still getting texts and my internet was no problem either. I could even call people with no problem, but, for some reason, nobody was calling me. That is until I got this terse text from Mrs. Nickels informing me that she had called me 8 times today and I never picked up. I thought that was strange, so I looked at my call log and there were no calls from her at all today. I even checked my voice mail and no messages either. So, I send her a text informing her of the results of my investigation and she responds with a screen shot of her call log showing me all of the dates and times of she tried calling me that day.

Then like out of the blue, the kids were texting me telling me that they have been trying to call me all day and that my phone would just ring and not even go to voice mail. Yes, I could call them all, no problem, but no calls were coming into me. I couldn’t figure out what the problem was until I was out of the house and away from my Wi-Fi area. When I was on The Network of my carrier, I could get calls in, but when I was on in ANY Wi-Fi, I couldn’t get a single call to come in.

So, I call my carrier’s store where they have an instore tech department that fixes phones. Here it is 6:00 in the evening, the store closes at 9:00 pm. When I explain to the guy on the phone what my problem was, I was told that their tech department closed at 5:30 because they only had one tech person at the store at this time.

For the sake of brevity, let’s just say that I wasn’t happy about this and made the appropriate phone calls to the members in power about this situation. Not taking this lying down, I made an on-line appointment for 11:00 AM the next day to have a tech look at my phone. So, I was out doing some shopping and I happened to be near my carrier’s store at 10:00. I go in, there is only 1 person ahead in line so I thought I might as well just go ahead and drop off my phone and continue with my errands, (going to Barnes & Nobel to “browse” i.e. buy more books).

When I dropped off my phone, I told them to NOT do what is called a “Hard Reset” on my phone. What a Hard Reset is, is when they basically wipe your phone and bring it back to factory specs before you put any apps on it. This, supposedly, will fix any problems that come up with your phone. The problem is that I have apps and special ringers that I have installed on my phone that not only tells me who is calling but when I have an appointment due, which or my kids or grandkids are texting me when I get emails and from which emails mail box them come in from. All in all, it takes about 6 to 7 hours to reprogram my phone after it comes back from the shop.

So, I come back in a couple of hours and I was told that to know for sure that if my problem was a software problem, i.e. one of the programs I had was causing this problem, or that it was a hardware issue, was to do a Hard Reset on my phone. Seeing I had no choice, I authorized them to do the Hard Reset.

Turns out that it was a hardware issue and this is where it gets really bad.

They must send the phone out to be repaired at their facility. Back in the day, they just used to swap out the phone and I would be on my way. But not anymore. Turnaround time? 3 to 5 business days. But they did give me a loaner phone to use while mine is in the shop. At the risk of sounding ungrateful, this phone is a piece of spooge.

But here is the really stupid part.

I am getting ready to go and I ask the tech “Is this phone able to make and receive calls from using my Wifi?”

She stopped for a second and said, “Let me check.”

She then goes online and with a very sheepish look says “Uh Mr. Nickels, it does not. And, unfortunately, we have no other phones in stock”.

“So,” I said. “Let me get this straight. You are sending me home with a loaner phone that isn’t even 1/10th of the phone I had, which I shouldn’t load any of the programs and features that I normally use because I am going to have to turn around in a few days and have them taken off again, on a phone that doesn’t make or receive Wi-Fi calls? Basically, you are telling me that while my phone is in the shop, I am going home with the same problem, but with a worse phone than what I came in with and I still will have the same problem(s) as before. Correct?”

“Yes, Sir.” My timid tech person replied.

I would tell you what I said next, but this is a family blog and, after all, kids might be reading this…on a smarter phone than what I’ve got right now.

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