the price of freedom

Freedom has a price. It will cost you $483. And at that rate, it’s a bargain. Let me explain.

For the past six months I have been tethered to a cell phone that I am pretty sure was trying to kill me. The people at Verizon sold me a touch screen monster after my phone from college met its demise by falling into a glass of water. (Oops.)

The new phone was evil. It had a mind of its own. It called the wrong people at the wrong time. If I pressed ‘contacts’ it pulled up music. If I scrolled to call ‘Nana’ it dialed my dentist. If I wanted to access the Internet I wound up checking the weather. The phone never seemed capable of doing what a phone is supposed to do – call people. At first I thought it was me. Maybe I wasn’t using it right? Maybe I broke it? Maybe I just needed time to get used to it? But it wasn’t me. It was the phone.

Over the past six months my blood pressure has soared and I have had multiple breakdowns – in public – trying to use the sucker. Recently, I resorted to trying to kill the phone. I tried everything from throwing it against the wall (five times),  jumping on it (at least four times) and attempting to snap it in half  with my bare hands (countless times). After realizing that my health and sanity were a stake, I took it into Verizon yesterday. Here’s what transpired.

Me: Hi there. [voice shaking with emotion.] I am really frustrated with my phone. I think it’s trying to kill me. I would like to purchase the most basic phone you have. I don’t want camera capabilities or Internet. I just want to call people.

Sales clerk: Let me see your phone. [Inspects it. Smiles. ] Oh yeah. I refused to sell that model to people in the beginning because we were having so many problems with it.

Me:[Jaw drops. Nearly combust internally.]

Sales clerk: [Continues.] We did a software update about three months ago that should get rid of all the problems you have experienced. We can do it here. For free right now. It should only take 45 minutes.

Me:Ok…but what if I just get a new phone. I am done with this one. How much is the cheapest phone here?

Sales clerk: About $150 since you aren’t due for an upgrade.

Me: I guess we can try it. I was about to go buy an iPhone.

Sales clerk: But we have the best service.

Forty-five minutes later – I beg to differ. Upon receiving my devil phone I got a quarter mile down the street when I discovered I could no longer access the Internet without an additional fee and I was blocked from all of my accounts. Not to mention that it still called the wrong people. I nearly lost it. I turned around, went back into the Verizon store announced to the customer service people that I was fed up – the phone was worse than when I brought it in – and I was breaking contract. (In retrospect, I am sure no one cared, but it felt nice to voice my dissatisfaction.)

I crossed the street, entered the Apple store, walked up to the nearest sales person, and walked out five minutes later with my new phone. And I love it. I don’t care that the total cost of the phone, liberating myself from my Verizon contract, and setting up my new account is nearly a half a month’s rent. I am free!

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