Apple’s making me grumpy, and I can’t call you

Having a bad day.

Short form: if we speak on the phone, or communicate via text message, I no longer have your phone number. However, I also don’t yet have a replacement cell phone (with, I assume, the same phone number). So I’ll need you to contact me in a few days to reconnect.

A couple days ago, my four-year-old iPhone SE stopped working. I didn’t drop it, didn’t get it wet, didn’t abuse it, didn’t damage or mistreat it. But the power button just stopped working. So I called Apple, and the guy on the phone couldn’t help me, but he was able to set up an appointment for me at a nearby Apple store. That appointment was for 4:50pm today.

I got to the store at 4:40 (trying to be on time or a little early), and stood outside in the line for half an hour. When I finally got inside and to someone to help me, he seemed surprised at the quaint notion of an appointment with a time.

He played with the phone, agreed with me that the power button was not working, and said I ought to leave it with him for two hours, so I did. I came home, ate dinner, found an email saying they had news and I ought to call the store. I called the store, and learned that, even though they had completely erased the phone, they were unable to do anything to fix it, and I would have to buy a new one. “You can have the same phone for $269, but it’s four years old, or for $399, you can get a brand new version of it. The dimensions are slightly different, but it’s otherwise the same.”

I trekked back to the store, got to a clerk, and asked “will I need a new charging cable, or a different adapter to use my Square with the phone? I know that engineers love to change things. And I think I heard they’d removed the headphone jack on some models.” She said “No, this is the same as the phone you have, just newer, so it has a better camera, things like that.”

I took it home, took it out of the box, and discovered that “slightly different” dimensions are actually completely different, to the point that the case I have for the old phone does not fit the new phone. The buttons are in different places. And there is indeed no headphone jack for the Square credit card reader to use. I also discovered a little metal clamp of some sort in the box (attached to a form-fitting card, so apparently it’s supposed to be here) with absolutely no idea what it’s for, since Apple has decided users don’t need manuals.

I’d grumble about bait-and-switch, but I think it’s much closer to “what do you mean you don’t know everything about our nifty, cool products?” For me, a cell phone is a tool I use, not a status symbol or a technological toy. Apparently, that makes me a customer the company really doesn’t care about.

So, now I have an iPhone which I have no idea how to use. No manual to tell me how to transfer the sim card from the old to the new (I gather I have to go searching online for a manual for this phone—guess I’m really lucky I have a computer, too), and none of the extras that go with a phone that I need, because all the pieces I have work just fine… just not with this phone.

Yeah, I’m not terribly happy.

And since I’m grumpy, let me share the rest of the grumpiness-causers I ran into:

While I was waiting outside of the store for half an hour, I realized why 418,000 Americans have died during this pandemic. Ten months we’ve been at it. I would think that after ten months, my fellow Americans would have learned something about queuing up (and not breathing down the neck of the person standing in front of them). I would think they would have learned something about wearing a mask (like, you don’t breathe through your chin). Heck, I’d think they’d try to do as I have, and avoid unnecessary contact with people (like, don’t go out if you don’t have to: the repair tech who told me to come back in two hours suggested I hang out in the whole foods store around the corner). No wonder we’re dying in droves, and sick, and the rest of the world wonders what kind of morons we are: we are morons.

#apple #iphone