Let me just start by saying, I want to give Verizon and Apple a big chunk of money, I really really do. This however has proved problematic if not impossible as of 8:45am on November 5th 2014.
This story starts on October 1st, when I wandered into the Snohomish Verizon store and ordered an iPhone 6 Plus. I only went there because these particular crafty lads promised me they had a work around that would allow me to keep my coveted unlimited data.
It would have been great if they had phones in stock. After all I watched Tim Cook on my computer tell me that the iPhone 6 Plus would be available for purchase on September 19th. But what he meant to say is that there are about 12 phones available on that day, which will be divided evenly between 424 Apple stores, 2330 Verizon stores and 2200 AT&T stores. No other stores will see iPhones this year. But hey why not lie and get everyone all jacked up excited to get a new phone that is harder to obtain than yellow cake uranium.
I ask the young lad in the store if he has any iPhone 6 Plus phones in stock, he replies “Let me check”, then he walked to the back of the store. My heart raced, maybe the rumors of no phones anywhere in the western hemisphere were wrong, maybe Snohomish had the inside track. I would imagine that what happened next is he wandered to the back where another employee fresh out of high school was tilted back in his chair playing some game on his phone. He looks up to the worker entering the backroom, “Another idiot whining for an iPhone?” “yep” my guy replies. Then they have a laugh. My guy asks the other what his high score is, “98337739” he replies, “dude that is tight”. Kids talk in terms that we adults use for how clothes fit. It’s confusing.
My guy wanders back to me, now blue from holding my breath, “No sorry we don’t have any left”. What he should have said was, “No we never had any, it’s unlikely we will ever get any, and if we do get some, you can bet you could have made your own out of shit you scavenged out of leftover motorhome parts in less time”. After all the little kids in China do a fine job of building electronics for 8 cents a month, but they aren’t doing it fast. Next the salesman wants to debate the usage on my account. He said “Who is this person on your account that is going nuts on the data?” I say “Oh that is my girlfriends daughter” He said “Dude she is way over her allotment every month and is paying mad overage fees”. “She’s mad at who?” I respond. “Dude, not mad, PAYING MAD overage fees”. I tell him that sentence makes no sense. He asks what she is doing to run up so much data. I lie and tell him that she is in college and is addicted to pictures of hairless cats, that she literally downloads tens of thousands of cat pictures every month. “Dude seriously?” “Serious, uh dude, tight or… something”, I respond.
My guy hands me a stack of papers resembling a home purchase contract and tells me my phone will arrive on October 22nd.
On October 21st I tell everyone at work that tomorrow is the day that I get my sweet shiny new Gold 64 gigabyte iPhone 6 plus. Everyone is excited for me. They gather around me and pat me on the back and tell me how much they admire me, at one point lifting me on their shoulders and walking through the office chanting, “Cary is awesome, he’s getting an iPhone 6 plus!” I am embarrassed but happy for the recognition. I even get an email from my senior manager asking if he might see my new phone when I get it, I promise him that he can. I can’t sleep on this night. I get up and sneak to the bathroom with my iPad to look at pictures of my new phone on Apple.com. It’s beautiful and I am giddy for its arrival.
October 22nd comes and I am so excited. I know that the shipment may not arrive until the afternoon so I fight the urge to call them until about 3:30pm. At 3:31 I call, “Hello this is Cary Cleland, I ordered a phone and it’s supposed to be there today, can I come in and get it?” “Uh who?” the guy on the phone says. “CARY CLELAND, I ORDERE….” “Sir we didn’t get any phones in today. Your phone is not here”.
Of course I ask when it WILL be in. The kid responds, “I don’t know dude, probably a couple days. We will call you”. Ok that was super disappointing, but hey a couple more days shouldn’t kill me. I let 3 days go by before calling again. Same scenario, “Hello, this is Cary Cleland…..” Kid cuts me off and responds “no phones have come in yet. They will probably be in next week”. I say “probably?”. He says, “yeah probably”. I hang up. I let another 5 days go by before repeating the aforementioned phone game. Same deal. Only this time I add, “So level with me, is my phone ever coming? Is there really such a thing as an iPhone 6 Plus?” He assures me it will and there is and says maybe another week. Tight.
Apple wanting to create more desire and desperation for their product, at the same time they tease people with the release of the iPhone 6 Plus that no one can obtain, they also release a version of IOS that renders my iPhone 4s almost unusable. It’s painfully slow, nothing works like it once did. From the second I “upgrade” to IOS 8, my phone is a constant reminder of the phone I will never own. I try using it for simple tasks and it sits there doing nothing. It may as well be screaming at me “HAHAHAHAHA YOU STUPID ASS, YOU HAVE NO 6 PLUS! HOW TIGHT IS THAT!?” Very tight indeed.
November 3rd I start to lose my mind and I call the Verizon store again. This is the date at which the frustration level of the employees at the Verizon store matches my frustration level at being told over and over, a few more days, a few more days. The kid tells me that they have in fact received a large shipment of phones and that they reside in many boxes in the back room. However he states “We are really busy so I really don’t have time to see if your phone is one of the ones that arrived”. At this point, I drove straight to the store and smashed him in the face with my iPhone 4s, rendering him unrecognizable. Actually that last part just happened in my head. I say to the kid “You mean to tell me that I have been waiting for 2 and ¼ fortnights for my phone and it’s very likely that it’s sitting within your reach, and you don’t have the time to check to see if my phone is one of ones you received?” I say this in the tone that says “I am driving to the store at this very second to smash you in the face with my iPhone 4s rendering you unrecognizable, your life is in peril as we speak and you should immediately rethink your being too busy. He in fact reads my tone correctly which is unusual given his age, and says “Hold on I will go look”. He comes back and says “sorry your phone isn’t one of the ones that arrived. We got some gold 64 gig Pluses but none are yours”. I say “Of the ones you received are any of them for people that ordered their phone AFTER me”, he says “No but if one of them don’t pick theirs up, you can have it, I will call you”, Not tight, I hang up.
But of course now I am hot as a hornet. (How to Write Blogs for Idiots, “Always find room to throw in one old timey saying, it keeps the old people engaged in your topic. Done and done!) The next day I call the corporate Verizon number and sit on hold for 894 hours until I am able to talk with a representative. My call was in fact recorded for quality purposes. What they should have recorded is the 894 hours of Verizon blather I had to endure while waiting, then play that recording in the call center on the loud speaker at 189 decibels. Doing this would fill the help people in the call center with seething rage so that when they finally answer my call, they can appreciate my current mental state.
I get a nice girl that seems to appreciate my frustration and takes the Verizon pledge to make my day a little brighter, which I hope entails getting me a damned phone. (How to Write Blogs for Idiots states “Try to refrain from dropping the F bomb or the capital G word, old people have a very low tolerance for these)
At this point in the call I would imagine that there is a large red decision button on my help girls computer, when pressed it says either, “see if you can get customer so mad that he has a heart attack and dies right on the phone” or “Give the customer a phone ASAP”. She pressed it and it says the former. She says to me, “Uh it says here that your order was canceled a week ago”. Have you ever been filled with furious rage on the phone while at work around people? I am screaming in a whisper “are you kidding me! I didn’t cancel anything! I am going to whisper something to you young lady, if I don’t get a damned iPhone 6 Plus in Gold with 64 gigabytes of internal storage soon, I swear to almighty heaven, I will go to at&t today and switch carriers!” She responds “Uh sir, I can’t hear you”.
She puts me on hold and goes to do research into why my order was canceled. She comes back with no answers. She informs me that she consulted with her manager and neither of them could solve the mystery. Long story short she put me on some jump the line thing where I am put to the front of all Verizon lines for a phone. Great, but while she is speaking I am following my daily routine of checking the Apple website to see if the Alderwood Apple store has any phones. In the same vain as talking snakes and parting of seas, a miracle happens and there are phones at the Apple store. I tell my helper girl of my discovery and that I am just going to go get one from Apple. She tells me that she will keep my order active until I get to Apple, if they have phones, I can call and cancel my Verizon order.
When I get off work, I am filled with nervous anticipation. I pick up Rena and ask if we can stop at Apple on the way home. She sees the glimmer of hope in my eyes and concedes. We get to Apple and as I walk through the door the lovely helper greeter girl asks me what I am seeking. I say “A gold iPhone 6 Plus with 64 gigabytes of internal storage!” much like the little kid in Christmas story. She says “OK we have one and I am going to put your name on it so that when it’s your turn you won’t lose your phone”. Those were the sweetest sounding words I had ever heard.
Right then my phone rings. It’s Verizon helper girl, she says “Cary we have a problem!” I say “No we don’t, I am at the Apple store and I have a phone with my name on it” She says “Great I can cancel your order, but the Snohomish store just ordered you another phone. It appears they saw that your order had been canceled and reordered your phone. However because I had already ordered you one and you can only have one phone with the discount, they charged you full price ($900 and change), as soon as you get your new phone, call that store and tell them to cancel your order”. OK Deal.
Finally it’s my turn and a fine older gentleman Gene, walks up and says “You are next and I understand you are getting a 6 Plus?” I respond “YES! A gold iPhone 6 Plus with 64 gigabytes of internal storage!” He says “one second, let me grab it”. He returns seconds later holding a box on a red velvet pillow. There are angels singing, and the world is a little brighter. A baby bunny runs under my feet while a small fawn smiles from across the room. Everyone in the store turns to face me and applauds approvingly. Gene then starts the adoption process, name address, blah blah blah. Then comes the last button, ACCEPT. He says “Would you like to press it?”. I tell him I do and I did. The screen says “Approval in 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1, DENIED.
He says “Oh that is strange, let’s try it again”. We do and in 3, 2, 1, DENIED. I look up, the room is dark, I can barely make out the box that holds my precious. Something ominous catches my eye. It’s Satan sitting across the room, grinning his smug evil grin, I notice the bunny dead at his feet. Gene says that he will call Verizon to figure out what is wrong. He is on hold for hours upon hours, finally when he gets through, he explains the circumstances to the Verizon person on the phone. He argues the facts but after a lively debate he hangs up. “They don’t know what is wrong”. He says “I have an idea” and walks to the back room, I see Satan’s face fading. I flip him the bird and snottily tell him “I am getting a damned phone, whether you like it or not”. He stares blankly at me.
Gene returns with a different box. He said that sometimes they get an odd phone that won’t register. He is sure this is the case, and this next phone should work… We perform the steps and……………………………… DENIED. Damn you Satan…
I leave the store after being there for two hours, unable to buy a phone. UNABLE TO BUY A PHONE. Excuse me, I thought I lived in AMERICA where when I want a thing, I can go GET a thing any damned time I want. Apparently not true if the thing is an iPhone 6 Plus.
So here I sit, on November 5th 2014, 35 days since I first ordered my phone. It seems like so long ago that I sat in front of my computer with dreams of a new phone. Watching as Tim detailed it’s every glorious feature. The greatest phone in all of the land, and not just any phone, A gold iPhone 6 Plus with 64 gigabytes of internal storage. A phone that I am sure I will never be privileged enough to own. If all this weren’t bad enough, my brother Thayne got one of the 1st 12 phones. He calls me everyday to ask if I got mine yet. Yesterday he called after I had left the Apple store to ask if I had gotten it. I didn’t answer, instead I drove to his house and smashed him in the face with my iPhone 4s rendering him unrecognizable and then stole his. Tight.