In March my contract with my mobile phone provider, O2, is up for renewal.
After much deliberation, illness and snow bound cabin fever I pondered my options. I could end my contract early (costing £60), start a new contract early or just wait until March.
March seems like forever off. It isn’t. But it feels like it is. Besides, I haven’t had a gadget fix since I inherited the wife’s laptop. So I did a little spreadsheet and worked out my current spend through my current contract.
My contract allows 400 minutes and 500 texts per month but no data discounts. Which, in hindsight, is daft as I use data services a hell of a lot these days. My previous contract also lacked data service and looking back at my bills I was paying ridiculous amounts of money to faceless executives allowing them to play golf in Surrey on Wednesday afternoons.
I currently have a Nokia N95 8GB which is a good phone. It does it’s job, it allows me to make and receive calls, send texts, take photographs and video, find my way to places using the GPS and play Snakes when I’m bored daft.
Sadly it doesn’t really allow me to write notes without mucking about and the proprietary software that allows the phone to communicate with my PC sucks hairy monkey balls.
Coupled with the fact that lots of the kids I see these days have iPhones which, to me at least, just seem like fashion accessories and expensive ones at that, getting a new phone this time was going to have to be thoroughly investigated.
Initially I was going to opt for the Acer F1 to go with my Acer desktop and Acer Laptop. I was all set to click “BUY NOW” but I thought I’d better check the GPS first as GPS is something I do rely on at the moment for Geocaching. As it turned out some reviews claimed that the GPS functionality of the Acer F1 was a bit pants so my itching mouse finger held off clicking “BUY NOW” until I compared other phones for their reliability.
And there it was. The HTC HD2. The phone that I just had to have. I watched videos of people reviewing it, I read articles, sought out software and even tidied up my Outlook in preparation.
By this time it was Wednesday afternoon, I’d found the best tariff for my needs on buymobilephones.net, compared the competition and benefits via my spreadsheet, filled in the application form and clicked send. It was 3.30pm, the site hinted that it very well may be possible that I could have my phone within 24 hours, which I thought, would be Friday…or Saturday at the very least.
Buymobilephones.net sent me a confirmation email an hour later. Excitement swelled inside me causing me to cough more from this wretched cold I’ve been suffering from. More mooching and reading and trying to find anything I could about my new toy. The confirmation email said that they would send another email when my phone had been processed.
Waited a bit more.
Still nothing. A whole day passed. Snow storms had cut off most of the UK and yes…I thought maybe a bit of snow would hamper my hopes of getting my phone for the Friday. Indeed by 6.30pm that Thursday evening, a further email was sent by Buymobilephones.net to say they were coping with a 24 hour back log due to “seasonal demand”.
Fair enough, I thought, the weather and excess demand would hamper anything. By Friday evening I was getting restless. I still hadn’t received any further emails. Three days had passed. Where was my order up to?
Saturday. Same thing. No email…nothing….
See…this is what happens to me. I buy things online with the expectation that they’ll come a day or two later. When they don’t I get really miffed. I miss the high street store option of walking into a shop. Mooching round for the item I want, going to the checkout. Paying for it. Going home. At least then, the excitement was contained by my journey home. This waiting for buymobilephones.net to get their act into gear is killing me. Now I’ve got the little voices in my head saying “They’ve lost your order” and “There’s a problem with your new mobile subscription set up”.
Had it not been for my horrid cold, the snow and the ice and the lack of high street shops selling sim free mobiles, I’d have risked the drive into town to buy one today. This is symptomatic of the culture of now (CON). I have given into the CON. CONsumerism has bitten me and I must have a new toy…I must I must I must.
I looked at the prices of my old mobile phone, my old Acer Laptop, my old Playstation 1. All of these items cost shit loads when they were new. Now…you can get all three for just under £200. I need to remind myself….electronics and keeping up with the Joneses….bad game to play. I never win.