Friday 21 Oct 2016

Broken Phones
Matt Seinberg

At one time or another, we've all broken our cell phones one way or another. I'm not talking about the crappy flip phones we all used to have, but the smart phones that invade our lives every day.

Always get a screen protect and belt holster.

About three years ago, I bought a used HTC One from e-Bay, along with a case and some screen protectors. I always get a case with a belt holster; I hate keeping a phone in my pockets.

As I'm taking a walk around the neighbourhood one evening after dinner, I take the phone out of the holster. It slips out of my hand and falls face down onto the concrete sidewalk. The sound of the glass screen cracking etched forever in my mind.

Because of the screen protector, the glass didn't fall out, but it shattered. I figured it would cost about a $100 to fix the phone, which didn't make sense since I only paid $200 for it, used, on e-Bay.

I did buy a new front glass for the phone. I called a repair shop; the estimate was roughly $50 to fix the phone. When I arrived at the repair shop, I was told the cost to repair was over $100; the phone needed an LED part, too.

 I didn't have it repaired. I ended up re-selling the phone, on e-Bay. My used phone fetched $100.

Since I needed a new phone, I got a Samsung Galaxy S4 from T-Mobile. It was on sale. I could pay it off over two years; I ended up paying it off in roughly fourteen months.

My S4 didn't have sufficient internal memory.

The only thing about the S4 I don't like is the lack of internal memory. I only got the 16-gig model; 9 gigs of that are taken up by the operating system and other bloatware that Samsung installs. I installed a 32-gig microSD card for music, pictures and apps, but many apps will not go on that card.

Often times, when there is an update available for a currently installed app, I get and error message: there is not enough memory to install it. I have to go and kill some apps and uninstall others. Sometimes it's easy, no big deal, as some apps I hardly use.

The next phone I get will have much more internal memory. Then I won't have that problem anymore. I also hope that it will take the additional memory card.

The S4 also has a removable battery, which the newer S4 and S6 don't have. Apple iPhones also don't have removable batteries or a slot for an extra memory card. I think I'll hold on to my S4 as long as I can.

I always tell the kids to keep their phones in cases, just in case they do something stupid. Do you think they listen? Nooooooooooooooo!

Not having a case cost me $100.

Recently, Michelle, my daughter, was at the home of a friend. For some reason, she borrowed a phone a case from her friend. What do you think happened? The minute she gave the case back, she dropped her phone and shattered the screen!

I figured it would cost her about $100 to get it fixed, but I had what I thought was a better solution. I met a fellow through work. He said he was an electronics distributor and he could get new iPhones. After Michelle's little accident, I called him and asked if he could get a new 6S. The price would be about $340, which is less than half price.

He said that his shipment was arriving on Friday and he would drop it off on Saturday. The day comes and goes. I don't hear a word from him. I sent him a text on Monday. He tells me he'll be in Wednesday. Again, he was a no show; he also stopped responding to my texts.

I ended up giving Michelle $100 and she went to the mall to get the screen fixed. She also got a new case and tempered glass screen protector instead of cheap plastic one.

Let's take two lessons away from this little mishap. The first is to keep your phone in a case so it won't break. The second is not to rely on people to keep their promise when they can "get you a deal." It most likely will never happen.




Matt Seinberg lives on Long Island, a few minutes east of New York City. He looks at everything around him and notices much. Somewhat less cynical than dyed in the wool New Yorkers, Seinberg believes those who don't see what he does like reading about what he sees and what it means to him. Seinberg columns revel in the silly little things of life and laughter as well as much well-directed anger at inept, foolish public officials. Mostly, Seinberg writes for those who laugh easily at their own foibles as well as those of others.

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