You follow the news. You’ve heard about the next great device. You’ve seen everyone praise it, tout it as the next best device you can get your hands on. And you luck out, because your carrier of choice managed to get the exclusive deal on this next big thing. So you go to the store, you check it out for yourself and sure enough it’s everything you thought it would be. Maybe even a little bit more. You sign up for a new, two-year contract, the phone is yours, and you practically skip out of the store in pure, unadulterated jubilation.
A little bit of time goes by, and you’re still happy with your choice. This new phone really is the next best device from that one manufacturer, and it would seem that nothing can bring you down. After a week, you’re just as happy to pull the phone out of your pocket as you were that first day you bought it. It’s been a joy ride right from the start.
But then, suddenly, without warning or any reason, WiFi stops working. Or, maybe the battery just won’t charge anymore. Your screen flickers, or there’s even a dead pixel there, always mocking you. Something happens to your great device that you didn’t see coming. That, for all intents and purposes, you couldn’t stop from happening. It’s just one of those things. It just happens.
Bad luck aside, you give your carrier a call because you can’t make it into a corporate location, and explain the situation to the (hopefully) nice customer service representative on the other end of the line. You tell him or her what’s going on, and they are quick to offer up some solutions that can hopefully fix the problems you’re having.
“Have you tried to power off the phone, wait 10 seconds, and then power it back on?”
Why yes, yes you have.
“Have you tried to pull the battery out while the phone is on?”
Yep, sure have.
You go through the troubleshooting steps anyway, just to give a sense of normalcy to the rep who’s helping you. After several minutes on the phone, they finally determine that your phone is indeed broken, and that it falls under the manufacturer’s warranty. That means you’re getting a new phone! Hooray! The problem will be fixed!
You get the replacement phone two days later (because you didn’t have an issue over the weekend, so you must have some good luck going for you after all), and you are quick to get it out of the box, pop in your battery and get it activated. You’re back on cloud nine, because you’ve got a working phone again. That issue you had with the other phone is gone. This is the device you’ve been waiting for.
Until you notice that dead pixel up there in the top-right corner of the display. Or you notice that the charging port is so loose that your cable won’t stay firmly connected. Another issue with this “new” phone (which is a pre-owned certified device, in all reality), and so you’re back on the phone talking to the carrier’s customer service representative, going through the steps to get another replacement.
Personally, I’ve had to exchange phones a few times over the years. It’s happened more this year than I think it ever has before, though. That scenario above actually happened to me not too long ago. I had an iPhone 4S (before I switched to Android 4.1 Jelly Bean), and one day I had to reset the device. When it came back on, it wouldn’t activate on the network. After getting in touch with customer support, they concluded that it was indeed an issue, and they sent me out another phone. A couple days later I opened the box, activated my new iPhone 4S, and immediately noticed a dead pixel staring back at me.
I remember laughing, induced by the fact I had received a “broken” phone in replacement of the “broken” phone I was set to return.
Lucky for me, I’ve never dealt with a CSR that wasn’t actually friendly or willing to help, and more to the point wasn’t wary about exchanging a device that needed to be exchanged. But, I know that there are people out there who haven’t been so lucky. I know that there are several customers out there who have had plenty of their own horror stories with exchanging a device, and I want to hear them.
So tell me, Dear Reader, what experiences have you had with exchanging a device? Has it been smooth in the past, without any lasting effects, or have you been marred by that “pre-owned certified” title? Tell me your good, horrific, and funny stories. Let’s see how they relate to other people’s experiences.
image via Droid-Life