When we signed our contract with Big Cell Phone Company (AT&T), something I thought I’d never do again, I remember the salesperson asking if we wanted to buy insurance for our phones.
My reply was simple: “Nah, I’ve had good luck with phones and never had to replace one. No thanks.”
Besides, my Samsung Galaxy S4 Active was designed to be impervious to elements such as water and dust and I didn’t figure that I’d be exposing it to much of those anyway, so what were the chances of having the phone damaged in any other way? Right? Well, today I found out.
On this, the eve of a busy weekend of Kids Fun Runs and my fifth bike tour and second duathlon, I am eating my words in regards to not opting for insurance. This morning I was trying to calibrate the speed on my bike’s computer by comparing it to a speedometer app on my phone. All was going well until, somehow or another, the phone slipped out of my hand and onto the asphalt.
There was this awful *KA-CHUNK* sound as it made contact.
At that point I didn’t care about the calibration. I hit the brakes and turned around to find the phone lying face-down in the street and my only thought was, “Oh shit. I hope the screen isn’t broken.”
I picked it up, flipped it over, and found this staring back at me.
One tumble from around 3 feet at a speed of 5 MPH has turned the screen into what looks like a window of an abandoned restaurant somewhere in the middle of the Mojave Desert that had been shot at repeatedly by a CO2 pistol. I mean, look at that. It’s pretty effed up.
I picked it up and as any normal 40-something male would do when their expensive gadget malfunctioned or was severely damaged, I bawled like a baby.
(Okay, maybe not that bad. But I was pretty upset and honestly, still am. I’m using this blog post as an outlet.)
And naturally, because I have no insurance on the thing*, I’m willing to bet that there isn’t much that AT&T would be willing to do to make things right so I’m not even going to bother to call them on it. It fell, it broke. It was an accident and that’s all there was to it.
With that being the case I decided to look into having the screen repaired locally, and the quote from the first and only company I contacted was for $180 plus tax. Here’s my issue with that.
I’m on the Next Plan with AT&T, a plan that includes a $20 extra monthly charge that is applied toward your future upgrade. At this point in our contract, I would have to pay $250 (the remaining balance over our contract) in order to upgrade to a new phone so even if I had the money to do so (which I don’t), there’s no way I’d spend $180 to get the thing fixed when for a mere $70 more I can just get a brand new phone.
In the meantime, I’m trying to adopt to my new spider-webby screen which meant running down to my favorite Japanese store for a generic screen cover so that I wouldn’t get any glass shards in my fingertips as I use the thing. I’m sure the screen will continue to crack as days go by so the cover will also keep things in place.
As for the phone’s look, I can pretend the cracks are part of a really cool, live 3D wallpaper – until it’s time to read a text. The top of the screen is pretty much useless with those huge cracks, and that means posting things to social media is going to be a real pain. Facebook is difficult, Instagram is impossible, and I’m sure I’ll find out as time goes by which other apps have been killed as the result of this little incident.
And if there is anything good about this, it’s that the front-facing camera lens narrowly escaped having the crack go over it. Because, you know…selfies.
I take a lot of pictures with my phone at all of my events and I had planned on doing it again this weekend. I’m positive I’ll still do that, but when I ask someone to take one for me, I’m going to look like…you know, one of those guys with the cracked phone screen that makes you say, “How do you use that? Man, why don’t you just get a new phone?”
If only it were that simple.
So this year, my laptop took a dump and I busted my phone. Not fun.
But on the plus side, I did buy a PowerBall ticket for this Saturday…