In most ways, I loathe the idea of electronic collars. But I made an exception when Rogers offered a rock-bottom deal through my employer. I managed to get 2 cellphones for less then the street-price of 1 phone, and this lets my oh-so-active daughter keep in touch with her oh-so-neurotic Dad. So, yes, we wear electronic collars.
Just a tangent - the only other exception I'd ever make on the whole electronic collar issue is for those perimeter wires that train your dog to 'stay put' via electronic shocks. I don't own a dog, but I think this technology has fun possibilities. I'm guessing the legal, moral, and philosophical issues are probably a little thorny.
Back to the phones. So I have 2 of them, and I discovered that this model (they're identical) will work in Europe, but they don't support the cell frequencies used in England and France. I wanted the comfort of a cellphone for our upcoming vacation, so I did some research and found that the current generation of phones will work fine for us.
I went to Rogers with the simple goal of replacing my phone, and I was prepared to pay. I wasn't looking for anything else: no changes to my account, no extra services, nothing. I quickly learned that I'm naive. Where cell service is concerned, nothing is simple.
First off, the Rogers outlet was staffed by teenagers, on a Wednesday, in the middle of the day. Great, I thought. Highly educated service technicians. Turns out one fellow was the Veteran and he was supposed to be training the New Guy.
Over the course of the next 40 - count 'em - minutes, I descended into a bureauatic miasma that even I found breathtaking - and I've spent the last 25 years working in multinational corporations. I will never be able to recreate the conversation that, at various points, brought Veteran, New Guy, and myself close to blows.
- I have a 'corporate plan', and store computers can't access these. They had to phone someone, somewhere who could see Who I Am and What I Have.
- paper forms needed to be filled out like I was opening a new account, except they wrote 'hardware upgrade' across the top of the form. I fear this.
- Veteran thought my corporate plan sounded too good to be true. I must be mistaken, apparently. This made me mad at Veteran.
- my new phone was a free upgrade! Naturally this makes me nervous. Nothing is 'free'.
- the new phone takes pictures and videos, and plays MP3s, and surfs the Web, and plays games! I'm kinda hoping it makes phone calls.
- Veteran was sick of New Guy, and the feeling was mutual. This erupted into frequent verbal fisticuffs.
- you need to write down several codes to replace a phone. They are secret, and I believe they can cure the sick, raise the dead, and hack HD-DVD videos.
40 minutes for this. My favorite part - as I left the store New Guy gave me a wink and let me know this would have been much easier, but Veteran is kind of an asshole.
I can't wait to open my next Rogers Wireless bill.
I'm anticipating a Part 2 to this story.