Tuesday, March 28, 2017

The saga of the death of a smart phone

...the inconvenient truth, that I am (partly) dependent to Smart technology, and the unfortunate fact that my phone wanted to sympathies with me and got sick...

Yesterday was one of those days, in which you seem to have very little control. In which some home truths become obviously clear. One of those days that completely depleted any energy you might have had at the start of the day. (I did not have a whole lot to start with.)

For the past week, my 6 month old iPhone started to get signs of illness.
At times the screen got scrambled. The phone turns itself off to restart again. Asking for the password.
A mild inconvenience.
Last Thursday I contacted the shop I bought it from.
A shop I have dealt with for about 12 years, and have bought all my apple products from and have recommended to many other people looking to buy apple computer etc.
Someone from the tech department was to ring me back.
They didn't.

By Sunday my phone would switch itself off altogether. And the only way it would restart was by doing holding the top button and home button for about 15 seconds.
But it would switch itself off again...
I realized it needed to be connected to a wall socket. And set the "sleep-option" to Never.

Hours later the only way it would stay alive was if it was on life-support... ie connected to my computer.
Which obviously completely depletes the notion of having a mobile phone. I had to sit at the computer in my study.

Still. It worked.

By Monday morning I rang the shop again, and after going through many options, finally got to talk to someone.
The only way they could help me was that I call into the shop - one hour away- and they either fix my phone there and then, or give me a temporary replacement.
to Cork. That I need my phone as a safety tool. It is my "panic button" in a sense. Being without a phone would make me housebound. I can not safely leave the house without it.
I asked if a replacement phone be posted out to me, and I return this one straight away.

He understood my predicament, but could not help me.

I rang the Apple Store directly - in agreement with the shop-man I had talked with- in the hope that they could help me.

I rang the shop again.
I rang Apple Store again and asked to talk with a supervisor.

In fairness that worked well.
The supervisor George was extremely understanding. Helpful. Kind. Cooperative. But I still could not get a replacement phone.

Apple used to have an Express Service - George explained to me- but it was abused so often that Apple cancelled this option.
The only way now is that a courier delivers a 'brown-box'- I put my phone in- courier picks it up- Apple will look at the phone- fix or replace- and post it back to me.
10 days in total.

So ten days of no mobile phone.

I queried was there no special option for people with disabilities, who use their phone as a communication tool, some even use it to open doors, turn on lights, and all those other amazing features the iPhones have.

Apple so much encourages and promotes these accessibility tools on their products but when the phone is sick- there is no support.

This is Really Disappointing.

George talked me through various ways to restart the phone.
The phone got even more sick.

We later tried to completely restored the phone back to factory settings.
It got more and more sick again.

We talked many times, and at great length. He would call me on my land line. Very kind indeed.
But when is a phone declared dead...?

I am no expert, but this looks pretty messed up to me...


I am awaiting the Brown Box, and hopefully a New Phone.

What all this did as well as questioning the policy of Apple and the Shop, is the realization on how important the phone is for me.

I used to have a lovely little old nokia phone. It fitted in my pocket and I had it with me ALL the time. This way I did not need a panic button. Help was always just a phone call away.

A Very Safe Feeling.

It took me a year of research, and thinking, and talking, and deciding the buy a smart phone.
The main reason was that I wanted to make short films and I was having great difficulty holding my SLR Camera steady. The iPhone was recommend as a very good alternative. Maybe even better than my camera.

And so there it came.
And I must say I did get to love my smart phone.

This new (for me new) technology also meant more ways to be connected to my friends abroad via what's app.

The phone is my way to be part of the world.
It allows me to explore the world outside of my gate. I can bring the phone when I go for my short walks. Knowing that I can ring someone if my legs give up, or if I stumble, or feel unwell.
I can go out on my scooter, and if it malfunctions, I can call for help.
I can bring the phone into the bathroom when I am having a shower, knowing that if I stumble, I can call for help.
I bring the phone into the bedroom at night- turned off- but I can turn it on if I feel unwell and need to call for help.

The phone is a hugely important piece of equipment in my life. Almost as important as my wheelchair. And I know I am not the only one who thinks and feels like this.

Another lady with ME wrote this on my facebook page  "Hi Corina, dreadful situation. I ended up with two mobiles for similar reasons & 'cos of poor signal one or other letting me down - but one Apple & one Android makes them totally separate - but at least one usually works. One day the electricity was off & my phone was low & I couldn't charge it so I had no way of contacting the outside world - so I got the second phone so one is always charged. We rely on them so much for our safety - hope you get situation sorted."

Today a friend is coming with a little adapter thingy that might make it possible to put the SIM from my smart phone back into my trusted little nokia.
I do have my land line too.

Just a very inconvenient truth, that I am partly dependent to Smart technology, and the unfortunate fact that my phone wanted to sympathies with me and get sick...

I do hope that all will be sorted out soon. And with satisfaction.
I also hope that Apple might see the light some day and make an exception in their policy for people with disabilities


Corina Duyn said...

There is always a way... I googled 'adapting nano SIM to standard SIM CARD.'. a suggestion came up to cut out a piece in the old SIM to fit the new one. I failed to do that successfully. But I cut out a very thin piece of cardboard to the size of the old SIM. Fiddled to get the nano SIM In the old phone. Gently placed the cardboard over it and he presto! I I resurrected my old trusted Nokia

Sue said...

That is good news. But its so strange that we are sold these advanced technologies as being so sophisticated and then they are so vulnerable to breakdown and dubious repair service.

Therese Doherty said...

I sympathise with you. It's a difficult situation, but I think that if your phone is only 6 months old, it should be replaced immediately. There's no excuse for it failing so soon after purchase. As for me, my 6 year old iPod died last week. Obviously, this isn't an emergency situation, just an inconvenience, but I feel your pain. It's very stressful.