Friday, August 3, 2012

Almost a Smartphone

Smart phone, dumb Lori.

You know about the Square, right? I wish I never heard of the fugging thing, to tell you the truth. Every since I heard of this clever little device that allows you to accept credit cards anywhere - or anywhere you get cell phone reception - nothing would do but that I get one. And I did! They're free. But they are useless without a cell phone, and not just any cell phone: it has to be one of the smartypants phones, running on Android or iOS operating systems. And those ain't cheap, but they just got cheaper.  Now you can buy a Smartphone at Best Buy for $99, without a contract.

But wait, it's more!

It's advertised as a $99 smartphone. But you go to Best Buy - or at least all the Best Buys in Maine and New Hampshire - and they don't have one. They do, however, have much more expensive phones that you could buy, while you are there...or they have much cheaper phones, for which you have to sign a two year contract. But those $99 phones? Nup. Don't carry those. Hmmm. That smells funny.

I can be pretty pigheaded, and I don't much like being manipulated, so I kept on keeping on, and found that you can purchase one of these elusive phones online. You have to purchase minutes, of course. (Which then expire, and you have to re-purchase them, if you don't use them - why can't they just stay bought?) But, fine, whatever, throw in some minutes, then.

So I get this phone, which I paid extra to get in a hurry (moron that later...)but when it arrived: too bad, so sad, you didn't purchase the unlimited card! You know, the one that adds 50% to the price of the phone, and which no one has mentioned until just this minute?

I didn't mind purchasing the minutes, but the card is bullshit. The card is just a way to make you pay more than the price the phone is advertised at.

I'm so irritated I have half a mind to bring it back. But then, will I be looking fretfully at my lonely little Square tomorrow? Will I just turn around and do this again next month, when I take another stab at bring my wares to First Friday? (Yeah, that fell through, again, and again it was due to car issues. So I am a cranky Lori all around. )

Look, I know $150 is a good price for a smartphone. But why couldn't they have just honestly indicated what the true cost of the phone was? Maybe I would have balked. Probably I would have bought one. Either way the bait-and-switch crap is just dishonest.

Eh. I'll sleep on it and decide in the morning.


Cathy Kiffney Studio said...

I hate the whole cell phone run around and (so far) I have refused to join the cult. But I did buy a IPOD touch for use with the square. I've been using it for a year and I love that it has no monthly fee!

You do not need a cell phone contract but you do need wifi. I have wifi at home and there are a lot of places now where you can get on their free wifi. This scenario would not work for everyone, but so far it works for me.

Lori Watts said...

Until now I was just using my laptop & paypal wherever there was wifi...Still haven't decided what to do. I wouldn't even be considering returning it if it hadn't seemed like they were deliberately confusing to hide the actual cost of the phone & service.

Unknown said...

Shysters, every last one of them! They get ya coming and going. From the "you HAVE to get a data plan with this phone" to "there's a $35 re-stocking fee if you return it." BS. You're telling me I have to pay $35 for some chuckle-head to stick this tiny box back on the shelf? Really? Hoodwinked at every turn.

Lamp Light Pottery said...

Just to let you know, if you can get wifi at your events, or have another vendor willing to set up a network, then you can use an iPod touch in the same way as an iPhone. The software works the same and there are no monthly fees from a cell phone company. This is probably not available at all venues, but if you don't want the extra bill...