Monday, 7 January 2008

Having to own a mobile phone is one thing...

..having to buy a new one is another.

Today, after months of procrastination and weeks of comparison, I traipsed off to Indooroopilly to buy a mobile phone. I had three requirements: it had to be available on prepaid, it had to be a Nokia (so I don't have to learn a new interface…I'm slow and lazy) and it had to have a 2 mega pixel camera. That's it. After much deliberation and confusion, I settled on a Nokia 6300.

There are about 500 mobile stores at 'Indro' (but no bakery, what the fuck is that about?) so I figured it'd be a simple matter of going to one of 'em and saying "Nokia 6300 please," handing over cash and going home. No such luck. The first store I went to was staffed by the kid from the Simpsons with the perpetually breaking voice ("Mr Wembley, it happened again!") who told me that the 6300 had been discontinued and no other store in the mall would have it either. This despite the fact that his employers were advertising the 6300 on their website. "Aw yeah, we still advertise it…" (???)

Next I went to Optus…I mention them by name only because they really pissed me off. Again understaffed and well outnumbered by customers, they had a 6300 on display in their prepaid section. Take 2.

After waiting what seemed an age for some guy to get a recharge I asked about the phone only to be told they didn't have it in stock and didn't know when they would. When I asked why an item they didn't have is on display for sale, I was met with what can only be described (in the Hicksian sense) as the look of 'a dog that's just been shown a card trick'. This made me…I'm ashamed to say…grumpier. While I didn't lose my temper, it was too much to resist having a snipe. Said something along the lines of "You might as well have sandwiches up on the wall, you don't sell those either…" Nothing…do they drug young 'salespeople' during their training? So no joy there…the next place was staffed by people who dressed like Redcliffe shoe salesmen circa 1982. Take 3.

"No, we don't do the 6300…only Vodafone handles them."

"Um…Optus too."

"No…just Vodafone, mate."

See ya.

It got a little blurry after this. Went out for a smoke. I've had a few anxiety issues with shopping centres in the past and a symptom or two revisited. I ended buying the right phone at the right price with the right network with excellent service at…? Tandy, of all places. Again, I mention them only because they were very helpful, friendly and efficient.

Just hope I bought the right product so I don't have to do that again for many years.