My phone is quite a posh one, for me. I’ve had it for two years. “It’s just come in,” said the woman in the shop who flogged it to me, with a knowing nod.
“Oh has it?” I tried to be nonchalant but she knew she had me.
“Look at my new phone,” I said to husband, who resented his Blackberry Curve from that second on.
It’s a good phone my posh phone so I’m told and true enough it looks nice, all black and flat and shiny. If I threw it at someone it’d hurt like nothing else, but I’m not sure self-defence is one of its features. It carries loads of apps, the bulk of which I never use – they’ve not fulfilled their destiny, which is sad and as my contract nears its end I admit that posh phones are not for me. The photographs my posh phone takes are terrible, at gigs I am faced the next day with purple blurry people. The Purple Blurry People are not a psychedelic garage band, sadly, just rubbish images. Family and friends develop pie faces with my phone photos or seem haggard, half human-half exhausted sprite. One set of photos I took was freakishly good, so fine and clear and clean even now I can’t believe that my phone took them. They look like art shots (by my standards), will you look at the drinking glass on on the bottom one?:
The good photos, they never happened again. On the night of the good photos I think my phone steeled itself, took a deep breath, puffed its chest out and thought tonight we’ll take one for the team or she’ll bin us, but it was too late. The rot already set in, and photos of Lucinda Williams I took just weeks later make me want to weep, still. I won’t share them, I have some pride.
This week I decide to get rid of my phone. I plan it with care because I know what will happen, I’ll ring up the phone people and they will throw sales patter at me, try and convince me to carry on paying £TOO MUCH each month for a phone I don’t really use, with their smiley voices and promises of things for free. I’m sucker for “and we’ll throw in this for free, just for you…”. It’s a snake oil approach to marketing, the belief that people will pay the earth to get something for nothing. Not me, I decided. Not now. I’m a changed woman. I’m going to be brave and bold like the early feminists and take a non-compromising approach.
I email the phone people, saying I want to cancel my contract. No arguments, begging or passive aggressive tricks will work on me!
Email sent, I steel myself for the phone call, the one where they want to carry on being my friend, but I am confident in my mettle. I’ve read Martin Lewis and know how to bargain, get money off a new phone, more minutes and apps for free, the apps I will never use. I am no fool.
Two days go by and I wonder if they’ve lost my email (on purpose) but on the third day, I get a missive back. It is short. ‘We accept your notice and will close your account on 18th January…”
I have been let go, they found no arguments or sub clause within my contract in letters so tiny a pixie would struggle to read. I’m free! It was easy. But I admit I’m deflated, shaken. They called my bluff. It’s a bit like dumping someone and expecting tears and drama but instead they shrug, blow a raspberry and mutter ‘I wasn’t that arsed about you anyway’. The phone people could at least put up a fight, fake a bruised heart, squeeze out a few tears. It’s only good manners. What does Martin Lewis say about that? I’m searching his website now, can’t find thing.