Artabelle Furniture

Mum and the mobile phones

Mum and the mobile phones

My mum tried to top up her mobile last week-end. She decided that, because she was abroad, it would be easier to do it over the phone, using the voice-mail options. It took her, my dad and myself about 30 minutes before we eventually worked out the reason why it wasn’t working. All of this done while communicating with a machine, because a machine was the only thing that would agree to work on the 2nd of January.

The major problem was that the machine’s voice-mail was too fast. When I attempted to listen to it, it was so fast I barely had time to press the keys before the it started speaking about the next options which were many, various and fast. Like a cloud of bees thrown at me, flying quickly and closely around my head for me to choose from, the options disappeared swiftly and left their place to more new ones.

But that’s typical of today’s technology: fast and speedy. And if you can’t keep up, tough! Let’s not forget that being abroad, those communications for topping up the phone were not free. I think they put the voice box on fast on purpose to force people to call again when they missed the option they wanted and therefore pay larger bills!

You also have to keep up with things you have no control over. For example, if your phone gets stolen and you don’t react right away by calling your network company to let them know, then you are responsible for the thief’s calls… no matter how expensive… Some guy once got charged ₤6,000 after his phone was stolen and it was used to make calls to Africa. Interestingly, the mobile network didn’t think it might be a good idea to contact the phone’s owner to warn him of some unusual activities. This is the kind of thing that happens with your credit card. If it gets stolen and you don’t notice it right away, banks not only will investigate any unusual transactions, but they also have an insurance so you will get your money back. How comes mobile phone companies don’t use the same technology and advantages? They have so much control over the market that the customer’s needs become insignificant.

They are the ones that keep you on the line with multiple complicated options to choose from, until after spending ages negotiating your way through those options, an automatic voice tells you that the office is now closed please call back tomorrow.

Nowadays, you can have your handset bombarded by advertising messages and have a lower bill. You can get texts to inform you of new offers or new deals, how much credit you have left, and, incredibly, the state of your battery!

When my mum’s train got out of the tunnel, she got a text welcoming her to Britain. She is now convinced that this phone is nothing but a spy informing the powers that be of her every move in order for them to think up new things she might want to buy in this new location. And sure enough, she got texts offering obscure new deals involving complicated price plans for when she is abroad.

It reminds me of that guy who got his wife a mobile phone for her birthday. She is excited and loves her new phone. He shows her and explains to her all the different and varied features on the phone.
The following day she goes shopping in the local supermarket. Her phone rings and it’s her husband, who asks her how she is doing with the new phone. She replies, ‘I just love it, it’s so small and light and your voice is clear as a bell, but there’s one feature that I really don’t understand though.’
‘What’s that, darling?’ asks the husband.
‘How did you know that I was at Tesco?’

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