I went to the Verizon store today to pick up a new phone before going off to school. My old phone was destroyed, probably in a fit of rage against the horrible company that is Verizon (but also certainly not).
First, upon entering the store, I had to ask about getting a new phone. My mom had to provide a whole bunch of personal information, such as her SSN, in order to confirm her account. You think that as a gigantic evil company, Verizon would have some of this stored for easy access. I guessed not. I then went to look at their selection of a dozen or so phones. This was made unnecessarily difficult by a clerk who kept badgering me about all their selection, and suggested I buy an Android after I explained I wanted something very basic. Their entire selection consisted of two main flavours: QWERTY-keyboard flip phones, and some horrible touchpad phones.
All of their selection was terrible designed, unwieldy, and flimsy. There was no exception or alternative to this. When I finally found something that looked half-decent, I was told I needed a $30/month internet plan in order to use it at all. I don't think my cable line at home even costs that much. I can only imagine that all that money goes toward vials of fairy-dust and bathtubs of leprechaun gold. After I remarked about the ridiculous price to the man behind the counter, he suggested I buy a Blackberry. "If you're going to get the internet package," he explained, "you may as well get the very best phone for it. It can even save money on texting, since you can send messages to any friends with Blackberries for free". I don't think I have ever met a single person with a Blackberry, with the possible exception of the abhorrent lifeform called Brendan Nerny.
I eventually settled on the most basic phone available. While we were checking out, I asked about transferring information from my broken phones to the new one. He explained I could only take information off of one, as they could not merge the information. I asked if he could somehow send me the data in some other form (as it should be computer accessible), perhaps over email. He did not respond to this inquiry at all. He eventually transferred all my contacts, but no text messages or images.
A woman in the line next to me then asked if she could access ringtones she bought for her old phone through her new one, which was denied. Why should a person not be able to retrieve such data if it was 1. purchased digitally though a retrievable account and 2. cost $3 and a monthly media access fee?
It's a good thing I had this distraction, since the person helping me was simultaneously talking on the phone and too a very confused man whose new phone was broken the week before he left for Disneyland (I don't think they resolved that issue either, by the way). After about 20 minutes I left with a shitty fucking phone that cost a billion and a half dollars. The end.