Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cellphoney Technology

How helpful is our daily technology when we really need it? A few days ago I decided to put a password lock on my cell phone, after hearing all the scary stories about what could happen if you lose your phone and unsavory characters find it. This morning I wanted to check my cell phone and punched in my password, but couldn’t unlock it: “password incorrect”, it said.  Even though I hadn’t changed anything since last night when it had worked perfectly fine, I couldn’t open my cellphone just when I needed it.....

I called my cellphone company, T-Mobile, and explained my predicament. They gave me a temporary password consisting of numbers and letters. This didn’t work because my cell phone keyboard only accepted non-numerical symbols. Again, I explain this to the T-Mobile representative, who acts surprised. He says: “your keyboard should accept this password……unless you have an old model. What model phone do you actually have?” I’m taken aback by this question. Shouldn’t they know from my account what model I have? I looked at my cellphone, a black HTC, which looks like an iPhone but doesn’t show any other identifying features, like a model name or number.

The T- Mobile rep then suggested that I open the back of my cellphone and check its serial number. That number would then show what model I owned. Already impatient, I’m getting increasingly irriatetd, and wonder why no one at HTC could have giving this phone a name and print that on the outside rather than hiding in the interior? Apparently that’s too much to expect from a technology culture more interested in developing and marketing their next model, than producing a consumer-friendly device which functions well for years.

I find the serial number and the T- Mobile rep confirms it is a HTC 2, or something like that. Anyway, a long story short – half an hour later after several more failed tries of typing in a temporary password – the only remaining solution to regain access to my own cellphone is to do a so-called “master reset”. This will reset my cellphone to its initial default setting, and clean my phone of all its existing data, files and photos. Not a pretty foresight, but if that’s the only solution, so be it. However, my torturous experience is still not over. The HTC engineers succeeded in making the reset as hard as possible. On the side of the cell phone, you have to press two buttons simultaneously before pressing a third button on the back: a feat that even a rhesus monkey with Houdini skills would have trouble with.  Finally, after several frustrating tries, my phone is reset, and I can now start uploading the wiped out data, and hopefully making calls again.

After nearly two hours trying to get my cell phone to work again, I’m left wondering what the lesson is: rather than having technology helping to communicate or saving time, I was barred from using my own cell phone when I needed it, and I had to spend precious hours to regain access. Is this phoney technology, or are my expectations too high?

No comments:

Post a Comment