I use a lot of technology in my daily life. When it works well, it can be a real asset, but when it doesn’t, it’s a real pain in the asset.
It was Saturday evening and I was headed out for a late dinner because I was too lazy to whip something up at home. As I got myself in order, I decided to charge my phone just in case I wanted to take a few pictures of my dinner to share with myself. I plugged my phone into the first of four chargers that I’ve used over the last 2 ½ years and a message came up on the screen, ‘cannot charge, charger not compatible, please use charger that came with device.’ The same message came up with chargers 2, 3, and 4. So there I was, with a cell phone holding a 33% charge and no way to charge it. That’s when I felt it, the first twinge in my asset. Dinner had to wait. I went straight to Verizon.
When the Verizon lady finally came out of the back room where she was doing whatever she was doing for the 15 minutes that I waited, she took one look at the phone and said, “Oh, you have to use the original charger.” Apparently, she thought I couldn’t read, so I let it go. “But why all of the sudden?” I asked, “I’ve not used that charger the entire time I owned this phone and I have no idea where it is. So sell me a replacement one and I’ll be on my way.” “Well, you’ll have to buy a new phone,” she said, “You are due for one.” Due for one? What exactly does that mean? If I take care of my phone and extend it’s life beyond 2 years the charger will suddenly stop working, even when the phone works perfectly fine, and I will be forced to buy a new $700 phone simply because ‘I’m due’? And that’s when I felt the second twinge in my asset and it was bigger than the first.
I began to challenge the need for a new phone. “What about a replacement charger or a wireless charger?” I asked. “We don’t carry replacement chargers and the wireless charger we have won’t work on that phone,” she said, “You’ll have to buy a new phone.” Thoughts raced through my mind, “Are you kidding me? Did someone on the cell phone mothership flip a switch that turned off all non-original chargers and eliminated the owner’s ability to charge their phone? How can the only fix be a new phone? Is this some kind of sick marketing scheme?” It all seemed so sketchy. And that’s when I felt asset twinge #3, which was so strong that I had to leave the store. Twinge #4 was so bad it ruined my dinner.
When I got home, I took to Twitter to DM the phone manufacturer. They acknowledged my messages and asked a few questions about the phone model, but they didn’t offer any help, which really added to the pain in my asset. Except that two days later, all four chargers worked again. What happened to the only fix being a new phone? Did the mothership flip the switch again allowing all types of chargers to work or was it only flipped for those who didn’t fall for the ‘you’ll have to buy a new phone’ scheme? Regardless, I was back to having an asset instead of a pain in my asset, at least for the time being.