Ok before I get to this, let me just say that even though I've had my issues with it and gone through 4 replacements since starting out with them, that in general I like the Droid. It's a pretty solid phone, does a ton of cool stuff, and essentially lets me run my life out of one box. There are features here and there that could work better and it's not as slick as an iPhone -- but it works for me to the point where I've all but handed all of my communication, calendaring, and quick social networking duties over to it.

In fact when you get right down to it -- the real problem with the droid is it presents itself as a "do everything" sort of gizmo, which frequently leads you to think it actually can. So you load it up with apps, each that are supposed to integrate with each other and share data and get along like good little skynet systems -- only to find that (surprise, surprise) there are limits to what the processor can handle at one time.

At the same time, despite being a pretty cool gizmo -- it happens to be tied to a cell phone company that while still preferable to AT&T (never, ever again with those fucks) still tends to be an utter pain in the ass to deal with whenever you actually need help with something that doesn't work the way it's supposed to.

Case in point. The Droid says that it can be used as a wifi hotspot or a tethered modem. In other words, you can plug this into your laptop and share it's network access. There's even a button in the settings that turns this feature on and off.

The other day -- tired of the games the new IT regime at my job is continuing to play blocking music sites that were previously available like Pandora and Last.fm, I decided to go around them by bringing the lapper in with me and just run it through the phone. I had the cables, it says it could do the trick -- seemed like a nice little plan.
Except that I couldn't get it to work.
I'm no tech genius, but I also know that I'm capable of making most things work that are designed to set up a certain way. I had it plugged in right, it just wouldn't ..go. I tried a few variations, but couldn’t find the trick -- so I finally threw my hands up and called customer service for an assist.

And not for nothing -- But I always like it when you call people on the phone and can clearly tell that they're reading answers to you. That instills tons of confidence.

Anyways, I explain my situation, and the gal on the line says that my phone cant do that. To which I reply that I actually think it can. She insists no, I tell her that I'm looking at the switch that makes it do that -- and we argue a little more about it until she finally sort of relents and moves on to her next point -- which is that if I want to tether my computer it costs like $20-$30 more a month for data sharing. When I tell her my plan offers unlimited data sharing, she informs me that this is "different" data sharing.

Then just as I'm about to inform her of all the ways her last statement doesn't make any sense whatsoever when she breaks into my line of speech and says "I found it! -- It says here is that only the Droid 2 can tether data."
Oh boy, Here we go.
I don't want to buy a new phone, I tell her (sensing a sales pitch racing in) -- but she insists that my warranty agreement enables me one as a free replacement.
This also makes no sense, but I sort of let her run with it because hey -- free phone, right?
So that's in the mail apparently, but it doesn’t solve my real issue -- which is making my current phone do something it's already claiming to be able to do. We go round and round on this for a while with no result, essentially with me telling her that I would wait until I saw the new phone to decide on the different data plan.

After the call ended, I sat there in front of my computer and phone -- music-less, sort of frustrated, and decided to give it another go. I tried some tech blogs, googled some different things, and came up with an app that said it could do what I wanted -- so what the hell.

Install, transfer, plug in.. Bingo.

High speed free of charge Internet right from my phone directly onto my laptop. Tunes ahoy. Blocked sites available. No extra data plan, no nothing. Just plug and play -- Droid does, and away we go.
The new phone arrives tomorrow. No idea what I'm gonna do with that thing now.
Anyways -- for all around lack of helpfulness and then giving away a product that I don't need for free just to shut me up, I'm awarding this Vyvyan to my cell phone provider, Verizon Wireless.
ps -- That thing you said my phone couldn't do? It's doing it now.

[Listening to:  Caro Emerald - "Back It Up" ]


Heff said…
I have one of those heavy black phones with the awesome corded handset and incredible rotary dial. They just can't be beat.
Bef said…
so ummm you couldn't just play Pandora through your phone?


anyway, Verizon has been on this free phone kick for a minute...

the boy and I just got new phones...his is more droid-fancy than mine...but I paid nothing for them...

actually Verizon called me to upgrade the boy's phone...

maybe it's my extremely sweet voice but I have never had issues with verizon customer service... hehehe
Hex said…
Heff -- yes, but can you watch porn on it? Can you!?

Bef -- I can play Pandora on the phone, but it's a big battery drain after 4-5 hours and it makes it harder to do anything else with the phone at the same time.

Also, having the laptop tethered this way gives me access to the forbidden lands of youtube, facebook, amazon, etc. -- which help in getting through the day and writing reviews and such.

I prefer having media available, and the new IT policy isn't so keen on it, so I'm going MacgGuyver on em, is all.
Satorical said…
That was, w/o question, the best ep. of The Young Ones.

And well done on proving customer service droid wrong wrong wrong.
JerseySjov said…
I hate customer service where I actually have to talk to a real person. I'd much rather go through a wild goose chase through click screens and drop-down menus or [the more likely scenario] just deal with the problem until I forget about it or I get a new toy.
Bef said…
you just had to throw it in there about writing reviews...you know I can't argue with that...

so tether on darlin' tether on...
Heff said…
You DO have a point, there.
Hex said…
Satorical -- Not only that, but it was also rife with bit players who would eventually be huge stars -- Hugh Laurie, Emma Thompson, Steven Fry, and Robbie Coltrane.

Customer service is a hell job, but to me that's still no excuse for sounding like a dolt.

Jersey -- Me too. This time I'd reached what I thought was a limit to the available information, and decided to make a call. Won't make that mistake again.

Bef -- They can take out lives, but they cannot take our tethers!

Heff -- Bi-partisan agreement. Everybody wins. :)