Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Am I really NOT an average consumer?

Oh my goodness readers. From time to time my love of technology gets overtaken by my sheer feeling of defeat.

It feels like a constant battle. Which I'm pretty sure - it actually is.

Most weeks - there is a tolerable amount of ridiculousness. Not this week.

Sometimes - it is completely understandable. I'm not just a frustrated consumer. Mr. Snarkolepsy still works in technology. I used to work in technology.

So - I understand how some of the product decisions are made. Having said that - right now I'm totally irritated.

Yesterday it was my cell phone. An XV6700 - from Verizon.

At the time we bought these - there weren't many choices on internet enabled smart phones. I chose to not go with a Blackberry because I don't carry a purse. I walk around with the phone in my hand all the time - and the Blackberry seemed a little large for me. I also liked that the keyboard would tuck away so I wasn't constantly pushing the keys.

It was soon after we brought it home that we started to realize some of the horrible design flaws.

First - All the function buttons on the sides of the phone are in horrible places.
When you turn the phone off, and put it in your pocket, a stray button-push will not only turn it back on, but redial the last person you called - or the person who last called you. Even more irritating - its impossible for the person on the other end to disconnect. So - if you didn't know the phone had redialed - the victim you just called couldn't just hang up their side and regain the ability to use their phone connection. Oddly it drops calls all the time, but for some reason - not at that time.

The 'camera' button is one of those poorly placed buttons along the side. If you want to use the camera, it's almost impossible not to hit the other function buttons on the opposite side (such as the audio recording). If you want to use those other buttons you can't help hitting the camera button. Just irritating. And the camera takes a really long time to come up. Like - 10 seconds. I know in text that doesn't seem like a long time - but we have owned lots of cell phones. None of them took remotely close to that long to bring up the camera.

Yesterday - I was sure I was either going to take a hammer to it, or smash it into the concrete. Since neither of those things are rational or mature - so I chose not to. Though the urge was strong.

So - the thing that caused me to become un-spun yesterday....

I had managed to use up all my memory space with audio recordings. All of it. To the point I couldn't even send a text message. So I tried to delete some. Frantically searching through all the menu's to try to delete some of them - almost resulted in the demise of this phone.

This should be really simple, right? Just highlight a recording file, and choose "Delete" from a menu. Pretty standard. Except it doesn't work. Oh, I can select the file I want to delete. And there's a menu with a "Delete" command. But then when I choose to open the main menu, the "Delete" selection is grayed out. No matter what file I select, the "Delete" is disabled. WTF?

Come to find out - it's not enough to select the audio file, you have to select the audio file with the stylus and hold the stylus down for several seconds to bring up pop-up sub-menu, and you can delete it from there. Yeah - that was completely obvious. I don't know why I thought it might be under the area that says "menu" which has a menu item named "Delete". As a matter of a fact anytime you want to delete something, it is incredibly cumbersome. I just dont understand why.

The bright spot is I get to find a suitable replacement. (I hope all my readers are picking up on the thick sarcasm in that last sentence.)


  1. Hee-hee. To show you what a techno-noob I am, I have a Virgin Mobile Oyster. I hate it because when it rings, and I grab it, I always end up pressing the ring silencer. It's not earth shattering, yet still anoying. But my ring is "Raiders of the Lost Ark!" duh-duh-du-DUUUUH!!! duh-duh-DUUUUUUU! So I'm way cool.

  2. "It's not earth shattering, yet still anoying."

    MDG - even though that was not one of my more well formed rants - that was sort of what I was getting at. Don't they use these products in real world situations? Don't they have product testers anymore...

    Just frustrating. A simple thing like a phone shouldn't be a source of frustration.

    Do love the Raiders ring tone though. Is that stock? Or did you have to download?

    I was thinking the South Park "Timmy" song would be fun - Labala.. TIMMY. But I'm still not sure if I'm swearing off technology.

  3. "Do love the Raiders ring tone though. Is that stock? Or did you have to download?"

    It's a download. I used to have the James bond theme, but it was kind of blaring at the volume I need to set it at so that I can hear my phone. I downloaded "Magnum PI" for Sarge's phone. But he has since lost it.