Saturday, December 17, 2011

A Second Class Citizen at the Verizon Wireless Store

A couple of days ago, a new, large Verizon Store sprung up down the road.  At about the same time, Verizon finally announced the availability of the new and long awaited Samsung Galaxy Nexus phone - The phone that was hyped by Google and Samsung in early October, announced in Late October, promised to be released in November, and then delayed and delayed until the middle of December.  It's been all over the news and in people's faces.

I figured the timing was no accident, and sauntered in to see if I might be able to have a look at this Ice Cream Sandwich laiden beast.  To be honest, I was half expecting them to tell me they didn't have one.  As a Verizon Wireless customer in Vermont for over 15 years, I've gotten used to being a second-class citizen.  We are the usually the last to get network upgrades, good stores with good phones, or sales people who can handle technical questions.

I walked in and quickly surveyed the store, before I was immediately swooped down upon by an overly-smiley sales lady.  The first red flag: all of the showroom phones were phonnequins (faux plastic mock-ups with stickers instead of a real display).  There were no functional units anywhere.

I asked her if I could see the new Samsung Galaxy Nexus, and she said "sure". She "just needed to know my account info", so she could look it up.  This was new and weird to me, as all I wanted to do was look at a phone.  I gave her my account info, and she returned a few minutes later with a brand-new-in-box Galaxy Nexus.  It had never been opened (and, as you may have guessed, was not activated).  She took it out and fiddled with the phone, which was sitting at the activation wizard.  She tried to subtly ask her colleague what the "unlock code" was for the phone (lol). Unsurprisingly, he was not much help.  She then cheerfully handed me the phone, saying "well, at least you can get your hands on it!".  Today would not be the day I would get to play with Ice Cream Sandwich.

As I inspected the phone's physical attributes, namely its bigness in the hand, and the appearance of its SuperAMOLED 4.65" high def screen, the sales lady pointed out that it was about the same size as the Samsung Charge, but, and I quote, "the big thing with that is the face unlock."  I almost burst out laughing, but she was serious.

I'd had all I could take, and I got out of there as fast as I could.  I think I'll wait until one of my friends gets a Gnex so I can look at it for real, since I apparently can't see one at my local Verizon Store.  Wait, what am I thinking?  I can just download a face unlock app to the Samsung Droid Charge, and I'd basically have myself a Samsung Galaxy Nexus!
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