The weekend before last, I opened up my RAZR phone and discovered the screen was broken. I was devastated, especially since we don’t have a landline at home we can rely on. I could still use the phone to make and receive calls, but I couldn’t do anything that required a screen, like using my phone directory or checking my voice mail. And I needed my voice mail, since my Ukrainian client was due to call me for a library run, and if I missed her call, I would never know. Older people tend to worry, and a septugenarian East European immigrant just isn’t going to comprehend a broken cell phone screen. I don’t even know how to say “broken cell phone screen” in Russian.
Every time I opened my phone, I hoped that it was just a temporary accident and the next time I looked, the screen would be working again. I called Cingular, who informed me the phone was out of warranty, but too young to qualify for an upgrade, so I’d have to pay full price for a replacement. I can’t afford a full-price RAZR, so I tried desperately to find an alternative. On eBay, I could get similar phones for under $100, but I couldn’t wait a week to bid and get a phone that in the end may or may not work. Finally Peter took me to the Cingular store and I threw myself on the mercy of the sales clerk. He took pity and told me I could do an upgrade. Since all the RAZR’s were sold out, I took advantage of a promotion and got a next generation phone, a Samsung Sync for what a new RAZR would have cost. It’s a nice upgrade with features so advanced I’m almost scared to use them. Last night Peter was playing with the camera on the phone (which takes far, far better pictures than the RAZR could) and discovered it was more sophisticated than my digital camera. With the right add-ons, it could also work as an mp3 player.
I put the old broken RAZR aside, thinking I might sell it for parts on eBay. Neil found it and started playing with it. And to everyone’s surprise (except maybe Neil’s), the screen returned, fully functional and acting like it had never broken. If I’d let him play with it earlier, maybe I wouldn’t have had to buy a new phone. I do know that if my Sync breaks, I’ll give it to him first, before buying new.
Craigslist is a pretty good place to get a used cell phone, without the hassle of waiting for an eBay auction to finish.