by Penny Mitchell
Co-author of ‘Going Global – Technology made Simple’ and Consultant for Communications that Matter
As friends and followers probably know by now, communication is almost as important to me as my source of air.
Imagine then the trauma I went through when my BB was threatened by premature death. It was due for an upgrade about one and a half years ago, but I insisted on keeping it. I changed my contract back to a ‘weekender’ (now extinct) when I retired, thinking it would be a while before I would need to make numerous day time calls and I needed to reduce unnecessary fiscal outflows. I was forced to take a new phone with the contract (i.e. the supposedly free one – cheapest possible), but continued to use my Blackberry for anything and everything – and I mean everything, e.g. I take notes on my phone, copy and paste to emails, Google and copy and paste to notes etc. etc.
My thumbs get more exercise than the rest of my body on a daily basis, my brain stays active and alert and I no longer feel stupid when I don’t know something (I can Google it), all because of technology at my fingertips.
So what was wrong with my BB? The battery was not holding its charge and the back kept flipping off. I visited my service provider to price a new battery and see what it would cost me to upgrade to the same model of BB because, “I love my Blackberry.” This caused some amusement.
“You’ll never get another one like that,” the sales person said. She showed me the only Blackberry available, a Blackberry Classic, but cautioned that they have had all sorts of complaints about the new Blackberrys (or should it be Blackberries?).
I went online to an Info Group I sometimes check out on Facebook to ask if anybody had experience of the new Blackberry.
One respondent said that she had had a BB for five months and was absolutely satisfied. I began to wonder if BB was victim to a slur campaign put out by the competition. It’s amazing how dangerous bad press is and how hard it is to counter once it’s gone viral. For all we know, one person got a Blackberry for the first time ever, couldn’t get to grips with it and bad-mouthed it right across the internet.
Anyway, back to my BB – it limped along faithfully on a twice daily charge until I took it to a clinic in a local shopping centre. Turns out I had been abusing my baby! I’d been putting it on charge overnight and overcooking the battery. It was swollen and popping the back to escape. Aagh! Fortunately major surgery wasn’t required. A new battery did the trick.
I returned to my service provider to change my package from a weekender free minutes which I hardly ever used. I didn’t have to take a replacement phone. My contract is now SIM only, includes BBM service and my same number; and is half the price with room to top up in need!