Howls of a Technophobe 2

Posted by on May 27, 2024 in Blog, Consumer issues, Humour, Living today, Rants, Technology | 2 comments

I hardly noticed it to begin with – a couple of phone calls I didn’t for whatever reason manage to pick up. With the first I just thought, well, if it’s that important they’ll call back. I returned the second call, all fine, until I noticed a while later – three hours and forty-seven minutes later, to be precise – that I still appeared to be on the call. What’s more, apart from the banner across the top informing me of this outrage, the screen was resolutely blank, so I had no way of cancelling the call, other than by turning the phone off.

Never mind: luckily there is a handily placed O2 shop in Briston, with friendly ‘gurus’ in it. I trotted down there next morning.

Imagine my disappointment when I found the shop closed for refurbishment. Who cares about interior decor in a mobe crisis? I’d be perfectly happy with mobe surgery in a portaloo.

I decided to console myself with a trip across the road to M & S for some of their finest cashews robed in Belgian chocolate. You’ve guessed it: closed for refurbishment. &*%!?^%

Next I tried a phone shop in Brixton market. The popular press would have you believe anything is possible in one of these establishments: they’ll sell you a burner phone, fix up the whizzy device you acquired down the pub, fence your stolen laptop and deliver it to an address in Kazakhstan. Sadly, the very nice man there tried his best but couldn’t conjure any life into my phone screen.

So I headed up west to a big O2 shop, where I was told in no uncertain terms that there was nothing that could be done with an ancient Huawei. I duly bought a bottom-of-the-range Samsung. The salesman assured me the transfer to this device could be done seamlessly, took my money, did the ‘paperwork’, and handed me my new phone in a sealed box… unbelievable!

He looked surprised when I asked if I could open it and check that everything was on it. Oh –  I wanted everything transferred, did I? Fortunately for him, he couldn’t find a cable capable of connecting old to new, so sent me across the road to make an appointment at Samsung.

When the Samsung man said he could transfer my data there and then, I could have kissed him – but that would not have added to the gaiety of nations so I refrained. I watched the familiar icons appear on the screen, was assured that all my emails had come across (there were about 45,750 of them I could have done without, frankly), and breathed a sigh of relief. He handed the phone back to me, saying, ‘now all you need to do is transfer the SIM from the old phone to the new one.’ And there was I thinking I was home and hosed.

Thankfully High-tech Hector (a.k.a. Mr Verity) did this for me, and now all I needed to do was charge my new phone. Silly me! Of course, the fun had only just started…

I got the lead out of the box, plugged it in to my phone – then realised the other end of it wasn’t a USB plug. That’s the moment when the photo above was taken. I turned to Google to demand an explanation from Samsung, and received this prim little reprimand: ‘Samsung believes that the gradual removal of charger plugs and earphones from our in-box device packaging can help address the growing e-waste problem and remove any pressure that consumers may feel towards continually purchasing new chargers with new phones.’ WE WOULDN’T HAVE TO BUY ONE AT ALL IF YOU JUST HAD THE SAME PLUG AS EVERYBODY ELSE!!! The next day the phone shop down the road flogged me a special plug with a Samsung socket for £20.

As any service and website I’ve ever used got wind of the fact that I had a (scary voice) new device, the requests from my laptop for long-forgotten passwords began to multiply. Normal service has not been resumed.

Out in real life, I’ve struggled to get into the gym, because even the turnstile knows I have a new device. The ripples continue to radiate outwards.

Yesterday’s fresh outrage was that when I went to look up a train the National Rail Enquiries screen kept dancing about, which meant I couldn’t fill anything in. It was Hi-tech Hector to the rescue again,  who resolved this by accepting an update – something I’d been resisting because in my experience updates are hugely disruptive, and I’ve had quite enough of that already, thank you.

The irony is that the problem that started all this is still not resolved: I still can’t answer the phone because I can’t seem to exert the correct number of pascals on the green button… Those tins on strings were so much easier to work!


  1. Verity, I feel your pain. Our go-to man is called Mr Fonz which I suspect is not his given name.

    Hope it’s all sorted now.

    • Things are nearly back to normal, thanks, and my strike rate for answering calls is getting better!

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