Mobiles, mobiles everywhere
I knew the writing was on the wall and quickly arranged to buy a replacement on ebay some weeks ago. Said new mobile arrived by courier and after much excitement I discovered it to be a bit of a lemon - bad sound, nasty to operate..not my bag at all. I contacted the vendor and arranged to send it back for a replacement, they said no worries. I trot off the Australia Post, pay for a pricey express post envelope and send it off.....then........nuthin.
It seems that good old Australia post have lost the bloody thing. So as it last stands I still have no mobile, am out of pocket 130 bucks and someone out there has nicked my new lemon of a phone.
Unhappy but undeterred I decide to buy a phone from a shop instead. This is where I discover that buying a new mobile is easier said than done. I go to Kmart - 'hi I just want to buy a replacement phone, I don't want a contract, I don't want to switch to vodaphone blah blah can I just have that one?' spotty young sales guy shakes his head. "Oh, to have that phone you would have to switch to Telstra, pay an unlocking fee, commit to a monthly spend but then you could cancel the contract but there would probably be a cancellation fee.." what the??? I then ask which phone out of the rows of shiny phones sitting there would be available without all the palaver and he shakes his head..I would have to go on a contract.
I head to Dick Smith, there out of all the sexy shiny phones in the display cabinet I am told I can have one dodgy looking Nokia without committing to some kind of dodgy contract. When I ask to have a look at the phone (that they want to charge me 150 bucks for) this particular spotty teenager says "nah, we're not allowed to open the boxes.....you can just look at the picture." Gee thanks spot boy, great customer service. I walk out in a huff.
On my way downstairs I pass a shiny shop front bursting with mobile phones and then notice the Vodaphone sign above the door, I then walk past a stand set up near the escalators piled high with mobiles and then discover it's for Telstra only. Finally I check the shopping centre directory which shows a shop called "All Phones" - surely they must stock, errrr, all phones for all the carriers..
I arrive at All phones to be greeted by a spotty boy who then puts me in the hands of a smirky looking 20 something girl. As soon as I utter the fatal words...'no I don't want to go on a contract I just want to buy a phone' she throws me a look of distain and points to a single box containing a crappy looking Nokia. That's it? Out of the whole shop that's all that's available to me? I look closer.....'is that phone hot pink?' I ask...'yeah' she says. I say I don't want a hot pink phone, she then reluctantly rummages around and finds a black version. I then ask what would happen if I agreed to buy the hot pink or black phone and then decide I don't like it - could I exchange it? "no" was her bored answer. I retreat to the mall via a pitstop at Donut King to ease the pain.
So here I am.....24 hours later still with no phone and everywhere shiny mobile phone shops seem to be taunting me..even at frickin Australia Post, where all my troubles began you can buy mobile phones so why is it just so tricky to JUST BUY A PHONE.
I'm now cruising ebay again, ordering yet another phone and just praying this one arrives safe and sound. Otherwise I'm heading back to Bangkok.