... feminist, atheist, autistic academic and historic narrowboater ...
Likes snooker, beer, tea, rivets and solitude, and is strangely fascinated by the cinema organ.
And there might be something about railways.

Wednesday 21 March 2012

New phone trauma

I don't really like change, not unless it's a change I've chosen to make (like moving onto a boat, something like that) at any rate. Well, who does. New versions of familiar software, changes to Blogger, just makes me want to run away and hide.

Way back in 2007, I had to buy a new phone. I was persuaded to try a Nokia N95 8gb. Oh, how I loved it. So square, so black, so heavy. Such a lovely solid clunk when I slid out the keyboard. In no time I was texting away with one thumb, loving the T9 set up, easily changing words when necessary. Lovely display, 5mp camera, great video, slide the screen the other way and it had separate controls for the MP3 player. I am yet to be convinced that a better phone has ever been made.

But it's in its fifth year now, and starting to slow down. It keeps switching itself off. For some time, I have been coming to terms with the fact that I am going to have to replace it before it gives up the ghost altogether. I wandered round phone shops, picking up the merchandise, but nothing came near. Either it didn't have a numeric keypad, or not a good enough camera; or not enough memory. I didn't want much - just a texting machine with a few extras really - but it had to feel right.

Then No. 2 Son said that No. 1 Son had a new phone he thought I would like. I looked at it and I did like it. It didn't have everything I wanted - in particular, no numeric keypad, just a touchscreen one or a little slide out querty keyboard. But it had a good camera, and while the integral memory was tiny, it could take a micro SD card. Most of all though (shallowness alert!) it was shiny and black and heavy and it went clunk. It was a Sony Ericsson Xperia Pro Mini.

I rang up Vodafone, who have been badgering me to 'upgrade' since my beloved N95 was six months old, and gave them the glad tidings that at last I had found a phone I was reluctantly prepared to switch to. First they said they didn't have one, then that they did. Eagerly I awaited at the Post Office the next day to collect it, but when I opened the box, it was the wrong phone. There were bits of Xperia Pro Mini in the box, namely the backs, but they didn't fit the X10 in the box. I sent it back, having first had the obligatory argument with the call centre.

In the end, I have had to switch to Orange to get the phone I wanted, and that was only through Carphone Warehouse. Don't ask me how these things work; I'm not a young person. There is an upside to this, then, in that Orange seems to have much the best signal here. Fortunately they didn't seem to associate me with the person of the same name who had a big row with them about a dongle a few weeks ago. (Somehow I ended up being sent a bill for £1 as a result of that, complete with return envelope. Rather than argue about it again, I just sent them a cheque for £1). I could have bought one outright and carried on with my Vodafone contract, but it worked out a fair bit cheaper this way.

So, I am currently running two phones, as I try to get used to the Experia. It looks and feels lovely, but for a start, I don't like the jolly speech bubbly way it displays texts. I don't like the way it turns my (or others', I suppose, if there's anyone left still innocently using them; I was shocked to realise that that's probably how mine have been looking to others for ages) sweet little punctuation mark smileys into vulgar brightly coloured cartoon characters. I quite like the way the T9 works, but haven't yet worked out how to go back and change a word post hoc, and I definitely do not like the way it is very easy to accidentally send something before you've finished polishing it.

And now this is bothering me. My Vodafone contract requires a months notice. I'd be happy to give them a month's notice prior to stopping using the phone, so I rang them up and they said that they could do anything on the phone but that; I would have to put it in writing. I could do this in an email but would have to give them all my security details, or it wouldn't work, and the email form is only 900 characters long anyway. But they gave me the PAC code and said that I could transfer the number to the new phone and the service would (fairly obviously) be terminated immediately. But I would then end up paying for a month's service that I couldn't use, and even if it's only a tenner, that annoys me. If it happens to everyone, that's a lot of tenners they're getting to not pay tax on. Any ideas, anyone?

I just wish I didn't have to do this at all, but my N95 is too precious to use until it falls apart or stops working entirely.


  1. I used to have a Nokia N95 so I know how you feel about it, they are great. Have you considered just buying another one? I know this is just putting off the inevitable but there are lots on eBay.


  2. You think you've got problems? I still dial 0 and say "Operator, put me through to Worthington two nine four."

    BTW, I've been reading here for a little while, your blog having caught my eye because I've just moved to a little place called Chertsey.

  3. Hi Sarah, I don't know if the following links will be of any help to you, but it seems there are quite a few Nokia N95 owners with similar problems:

    Obviously, make sure you've backed up all your phone's data, if attempting any of the advice contained above! Good luck with whatever you decide.


  4. Thanks for those thoughts. I've bought the new phone now though. I thought any second hand N95 wasn't going to have been as well looked after as mine, and my main problem is that there is no way to back up stored texts, believe me, I've tried to find one, so I don't want to risk making things worse.

    No, I am resigned to getting used to the new phone; I just don't want to give Vodafone £10 for a month's worth of nothing. But I probably will end up doing so. Just as Santander are probably going to get away with wriggling out of giving me the £100 they promised me for switching my account to them - I did everything required, and when I asked where my £100 was they said, sorry, the wrong account was opened. Funny that when every bit of paperwork I have and every screen I went through was blazened with the offer. I'm never sure whether to waste time and energy fighting these things or just let it go and let the bastards win.

  5. Oh how I sympathise. Am going through similar problem - had PAC code all lined up ready for switch-over, only to discover mobile locked to the current (soon to be previous) provider. Tesco mobile quoted 28 days to unlock phone!!!! Such is the modern world of technology? A.

  6. Thanks for taking the time to write that post.