MOBILE MAD; My free phone cost me dearly.
I MADE the fatal mistake of giving in to Temptation last week.
Not temptation of the flesh or overindulgence, but that of responding to a seductive text on my mobile offering a free upgrade.
Big mistake! If you have a mobile, you will know that you are entitled to one of these offers every year.
My existing handset was nearly two years old and because it gets a lot of use, it was looking a bit worn.
So on the advice of my 14-year-old son, who assured me this was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get the latest device, I responded.
Now what I was actually being offered was not a phone as such - it was a camera, computer, MP3 player, satnav device and phone all in one. Too late, but I quickly realised I don't need a phone that does all these things. I just need a phone that, well...phones.
Getting all these things I didn't want I also lost most of my vital numbers that I use on a day-to-day basis. If you have gone through the process, you'll know it involves something called a SIM card.
It kept lots of numbers that I didn't need but as regards my brothers, my friends, my places of work, those little emergency numbers that no one else has but me, and the sort of contacts people like me build up for interviews - all gone.
And that was despite the fact that everyone assured me it would be a simple matter to copy them over.
I endured that burden. I endured a keypad that made me feel like an elephant tip-toeing through a flowerbed. I also endured endless tuition sessions from the aforementioned 14-year-old because at 47 years of age I am determined to keep up with the pace of life.
Then it all got worse.
I had received a "rogue" phone - one that didn't do what it was supposed to do. Even the 14-year-old said: "Dad, it's definitely not your fault."
Then comes the really tricky bit - trying to return it.
Speaking to answer machines, listening to piped music, pressing endless options on the keypad and dealing with various operators who tell you that now you have accepted the new upgrade you have to keep it.
Well, I don't want it. I want back my everso-worn, slightly battered, rather out-ofdate but simple-to-use phone, complete with all the numbers I had stored in it.
And, as I am writing this, there are lots of other things I don't want in life like the endless junk mail that comes through my computer, and the woman from some company called Space Design who tells me she wants to fit a kitchen in our house because I have popped up on her phone list.
Ahh, now I get it...maybe that's where those lost numbers ended up.