[PLUG-TALK] Long and annoying Atrix chapter has ended

John Jason Jordan johnxj at comcast.net
Fri Mar 11 14:17:40 PST 2011

So today I went to "the block" at MLK and Broadway to talk to phone

First I went to the Sprint store. Tech savvy clerks, got a rundown on
the best Android phones they have - looks like the HTC EVO 4G is the
top of the list. They also claim that they have real 4G, built "from
the ground up." Plan prices were the same as T-Mobile. I'll google on
these things later. Oh, and as a PSU student I'm entitled to a 15%
discount on the plan. 

Then I went to the T-Mobile store and found that they have the HTC G2,
which I understand is completely open. Price of the phone is
ridiculous, however - $200 with a plan. 

Then I went to the AT&T corporate store next door. After complaining
about the bandwidth I explained that the internet was full of stories
about AT&T capping the bandwidth on the Atrix 4G via the SIM card. The
sales guy disavowed any knowledge of this (of course), and went into
the back room to ask the "manager." When he came back he said that
the manager had never heard of such a thing either. However, he was
willing to make me a new SIM card. I told him no, and left to go to the
AT&T Activate store at the Lloyd Center where I got the phone.

The Lloyd Center Activate store is small and has only one employee at a
time. I explained the problem to the employee and he also disavowed any
knowledge of the bandwidth capping. But he offered to make me a new SIM
card, so I decided to let him go ahead.

When he rebooted the phone it came up with a screen demanding the
e-mail address and password for my Motoblur account. I honestly could
not remember what e-mail address and password I had used when I got the
phone on February 25. He said I would have to go home and log into my
Motoblur account with my computer and ask it to reset the password. I
pointed out that if I didn't remember the address and password in the
store it was unlikely that my brain voltage would increase on the way
home sufficiently to recall it there either. He seemed amazed that I
didn't think that my Motoblur activation account was the most important
thing in my life.

I already knew that you can do a factory reset which will then allow
you to create a new Motoblur account. It wipes everything out, but I
have my contacts backed up in a text file on my laptop, and the rest
can be reinstalled. So I asked if I could just do a factory reset. He
said I could, but first I had to log in. 

He was being quite annoying, so I finally just said that I wanted to
return the phone. He protested, demanded to know why, but eventually I
just insisted. We got halfway through the return paperwork when he
picked up the phone and announced that it had a scratch on it, so he
could not take it back. (There was no scratch - he made that up.) 

At that point I gathered everything up, including the SIM with the
unactivated Motorblur account, and just walked out without saying
anything further. When I got back to my car I took the SIM card out and
put it into my old Razr V3 phone. The phone came up and all was well.

Then I went back to the corporate store at MLK and Broadway and again
tried to return the phone. This time I didn't get any crap about
scratches. However, I was informed that since I got it at an Activate
store I would have to return it there. Corporate stores can't take
phones back if they came from an Activate store. Could these people
possibly come up with more ways to annoy customers? 

So then I went to the Activate store in the Fred Meyer block at
Interstate and Lombard. A nice fellow named Ryan there took the phone
back with no fuss. For future reference, Ryan understood about locked
bootloaders and was a very accommodating fellow. Recommended.

So here I sit with no Android phone and I'm back to the beginning of my
long phone saga. I have a lot of googling to do to figure out what to
replace the Atrix 4G with. I am also kind of impressed with Sprint.
Stay tuned for the next exciting chapter of John and his trip down
telephone lane.

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