Call me maybe


I spent many years rebelling against Apple and the iPhone culture. “Pah! What has Apple got, that Nokia hasn’t?”, apart from 30% of the market share, an innovative design team and the ability just to be cool without even really trying?

No, no, no, no. I don’t want one of those great big iPhones when I can have a dinky mobile phone. Look how cute and small it is, see how I have to creatively limit my text messages to 160 characters and who doesn’t want to play snake? It’s retro. 

Eventually my sister bought an iPhone and sibling rivalry got the better of me. She already top trumps me domestically with the husband, the house and the beautiful blonde babies, she can’t have advanced technology as well. She gets lego pieces posted into her DVD player, televisions smeared with jam and an iPod that only plays one song because one of the children spilled orange squash all over it. She does not get state of the art telecommunication devices. That is the only area in which child-free divorcees can shine and it is very dangerous to take it away from them.

So, I got myself an iPhone, and I loved my iPhone, and when it was time to renew my mobile phone contract I got another iPhone. A newer, slimmer, sleeker, more gorgeous iPhone and I loved it more than ever.

And then something started to go wrong.

Now, I don’t like to make false accusations and I am not sure if the problems that I have been facing recently are caused by my cherished iPhone or by my mobile phone provider so I’m going to blame them both. Apple and EE you are being named and shamed for the trauma that I experience everytime I try to make a phone call, receive a phone call or send a text.  Oh yes, those are the three basic functions that you expect a phone to be able to do.

My phone has no problem taking a photograph and adding a fancy filter to 1950s it up. It will happily play me a music track whilst telling me who is singing and showing me a picture of the album cover. It will allow me to google “Just how many Baldwin brothers are there?” and “Images of cats that look like Hitler” and it will tell me how to pronounce antidisestablishmentarianism but it won’t phone my boyfriend, it won’t text my best friend and when my mother rings me it makes out that I’m already on the phone and goes straight to voicemail (some people would consider the latter a benefit, I would like to categorically state that I am not one of those people).

Last weekend I had to dial Brad 52 times before it connected. I appeared to have full signal on my phone, Brad was sitting waiting for my call and yet every time I dialled his number it wouldn’t connect. The phone just beeped at me like a demented roadrunner before disconnecting. The more times it did this, the more frustrated I got. Not least because now my call record makes me look a little too fatal attraction for my liking and I’m about 5 seconds away from smashing the phone into the wall with exasperation.

Sometimes I don’t have any signal at all, it just cuts out completely in the middle of a call and won’t return until I turn the phone off and back on again. Last time that happened I was trying to speak to my bank:

Attempt one: “Thank you for calling, for security purposes, can you just confirm your mothers maiden name?” “Yes, of course I can it’s….*dial tone*”

Attempt two: “I just need to do a few security checks with you. Can you tell me the first number of your pass code?” “I absolutely can it’s… *dial tone*”

Because that doesn’t look suspicious.

Sending a text message is another challenge. If the person I’m texting owns an iPhone and I send an iMessage or a Whatsapp message using wifi I have a 95%* sending success rate.

*absolutely no scientific calculation has gone into reaching this percentage

If I send a common or garden SMS message, I generally have a ‘Message send failure’ situation and have to attempt to resend the text about 12 times. I can’t tell you how tedious doing the same thing over and over again is (unless it involves watching a dog skateboarding, that never gets old).

Often I give up. No point sending a ‘Quick! Turn over to ITV2, there’s a dog on a skateboard’ text three hours late. 

My phone very rarely tells me that someone has called until long after the call has happened. It won’t ring or flash or acknowledge in any way that someone is trying to speak to me even when my phone is physically in my hand. Then, to add insult to injury, it will send me a snotty text message which says ‘You have 4 missed calls from the above caller. Last call 5 minutes ago.’ Putting the blame for the missed calls firmly on me. YOU have 4 missed calls. No I don’t! I had the phone in my hand you incompetent, dysfunctional, inept cellular cretin. 

The other thing it does is to make a little twinkly noise indicating that I have a voicemail, so I immediately call up voicemail and it says ‘You have a voicemail recorded a week ago last Tuesday but I’ve only just bothered to tell you about it now because I’ve been too busy searching for cats that look like Hitler and counting all the Baldwin brothers’


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