Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Golden Age of Wireless

My iPhone was stolen this week. Some people might think "Haha, stupid iPhone haver. Serves you right for havin' a stupid iPhone." Well, the joke's on me I guess. I won't get into the nitty gritty of how it happened, because that would make me seem like an even dumber stupid iPhone haver. But I would like to share what happened after the thievery.

After the requisite self-hatred for being a dumbshit who got his iPhone stolen, I started to piece together the things I probably SHOULD have done to protect myself. Oh, simple things like password protecting my phone. Or password protecting my SIM card. Or doing this or this or this.

But no, I thought that I would always have this phone and I never thought that anyone would ever steal it. But the funny thing about an iPhone is that it's a computer in your pocket. And that computer can be used to steal your identity and make your life a lot more complicated than it is right now. As I was lying in bed that night at 3 am wondering if somebody was coming to my house (because they had my address now) to steal more stuff, I considered that I should probably have locked the damn phone in the first place. I spent my afternoon changing all my passwords and deleting shit.

The next day I looked on my credit card's theft protection policy and saw that my phone was covered. Whew. But in order to get reimbursed, I'd have to file a police report. With the LAPD. Nice. I knew that would be pleasant, but necessary. So I made my way down to the police station closest to where the theft happened, and lucky for me, 2 hours free parking on the street outside. I walked in to see two men in blue staring at me, one of which looked like he had had about a dozen too many donuts. I walked toward him, as he was the guy directly in my path, and before I was two steps toward him he pointed his finger to the right, to a much younger much leaner cop. And that cop didn't seem too excited to be helping me.

I told him my story, and he stated "we're gonna have to list that as a 'lost' item because you didn't actually witness the theft". How many people actually see somebody steal their shit? Unless you're getting mugged, you're not seeing anything. So I told him that I called my phone and somebody answered, so I KNOW it was stolen. Apparently he thought that was good enough, cuz he changed the lost to stolen. I told him how AT&T wasn't gonna replace my phone with anything but a non-iPhone Nokia lame piece of shit for the low price of 50 bucks. At the end of the report, he told me his own story of how his iPhone had gotten water splashed on it in a scuffle, and AT&&T was ready to charge him full price to replace it. This for a guy who was Protectin' and Servin'. I told him they should give him a new phone for free. I walked out with copy of police report in hand.

And I went straight to the Apple Store in Century City to get a replacement. Now I couldn't just go without a phone for a while while my wife's in late/delivery stage of pregnancy, could I? I ordered basically the same thing as the first time. We were almost done with the transaction when the Apple sales rep told me it would be a $549 "upgrade" instead of the retail $299. That for being the asshole who had his phone stolen. Yeah, I wanted that to happen. After talking to two AT&T phone reps who toed the company line of screwing theft victims into paying more than full price, the Apple guy finally got his manager and got me the phone for the same price I paid pre-thievery. And the Apple Store guy told me how I could call AT&T with the SIM card nubmer and have them shut off the phone completely. I did that the next day.

Now all is back to the way it was before the theft. Except I'm down another $375 or so until the reimbursement arrives, if it arrives at all. And that shit is locked down tight. Takes me another 5 rings or so to unlock and answer the damn thing, but I'm not going through all that again.