The Day Emergency Services Listened To My Pocket

I’m not exaggerating when I say I hate my phone more than anything else in the world. Well, okay that is an exaggeration, but I certainly do hate it. You know, a lot. Close enough.

I’ve had the Samsung something (not the official name, but I’m not one of those sad acts people who remember the various phone models) for over a year and a half. It’s on contract, which is the only reason I’ve stuck with the bloody thing (a bit of advice for you all; check if your phone sucks before you sign your name and make it yours), otherwise it would have been destroyed a long time ago. Fortunately, the deal ends sometime in January, and my torment will be over. Hopefully the company won’t want it back, and I can smash the bugger against the wall. It won’t solve anything, of course, but it’ll make me feel a hell of a lot better.

Tragically, this phone is probably one of the better phones I’ve owned, which doesn’t say much for the other models. It does have some good points though; it’s touch screen, so texting and the like is a lot easier to do, the camera is decent enough, and I really like the music player. The battery life isn’t too bad either, and on the face of it, the phone was good value at the time. Ultimately, I’ve used it a lot, and it hasn’t really let me down.

But it is far, far, far, far from perfect. All those good features are rather tainted by the many flaws this phone has. What’s wrong with it? Let me tell you…

  1. It is really slow when I’m listening to music and then try to do anything else.
  2. It freezes when I receive texts.
  3. It freezes when I try to close texts.
  4. It opens up stuff whether I’m not touching it or not; seriously, I put it down and suddenly it is doing things.
  5. I don’t have internet, so that whole opening up thing costs me money…thanks for that.
  6. It doesn’t have any games.
  7. It takes an age to turn on and off.
  8. Oh yeah, and IT CALLS PEOPLE ALL THE TIME!

I could begrudgingly accept the first seven points (I fixed the internet thing at least) were it not for that final point, which, to use a well worn cliche, is the straw that broke the camel’s back. It really bugs me.

You see, my phone will often do this on its own. I’ll read a text, close it and then put the phone down. Next minute, it is calling somebody. Same thing happens if I put the thing in my pocket. Somehow it unlocks the swipe lock, goes into my contacts, and calls someone in my contacts. It called one person five times in a row (by this point, I think my friends are just used to ignoring it). I believe my friend Hughes, who was clearly bored, listened to my pocket for ten minutes. AND I DIDN’T EVEN KNOW UNTIL HE TOLD ME A WEEK LATER!

This calling thing has been a problem since the beginning, and has never stopped. It was up to the same trick last night, called my mate Gary at 2 in the morning. I tried hanging up with the swipe hang up option, but every time I tried to drag it across, it would give up half way along. I did that five times! Finally, In a panicked ‘press everything before it wakes him up and his family’ I managed to hang up before I got an angry response from a sleepy Gary. Sadly, that has happened before. Let’s just say I wasn’t so lucky in the past.

*sigh*

Now, there is the option to put a keypad lock on it. So I tried that. Thought up a code, and boom, problem solved. There is no way it can get past that!

Ha. Ha. How foolish I was to think that.

Technically, it did work; I didn’t call my friends again! But to compensate, it called somebody else, which was much, much worse.

On the lock screen, there is an SOS button that you can use in case you forget the code. I assumed, as I hadn’t set it up, this wouldn’t do anything. Or maybe it would call the company. But eh, what are the odds I’d set off that tiny button?

Eh, quite high. But it didn’t call the company, oh no. That would have been logical. Instead, the number SOS called was 999. To my American friends, that is our version of 911; the emergency services. I didn’t know this, but I soon found out, when, during my walk home, I happened to grab my phone and realized that it was calling someone. That someone happened to a confused fellow on police dispatch. In my panic, I hung up without saying a word.

Oh…great.

Fortunately, the police did not send a car to my location. Nor did they call me back (though one might question why they didn’t; what if it was an emergency?). I was very grateful for this, as telling the concerned dispatch man ‘sorry, my phone pocket dialled you when I was walking’ would not exactly be a proud moment for me. But thankfully I was saved from that embarrassment.

Needless to say, I’ve taken that lock back off, and put my friends at risk again. It’s inconvenient to them, but hey, better than ringing the police. I would take the precaution of staying well away from my phone, but I already know that doesn’t mean anything.

*sigh*

So, people, don’t buy the Samsung something. Avoid it like the plague. It is not worth it. Between you and me, I’m sure it’s going to survive until January. I walk over a bridge when I head into Durham, and the temptation to just drop it off the edge is increasing every day…

Stupid thing.

Have a good Friday everyone,

Alex

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