For my son Asparagus' birthday, I promised him an iPhone, so on Thursday, the eve of the iPhone launch in Canada, I went to a Rogers store to reserve an iPhone. The dealer laughed in my face :
"We don't take reservation, Madame. People will stand in line, some will camp in front of the store tonight, and it will be first come first served."
I warned Asparagus : I will go to the store before work in case they open early, but if not, I will not be standing in line and I will go during my lunch hour, so if they run out or something, I'll try again some other time, OK?
So at noon, I went to the store and lo and behold, there was nobody! I told the saleswoman: "I'm here to fend off the crowd and try to buy an iPhone, please", but irony was lost on her. And then the circus began.
First of all, since I'm already a Rogers customer, I'm screwed : the iPhone is for new customers only, meaning that I cannot upgrade Asparagus' account with a regular cellphone to an iPhone account, meaning he would have to start a 3-year contract with a new cellphone number.
Second, since I have a contract with Rogers, I'm doubly screwed, because they will not let me cancel Asparagus' old account without heavy fines. Eventually, it turned out that Ive been a Rogers customer for so long that there was no contract, a little bit like being President for life.
Third, Asparagus had to be present, because he had to sign the contract. I offered to sign for him, they said no. I said: you will see me sign my son's name in his place, but neither Rogers nor Apple have to know. I'm not trying to defraud you or anything, I just want to give you my money. They said no. I said: OK, then, I will open the new account in my name and give him the phone to use. They said no, because you will not be able to cancel your other account. That's when my patience ran out. I started raising my voice: "What the frig does Rogers care whether I have ten accounts with them or zero account. I'm here to buy your product, do you want my money or not, friggady friggadoo?" The whole store became silent and everyone turned around to stare at me. As we know, Orientals are not used to public scenes and confrontations.
So I calmed down and called Asparagus: you have to be here, or they won't sell me the iPhone. By the time he arrived, the staff were still apologizing to me: we understand how you feel, it's not us, it's Rogers' and Apple's policies, etc..
Turns out, it was a good thing Asparagus was there, cause there were so many choices and decisions to be made, I wouldn't be able to conclude the transaction anyway.
So now we have an iPhone in the family.