Wealth Blog

The really expensive phone is here

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 28 October, 2012, 9:54am
UPDATED : Sunday, 28 October, 2012, 9:56am

It has finally arrived. The summons came in a phone call: come to the 3 shop in Hutchison House and collect your iphone 5. After the weeks of waiting. They made it sound so simple, just rock up and get it. “Take a seat,” said the girl and handed me a ripped-off ticket with a number, like the CitySuper cheese counter. There were eleven numbers ahead of me in this tiny, packed shop, all clasped by people gagging to get their expensive little Holy Grails. We waited, and waited.

After 45 minutes it was my turn. The suspense was overwhelming. “Hello. Black or white?” asked the black tee shirt wearer emblazoned with Iphone 5. Er I thought only white was available, I spluttered. “No. You want black or white? “He was fed up asking this question. What do most people choose, I inquired.

He looked exasperated now. But having been warned I could only have white, there was this new complication of choice. What does black versus white iphone 5 say about you? “Men like black, women sometimes choose white,” he sighed. “Which do you want?” White, I said firmly: harder to lose on the back seat of a taxi. “Sure?” he said in disbelief. Sure, I replied and off he went to the cupboard out back.

No I could not just transfer the stuff from the old phone to the new. Of course not, you need to go home to your old horse and cart laptop, fire up itines, and then by some trick of the light your old iphone will cough up its secrets to the new one. Sounded very complicated and old tech, couldn’t’ he just move it across for me? “No.” how about if I went to the Apple shop and consulted one of those nice Genius chaps? “You could, but the way they do it takes hours.” Thwarted at every turn.

Then we got to the tricky bit about what happens if it gets lost, stolen or strays. Most insurers won’t cover phones, especially not in cars.  Should it be removed from a vehicle or house by an authorised person or get “damaged” – no details as to how - for an extra month’s contract, you could get a new phone at up to 90 per cent discount. So not one hundred per cent covered, he stressed. In the event of it and you becoming parted. But you must tell the police very quickly and report to the insurer or it’s HK$5,800 for a new handset. I agreed to the extra month’s contract, That seemed reasonable.

Did most people agree to this? “Yes.” Then he handed me a leaflet about waterproofing your iphone and snatched it away just as fast. “You can get that, “he said,” but it’s in Kowloon Bay and you have to make an appointment and it takes two hours. No one has taken it.” So that was that then. It was like a mortgage application, mounds of forms to fill in, new contract terms, pages to sign. “Do you want the sales and marketing calls?” he said, shaking his head before I could utter. “No one does,” he said. Iphone 5 collection only took one and a half hours, on a wet Friday afternoon, so if you try this on a weekend, take sandwiches.


Things to do with a used Iphone 4S

Now my previously prized but now disabled iphone 4S looks forlorn in its scruffy old case and scratched face. It’s knackered, to be honest and you have to practically thump the button to get a response. But my daughter wants it. I point out that she is twelve and her rich friends may have one but with her track record of losing mobile phones - quickest was twenty minutes – she’s not getting even an exhausted iphone 4S. Now I discover even a knackered one is still a hot item. “Put it on ebay or better still, take it to Mongkok,” my colleague advises. “You’ll get HK$4,000 for it.”