I recently figured out that everyone else in the universe had a cell phone but me. To rectify this situation and hopefully move out of the 1990s permanently, I decided after much hemming, hawing, and procrastination to finally get a cell phone.
Getting a cell phone for the first time is a little intimidating. When I think of cell phone salespeople, I imagine those slick individuals at mall kiosks who harass you while you do your Christmas shopping. Or those hungry people stationed in the airport or train stations behind things set up to look like information desks. It stands to reason that I would be hesitant to put myself in the hands of people I consider one step below used car salesmen.
I ended up at the Wireless Toyz at 1483 Washtenaw in Ypsilanti, Michigan. The only reason I picked this place over any other was because I used to work right across the street and stare at their sign all day. (And I couldn’t think of anywhere else to go, besides the mall.) While I was there, I found out Wireless Toys is actually a nationwide chain, and they are in the process of opening several new locations.
I have to admit getting a cell phone at Wireless Toyz renewed my faith in humanity, including the people who sell cell phone plans for a living. After a very brief attempt to interest me in something called Blue Tooth technology (which would apparently allow me to look like a cyborg and talk on my cell phone without my cell phone being present), I kindly asked my salesperson Dominic to treat me like a little old lady despite my “young and hip” appearance.
After helping me choose my ultra-cheap plan and my free cell phone, I explained to Dominic that I would be moving to Chicago in three weeks. Because the insurance Wireless Toyz offers is cheaper than the service provider’s insurance, Dominic went on an information hunt for me. It turns out that I couldn’t purchase the Wireless Toyz insurance at that store and use it at a different Wireless Toyz in Chicago because they use different insurance companies. Dominic hopped on his computer to search for Wireless Toyz in Chicago, and we found one pretty close to where I’ll be living. To make things even easier, Dominic printed out a map for me so I would know exactly where to go for insurance or to change my number to a Chicago number if I wanted to in the future.
I realize that I’m kind of a “special needs” (i.e. pain in the ass) customer for people like Dominic, but I appreciate that he didn’t try to sell me any extra crap or talk down to me for not being a cell phone kind of person. I don’t know if Wireless Toyz pays their employees commission, but Dominic seemed much more concerned with making me happy than boosting his sales numbers.
My excellent service at Wireless Toyz didn’t end there, though. When I declined the free leather case that came with my phone-I told Dominic that I refused to wear leather for ethical reasons-he went rooting around in the back for a non-leather case that fit my phone. He didn’t do this because he had to or because I asked him to; I genuinely believe he was just trying to be a good human being.
After I was all set and done, Dominic programmed my cell phone for me and spent some time showing me how it worked. He also went through all the items on the contract with me so I knew how to cancel if I wasn’t completely satisfied.
After purchasing my cell phone plan at Wireless Toyz, entering the realm of the connected and technologically savvy people doesn’t seem so frightening anymore. Because of the kindness of my Wireless Toyz salesperson, I don’t feel like I was suckered into anything. Instead, Dominic made me feel like an empowered consumer with a shiny new toy I wasn’t paying an arm and a leg for.