Thursday, April 1, 2010

Why I Hate My BlackBerry

I bought a BlackBerry in January or maybe it was December. I wasn't hankering for one, but my cell phone was on its last legs and I am impulsive enough that a sales clerk found me to be easy picking.

As with every new keyboard, regardless of size or device, you have to get used to the layout. QWERTY only helps you locate letters. The feel of the keyboard, where commands keys are located, the agility of the trackpad/ball are things the user has to acclimatize herself to.

I thought I had set up the software for my BB and was becoming increasingly frustrated at not being able to find a menu or to be able to save photos to my computer.

Turns out, I hadn't downloaded the software. How can this be?

I am no techie, that's for sure. I am used to using technology, however, and can usually figure out whatever I am using on my own. This morning I decided to sort it all out.

Stabbing my eyes with a pen would have been more enjoyable.

Because executing the file isn't a seamless process. You have to scan a screen of small print to locate the download button. Sure it's in red, but it's small, over to the side and I am not used to having to do this next step when I pop a CD into my computer for execution.

I had to try the reinstall three times before I figured out what my problem was, was led to online tutorials that I didn't want in hopes of finding a main menu, and the process takes way too long -- so much so that I am doing this on my laptop waiting for the damn softwear to install.

Next, the keyboard. The little keys have a divot at one corner to enhance accuracy, but there is no number lock key to help me key in numbers without having to hit the alt key before every number. The alt key is also located beside the number keys resulting in two thumbs trying to operate in a one-thumb zone.

The ring tone and vibrate don't always work resulting in missed calls.

The back light fades for no reason and only on occasion.

The application icons aren't distinct enough from each other to be really helpful.

Why didn't I hold out for an iPhone?



  1. Buyer's remorse on a cellphone stings, especially if you're stuck in a two year contract like you would be with a US carrier. It happened to us a few years ago. We signed on the dotted line with a couple of mediocre phones with Verizon - who at the time, as it turned out, didn't deliver a reliable signal to our house (and still wouldn't let us out - although we probably could have fought it). This was three months before the first iPhone was announced.

    Being the Apple fanboy that I am, I spent the next 21 months in nerd purgatory - through no real fault of my own.

    It was AWFUL.

  2. well here we get to sign THREE year agreements. Not the sort of thing one should do on impulse so it's my own darn fault. On another note, I cannot figure why Canadians pay so much more for communications than do Americans. It's all the same stuff.

  3. I knew the costs were higher, but three year contracts?!? Do they at least give away the phones, or are you subsidizing coverage for the Provinces & Territories west & north of Ontario?

  4. Less expensive phones are sometimes offered free of charge. I paid $300 for mine -- to give you an idea of the ridiculous prices we pay -- and that was with a three-year plan and after a $200 rebate. It is quite possible that southern Canadians subsidize other Canadians. I believe that was true of land lines back in the day before deregulation when Bell Canada was the only game in town so it wouldn't be far-fetched to believe that would also be true now.

  5. John: This is for you. At the bottom of the article is a list of prices for broadband use in Canada. How does it compare to Internet prices where you are?

  6. Yikes!

    It's hard to price some of the cable plans because they often come as part of a package, but I happen to know I pay $35/month for 10 Mbps with Brighthouse (a subsidiary of TimeWarner). One plan combines 10 Mbps internet access with unlimited nationwide calling (VOIP) for $57/month. (We used to have that plan before we ditched our land-line and went cell phone only to cut costs.)

    I kind of scanned through the article, but I don't recall it mentioning DSL, a broadband technology using the old phone lines which is a little slower than cable (on average), but a little cheaper at the low end... though more expensive at the high end.

    For example, Verizon charges $20/month for 1 Mps, $30 for 3 Mps, or $40 for 7.1 Mps.

    A lot of folks like my mother-in-law (retired/fixed income) have the $20 DSL plan... and go email crazy ;-)