Thursday, June 18, 2009

Victoria's Wireless

I rather detest shopping for new cell phones.

Mom-E feels the same about Victoria's Secret.

(But we both love Fatherhood Friday over at Check it out!)

At first glance, these first two places have nothing in common. Give them a closer look and they're strikingly similar. Let's compare.

1. Both have very pushy sales people, who bombard you the moment you walk in the store and want you to sell you something expensive, regardless of what you, the customer, actually want.

1a. You walk into Victoria's Secret, and instantly a saleswoman mobs you saying, "Omygosh, you just have to try on this new Double-Back Racer-Back Super Silicone Bra. It goes SOOO well with all the new summer fashions."

"But I'm a guy, and I'm here to redeem my wife's card for a free pair of underwear. She doesn't own any of those kinds of tops."

"Yeah, I think the Double-Back Racer-Back will work great for her."

"Help! My IQ is plummeting as we speak."

1b. You walk into Verizon Wireless to upgrade your phone. The sales clerk says, "I think you need this new Boisenberry Hurricane phone, and today only you can get a special plan with 1,000,000 anytime minutes and unlimited media for only $19,999 per month."

"But I just want a cheap phone. Give me the fewest anytime minutes and let me pay per text. That's all. It's going to break 2 months before I'm eligible for a new phone anyway."

"So do you want one Boisenberry or two?"

"I don't know. It depends on whether the first one breaks when I hit you with it."

2. They make all of their money with the "extras."

2a. At Verizon, you can pretty much get 2 new phones for free with upgrades and rebates. But, by the time you get a new car charger, case, headset, etc., you still end up dropping $100. Because, of course, they keep changing the USB cables so that NONE of your old stuff is compatible. I'd almost give them $100 just to let me out of the store more quickly. Almost.

2b. At Victoria's Secret, the card for the free underwear is just to get you in the door. When you walk in, you pass through some special ionizing radiation that causes your lady's bra to break, right there in the store. Suddenly, a trip for free underwear turns into $100 for one of those "Double-Back Racer-Back" things, which will break the next time you get another free underwear coupon.

(As a guy, I have a hard time understanding this phenomenon. I buy my underwear in a package at Target. For what it costs for a bra for Mom-E, I can buy like 20 pairs of underwear. I'm glad I'm a guy.)

You're thinking, what exactly does this have to do with fatherhood and children?

Truthfully, not much, except that we took the boys to Verizon the other night shopping for new phones. Fortunately, my two technophiles LOVED it.

Earlier in the day, my phone died. Check that, my replacement phone died. My original phone died, you guessed it, 2 months before we were elegible for an upgrade. Fortunately, Aunt-E's husband let me borrow his old phone, which lasted until just after we were eligible for upgrades. Check that, I had to borrow a battery from my father-in-law, because the battery in the replacement phone lasted about 5 minutes (so long as you didn't use the phone).

Are you beginning to see why I despise cell phone shopping?

(Now you're thinking, so that's why Dad-E took Mom-E's cell phone for a little ride.)

While we were waiting, some highlights of the boys' activities:
1. Big Brother activated a VERY LOUD alarm while trying to free a phone from its display, requiring an employee to turn it off.

2. Little Brother turned on a phone's MP3 player, again VERY LOUD, that took
Mom-E and I a full 2 minutes to turn off.

3. Both boys tested the tensile strength of the security cord attaching the phone to its display. Repeat for every phone in the store. And pushed all of the buttons.

4. Big Brother had to go potty. Twice. You guessed it. Of course, this
required an employee escort. The clerk actually asked me, "Are you going to go with him?" "No, I'm going to let a 4 year-old wander alone in the back room of a store and try to find the potty himself when he has to pee RIGHT NOW. Do you have any extra Boisenberry Hurricanes back there?"

5. Little Brother spilled Crispix crumbs all over the carpet (as a "thank you" for the high quality service, I presume.) To paraphrase Phoebe Buffet, "I wish I felt bad about the mess, but I didn't want to."


I think the two stores should merge. Call it either Verizon's Secret or Victoria's Wireless (I kinda like the latter).

They can continue to sell both phones and underwear, but they can also develop a line of (expensive) integrated products, like underwear with built in phone/blue-tooth.

If we're lucky, the two stores will annihilate each other in the merger.

Have a good weekend (we'll be shopping for "Double-Back Racer-Backs"),


  1. After working for a wireless carrier for 5 years, I think I can safely say...they are all evil. The employees are mostly just Joes trying to earn a paycheck that is shrinking every month, but the comapnies? Yeah...evil, but mainly because they are hemorrhaging money left and right.

  2. Is it wrong that I would like a Boisonberry Hurricane?

    You got to hate the aggressive sales assistants. Why is it for all of their certainty of the greatness of their deal - you're never quit eligible for it - or their is a massive flaw in it as soon as you ask a simple question?


  3. @Colorado Dad: Thanks for your insider perspective

    @mccarey: You can have a Boisenberry Hurricane for $19,999, sure.

    @Everyone: If you've ever worked for a wireless company (either phone or Victoria's Secret), I don't mean to offend by this post. We've just had a few lousy (but memorable) sales people.

  4. Would Victoria's Wireless still sell underwire bras? Because if not, there might be a problem. :)

    Great post!

    Happy Father's Day!

  5. LOL! Thanks for sharing. Rosi

  6. I'm just as uncomfortable in either store, but for very different reasons. And you captured them nicely!

  7. This was so funny! I really laughed out loud several times! It is all so true...I have to get Uncl-E to get to the computer and read this! Love Aunt-E

  8. hahaha too funny and too true about the phones breaking down just before you can get a new one...

    I don't even go into Victoria's Secret...

  9. Afraid to say it, but I JUST upgraded via Verizon yesterday...and it wasnt so bad...went into a Best pressure..I was SHOCKED!

    Happy Fathers Day

  10. @Melisa with one S: I think Victoria's Wirless doesn't care about underwires. They want to sell you one of those "Double-Back Racer-Back" things. But we're too strong for their feeble attempt at a Jedi mind trick.

  11. LOL Busy-Dad...Too funny.
    Excuse me but..your bra is ringing..

  12. @Andrew's Daddies: Many men would definitely notice the ringing bra, because that's where they're staring to begin with.

  13. Nothing is worse than a dude going into Vickie's Secret. They make you feel like a perv.

  14. AT&T is even worse. I also agree with DCUrbanDad about Vickie's Secret.

  15. I bet those double back racer back thingies have underwires. Also, those free underwear coupons allow you to pick from white, off white, or pale pink in one style cotton...not so great unless that is the kind that works for you. I HATE to go into ANY phone store. But I like having a cell phone though. This was hilarious. I had to laugh out loud too. I vote for Victoria's Wireless!

  16. That would be a great merger but you can't call it Victoria's wireless. All of us over age 25 need a good underwire. Bluetooth enabled bras with speakerphones would be awesome for hands free in the car and house and mood music!!!!!! You have a $1,000,000 idea there and then we could even coordinate bra/panty/phone combos!

  17. I would be very happy if salespeople swarmed me at our Sprint store. Everytime we go in there, they seem to ignore us.

    The wife and I went in a few months back and already had our minds made up and cash in hand for a more expensive pair of some new phones. The salespeople said "Hi" to us and proceeded to ignore us for the next hour and a half helping customer after customer that came in AFTER we did. Flirting with the cuter customers and trying to sell them on the "free phones".

    The kids started to get a little antsy after awhile and the wife wanted to just leave, but I told her, no, we needed to make a POINT. I told her to let the kids GO CRAZY in the store, and I was MORE than prepared to change my daugthers poopy diaper on their counter if it came to that.

    Several times I went up and told them that we just wanted to buy two new phones and we would leave and get ourselves out of their hair.

    Hmmm, now that I say that outloud, I AM kind of an ass. :)