Tuesday, February 8, 2011

The phone swap

The original Virgin Mobile logo.Image via WikipediaNot a repeat.

My new Samsung Intercept kept shutting itself down, and the Internet consensus was that it was a hardware issue and that Virgin Mobile will immediately replace the device. I emailed customer service, and I just told them the bare minimum:

"Hi, my phone is a couple of days old and it keeps shutting itself off."

Their reply came after a couple hours:

"We are sorry for your problem with your phone. You can either go back to the store and swap it, or we'll send you a replacement and a prepaid return envelope."

My reply:

"My retailer sucks. Please send me a replacement."

They said sure, asked me to verify my shipping address, and FEDEX'd a replacement phone. Just like that. NO buts, no excuses, they simply overnighted a replacement phone and a prepaid padded pouch to return the old phone. I could get used to this kind of customer service.

The phone swap was actually really simple and I was done in about 45 minutes. It went more or less as follows:


  1. Shut down old phone, removed the non-OEM microSD card.
  2. Inserted OEM microSD card of new phone into old phone.
  3. Started new phone.
  4. Activated the phone through the Virgin Mobile website. This involves typing a long serial number twice, then typing a sequence in the phone's keypad. About one minute to do this, and about four more to complete the reboot.
  5. At this point the new phone was functional.
  6. Logged into my Google account. Within a couple of minutes, over 700 Google contacts and my calendars were in sync and Gmail was ready for action.
  7. Installed Lookout Mobile Security, hoping that the backups would include the apps I had already installed and maybe my passwords. Wrong, the free version only backs up contacts, which is fucking stupid since the contacts are in sync through Google. Assholes.
  8. Went to the Android Marketplace website, where to my delight I was able to push to my phone all of my applications in less than 10 minutes.
  9. At this point I had spent about 20 minutes messing with the phone. I spent another 25 logging into apps, rearranging menus, that kind of thing. 
Overall it was pretty much painless, but I would have really liked if the Lookout Mobile Security could have restored my apps list. Or if the Marketplace app could pull everything back down in one shot.