Batteries are so heavy, said user. If I take it out, will this thing work?

Flip phones - and their users - were both evolutionary dead ends (but the phones had awesome ads)

On-Call + video Welcome again to On-Call, The Register's support group for tech support pros, in which we share readers' tales of being asked to do unreasonable things for inexcusable people.

This week, meet "James" who used to do tech support for a major mobile carrier.

One fine day "a young lady" visited the store in which James worked and "complained that her MOTORAZR V3M wasn't working."

For those of you who cannot remember 2005, it was a time when Motorola ruled the mobile world thanks to its RAZR range of thin and light flip phones. The V3M was a Motorola mobile phone with a flip design. Such things were vastly popular before the iPhone came along two years later and made every other mobile phone look like an evolutionary dead end.

The video below is of earlier Motorola flip models, but gives you a fine look at the basic design. And also some stuff you just can't put in an ad these days.

Youtube Video

But we digress. Back to James who asked to see his customer's malfunctioning phone and quickly decided it "felt a little weird." So he flipped it open, pressed the power button and … confirmed that it wasn't alive!

His next step: make sure the battery was in good order, a task accomplished by removing the phone's cover … which revealed the battery was nowhere to be found.

"Miss?" James asked, "Where is the battery?"

"You mean that little thing that was under that cute little door?" came the reply. "It made the phone too heavy!" she said.

Huh? key on keyboard

If this laptop is so portable, where's the keyboard, huh? HUH?


James therefore delivered a small and respectful lesson on the necessity of electricity to make electronic stuff work, but told us all that got him was the reproach "But my laptop doesn't need one!"

Have your users or customers needed to be told an utterly basic piece of information you'd expect they learned in pre-school? If so, write to On-Call and we might stylise your story in this slot on some future Friday. ®

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