My father would have been proud of me, attending Temple services on Yom Kippur. Yom Kippur is not one of those fun, eating “holidays,” but it is the most important one on the Jewish calendar.
Yom Kippur is the Day of Atonement.
No eating, bathing, using money or electricity.
We’re supposed to pray all day, atone for our sins, forgive all, and then celebrate with bagels and lox at sundown.
In keeping with tradition, I rode my bike to the Javits Center, where the predominantly Gay and Lesbian Congregation of Beit Simchat Torah, had invited several thousand Congregants and Guests, to attend their free High Holy Day Services.
I bring up the free part, because practically all the other Temples, charge a lot of money to attend High Holy Day services ($250-$300 dollars).
Beit Simchat Torah welcomes everyone, to take part in their gigantic celebration of the New Year with over 3000 attendees.
Attired in my Synagogue finery, covered by my rain pants and matching waterproof jacket, I biked along Manhattan’s West Side Highway, in a torrential downpour (like a schmuck, I might add). My iphone was protected, or so I thought, in a ziplock bag, in my jacket pocket. It turns out that bag, was not completely sealed. Oy vey.
Why was I using a cell phone on Yom Kippur? Yes, I know I wasn’t supposed to touch anything that uses electricity…but I didn’t say I was the best Jew on the planet.
Upon my rain soaked arrival at the Javits Center, I attempted to text my friend Jeff, to let him know I was there. Reaching into my watery pocket, I retrieved the stupid bag, which had an inch of water inside of it. All my fault, of course, for not double checking the zipper.
Looking at my iphone, it was now in a wacky mode, that I had never seen before. Two minutes later, it was completely dead.
Because I am not new to mixing iphones with water (I had previously ruined a different model, after jumping into a swimming pool, with it tucked into my bathing suit), I decided to spring for the Asurion insurance when I purchased this iphone 5S. It seemed like a good idea at the time.
So, here I am, with a water damaged iphone, and couldn’t figure out what to do. I had already paid 120 dollars into the insurance, and when I called Verizon, they told me, that there would be a DEDUCTIBLE charge of 200 dollars, for my replacement phone.
I headed to the Apple Store to see if I could fake them out, and get a new phone for free, since I was still under the one year warranty. The GENIUSES there, have little tiny flashlights, that are able to spot the miniscule red circles that mark your phone as a wet one. “It just doesn’t work,” doesn’t work. That’s why they call it a Genius bar, I suppose.
The nice Genius man laid out my options, which would all cost me several hundred dollars. I went home sad (at least it had stopped raining) and put the phone to rest in some Texmati brown rice, as per the advice from EVERYONE… and their brother. Actually, I have never heard anyone say that brown rice would work, but that’s all I had.In the interim, I forwarded my phone number to an old iPhone 4, that I’d kept for just this type of emergency. I’d use this slow-mo phone sans Siri, until I could decide what to do. The research began.
There was a guy on Craigslist, who claimed he could fix water damaged phones, for 45 dollars. Not a bad option.
Next stop was the T-Mobile store, to see about getting bought out of my contract, and perhaps getting a Samsung Galaxy. I decided that wouldn’t be the best solution.
Two days later, I broke down and filed my insurance claim. I had intended to keep the old iPhone and sell it on Ebay, like the one that had accidentally fallen in the swimming pool. After the last “incident” someone in Estonia paid 187 bucks for it, even with the water damage!
I wouldn’t feel so bad about having to pay the deductible, and all would be almost right, with the world.
The claim was simple, painless, and in less than 24 hours, I’d have my new-ish, AKA, refurbished phone. The bad news, was that I’d have to send back the wet phone, or it would cost me another 300 dollars. So much for honesty. I could have lied and said that it was LOST, and still have sold it on Ebay, to someone smart enough, to know what to do with it.
I took my sad iPhone, that had sat in rice since Saturday, out of the pie dish, and got ready to say goodbye. Wouldn’t you know, when I took it out of the rice and plugged it in….IT WAS WORKING PERFECTLY!
I called Asurion, was able to head off the UPS man, so the replacement would go back to them, and now all is right with the world.
So, now the question remains. Is Verizon iphone insurance worth it? Only you can choose for yourself.
I will say, that I’m glad I said those prayers in Temple.