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Have you ever lost your phone on a trip?

Crap, where’s my phone?

Being always on the go, I tend to lose things every now and then.  Despite the fact that I do check my surroundings when I alight from any mode of transportation.  So here is the story of how I lost my phone.

I was in San Jose, CA for a conference a few months back and that’s where the fun began.

VTA in San Jose, CAI was on the VTA (their local train) on Day 2 of a conference I was attending when it happened.  I was pre-occupied with a project and as the train has WiFi, I was e-mail/texting the guy I was working with while riding/waiting for the train.

As a result, I got off the train and about 10 minutes later noticed that I’d left the phone on the train.  Good grief, I thought!  I then ran back to the nearest station and checked the times for the next train in the opposite direction.  it was 20 minutes away and that would mean arriving at the meeting late, but I had no choice really.

When it came, sadly, it was not the same one I was on.  I helplessly asked the driver if there was a report of a missing phone, but nothing :-(.  I then noted the VTA number to call and went to my conference, head low and feeling so stupid.

At the hotel, using the phone at the front desk, I contacted the VTA’s Lost and Found department who advised that all items are turned in at the end of the day, but the driver walks the train and places any items found in his cab.  Cool I thought.  I then got the schedule for that train so I could intercept it.  This would be my “lunch.”

Google G1I met the train, spoke to the driver, but to my dismay, he’d not seen it.  how was that possible?  here I was in the middle of Silicon Valley, surely no one cared about a 2 year-old G-1 phone.  But alas that’s not the case.

Dejected, i thunked him for his help and walked back to the conference.

Once back at the hotel, I tried to get the phone again from another Front Desk clerk who had to ask her Manager permission if I could use the phone.  Seriously?

T-Mobile logoThe next few weeks was horrific as I had to deal with T-Mobile to work out the details.  You see, there’s no way to forward your calls to another number if you’ve suspended the line.  And I had to suspend the line so the person who found my phone can’t use it.  Retarded!

Now the quest to get a new phone began.  I thought of getting the new iPhone, but its on a different network.  Also, multiple calls to T-Mobile and visits to the T-Mobile store proved that t-Mobile’s customer service had great depleted over time.  They were clearly in the business of making money regardless of customer satisfaction.  I also thought, that I had so many other ways of keeping in touch with others, that maybe I don’t need a phone.

I did receive maximum customer service from a local store though so that deserves some mention.  My options were to buy the phone outright or extend my contract for two years, the latter meaning I’d have to change my plan of unlimited data.  This was not an option at all.

skype logoIn the meantime, my friends, one in particular was having a conniption since I had no phone.  This is despite the facet that I have a google voice number, Skype, a Skype number as well as text messaging via google voice plus facetime on the iPad.  But some people are set in their own ways :-).

The straw though, was when my mom was unable to contact me whenever she wanted.  i had to be on Skype to receive her calls and she hated leaving messages when I’m not online.

Samsung Galaxy S IISo in the end, nearly two months later, I went into a T-Mobile store and said I wanted to get the newest phone, the Samsung Galaxy S II and I don’t want to change my plan.  The guy at the store said that was not possible as he’d have to upgrade my plan to something that was in his computer (T-Mobile policy).  But he was nice enough to call the T-Mobile customer service department and placed me with the Loyalty Dept.

This was actually a very pleasant conversation and I ended up being able to keep my old plan, get the phone at “cost” and have it delivered to me via Express services for free.  Umm.. I guess they wanted to keep me as a customer as I was ready to bolt to AT&T (whom I abhor) and get a iPhone 4S.

Have you lost your communication device on your travels?  I’d love to hear your story.  Please leave a comment below.

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