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Column: Cellphone assertions don’t always ring true


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According to a national research firm, most people older than 65 do not own a cellphone.

This is in contrast to the millennials who admit that the first thing they do in the morning and the last thing they do each night is check their mobile phone. It must be nice to have a strong bladder.

To increase sales, cellphone companies are targeting the older demographic. Here’s a sales call that might take place between an account rep (AR) and somebody’s grandmother (SG):

AR: Hello, Mrs. Smith, my name is Joe. I’m calling to see if we can interest you in a new mobile phone. How has your present phone been working out for you?

SG: For 75 years, I’ve dialed and someone answered. If it rang, I answered it. Can you improve on that?

AR: We’d like to introduce you to something different. It’s called a smartphone.

SG: Are you there? You keep cutting out. What’s so smart about your phone?

AR: You can carry it with you, wherever you go.

SG: It must have a very long cord. What if I go shopping?

AR: That’s the beauty of it. You don’t need a cord.

SG: No cord? You could lose a phone that way.

AR: If you misplace it at home, you can call your cellphone with your other phone and you will hear it ring.

SG: Wait a second, you want me to buy your phone, but still keep my phone so I can use it to find your phone? This is not a great marketing plan. Where does the power come from to run the phone?

AR: The phone has a battery, and you have to plug it into the wall to recharge it.

SG: Wait, I thought you didn’t need a cord. Hello, are you there? I keep losing you.

AR: Sorry ... the battery for the phone has to be charged or the device won’t work.

SG: I have a flashlight like that. Your phone should be smarter than my flashlight. What else can it do?

AR: You can just pick up the phone and say something like: “Siri, call my grandson.”

SG: Well, my grandson has one of your phones. Haven’t heard from him in a week.

AR: Don’t you see? You don’t have to dial. Just say the number or person you want to call.

SG: Had one of those phones out in the country when I was a kid. “Elsie,” I’d say, “get me 555-5555.” In a flash, my best friend was on the other end. Joe, I’m still not hearing you very well.

AR: Look, here’s the big advantage. Anywhere you are, your friends can call you.

SG: How do they know where I am? That sounds creepy.

AR: Here’s another advantage. In the car, the smartphone can give directions.

SG: You don’t have a wife to do this? I have a lovely single granddaughter …

AR: Madam, would you be willing to try the new phone?

SG: Well, let me think about it. What brand is your phone?

AR: We call it an iPhone.

SG: What does the ‘i’ stand for?

AR: Uh, I’m not sure. No one has ever asked me that before. I feel like an idiot.

SG: Well, I guess i has to stand for something. Hello, are you still there?

Television personality Dick Wolfsie writes this weekly column for the Daily Journal. Send comments to letters@dailyjournal.net.

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