More iPhone 14 Pro Max


This is where I get pissed off at my readers. Well, at least those who responded.

Number one, I DID NOT SWITCH TO T-MOBILE! This makes me crazy, not only the people who can’t read, but don’t read. Happens all the time. I write about something and I get scabrous e-mail from people that I didn’t mention this or that when if they only read what I wrote they’d see that I did! And then there are those who can’t read, don’t know what a quotation mark is. It never occurred to me that people would not see the bit about switching to T-Mobile was written by Om Malik. What I wrote was: “So I decide to e-mail Om (whom I’d referenced as “Om Malik” above, and one more time below) and this is what he said:”. And then I used quotation marks. But I got an insane number of e-mails asking me what I thought of T-Mobile. Crazy. This is why you can’t deal with the public.

Oh, you can give people what they want. They call that business. I’m interested in art.

As for T-Mobile… My inbox was also inundated with people testifying as to the service. This too makes me crazy. BECAUSE MOST OF THEM DON’T KNOW ANYTHING ELSE!

This is like when you ride the chairlift and ask people how they like their new skis. They bought ’em, THEY LOVE ‘EM! But for someone like me, who cases the market, who owns multiple pairs, has demoed many models, I know that there are distinct differences between the brands. Now a casual skier may not care, but… Bottom line, most Volkls are stiff and worthless in the bumps. You say your under 90mm-waisted skis are perfect for powder, when I own a pair of 118s, as do most who ski many days a year in powder country, because it makes it so much EASIER! The wider girth allows the ski to float. So if you’re happy with T-Mobile…

I’ve experienced T-Mobile. Many times at Vail.

Let’s start with Mid-Vail, I get high speed everywhere inside Mid-Vail, a lodge. Until recently, AT&T didn’t get any service whatsoever, now you don’t get high speed data, if you get data at all. As for T-Mobile… GOOD LUCK! I remember standing in zero degree weather at the top of Chair 26 waiting to meet a family and they never showed up. They ultimately e-mailed me from the village at the end of the day. THEY’D NEVER SEEN THE TEXTS!

Or on Skyline, #37, the main chair in Blue Sky Basin, which is miles from the village/base. We’re riding past Lover’s Leap and the phone rings and I’m talking and the person with me is stunned, positively stunned I tell you. There’s no cell service in Blue Sky Basin, everybody know that! So I asked her what cell service provider she was using…T-MOBILE!

Now in truth, not every service works in every location. So, you might be living where Verizon, where none of the providers has service. Buy the one that works. Although you really don’t have to, because of WI-FI CALLING! Yes, it’s free. It hooks up to your internet. Go into the Cellular settings. Verizon is very spotty where I live, but I’ve got no issue whatsoever, because of WI-FI CALLING!

And then there’s price.

My philosophy is different from most. I’d rather deny myself, save up for the best, rather than settle for the mediocre. Like when I purchased my stereo back in 1976. I could buy a receiver, or for the same price I could get an integrated amplifier with enough power to really sing, to never hear distortion. So I sacrificed for a year without FM in the home. And then bought a top of the line Yamaha tuner, not that it’s worth much these days. Ditto my Nakamichi 582.

But the landscape has changed. All these devices are cheaper and better. Frequently the best costs little more. Also, people don’t employ the big picture. I’ve actually talked to people who have a house budget of multiple hundreds of thousands of dollars, and then their dream home is ten to fifteen thousand more and they say NO! Crazy. You’re gonna live there for years! Like features in your car…don’t skimp, it’s a fraction of the overall price.

And let’s get back to the skis. No, let’s stay with the phone. The smartphone is a very powerful device and most people only use a fraction of its power. Like the video-recorder I purchased in the eighties, an NEC, which is mostly out of the consumer products business these days. It was almost a thousand bucks. But, the remote had a window and you could push buttons to record, it was positively simple. So, in the era when most people didn’t record on their tape machines (most didn’t start until the TiVo/hard drive era), I did. I didn’t watch anything in real time other than sports.

I am what they call a power user. And it’s fine if you’re not, but don’t confuse your needs with mine. You may not need the latest features, but I do. Don’t judge me. Because there’s plenty of stuff you’ve got that I don’t need at all.


There’s price.

As referenced above, I’m willing to pay a premium for excellence. It’s kind of like a car. I used to drive BMWs, now I drive a Saab which is really a Subaru WRX. My 1985 BMW had a computer, a bunch of idiot lights for oil level and more, and my 2005 Saab…HAS NONE OF THIS! All it does is handle and accelerate really well. It’s got four wheel drive and turbocharging and it’s noisy and after buying it I realized you got something for more money. Do you get twice the car if you splurge for a BMW or Mercedes? Absolutely not. But you do get a bunch of stuff that is nice if you can afford it.

So, you’re happy with little rural coverage, you like saving money, kudos, good for you. But coverage is very important to me, and I’m willing to pay for it!



Then there are those who e-mail me that they’re happy with their old phones, their 6s… What these wankers don’t realize is THOSE PHONES ARE NO LONGER SUPPORTED! So, these same people, who are usually oldsters uptight about privacy, don’t realize by saving money they’re leaving themselves wide open to hacking, because Apple no longer provides security updates for their phone. As for devices lasting forever…buy something inert, like furniture. And if everything was supported there’d be no progress. This is one of the reasons Steve Jobs’s return to Apple was so successful, he was willing to cast aside convention, write off legacy all together, in order to push the envelope into the future. But I get all this hate mail blaming Apple because it’s not making and supporting ten year old products.

As for those who say you don’t need a new phone, I point you to the power-using point above.

But even worse is the people who say you need no smartphone, that a landline is good enough. ABSOLUTELY NOT, NO WAY!

I’ll give you some examples. When my iPhone finally got service yesterday it started going wild, downloading phone message and texts from the previous two days. Like the text from the dentist looking for confirmation of my appointment today, which I had to book nearly two months in advance. They were gonna cancel it if they didn’t hear back.

Many other phone calls, important messages.


Forget utility. The internet is no longer new. Not only can you buy things online, you get endless confirmations from medical labs, even restaurants via text. And people expect you to be reachable all day. If you don’t get back to them for hours they think you’re being rude or have been in an accident. Don’t like it? Be my guest. But this is the world we live in today. The train left the station a long time ago.



Dear Robert Lefsetz,

My name is Theresa, and I work in the Executive Office of Verizon.  I received your complaint from Manon Brouillette, EVP & Group CEO-VZ Consumer, and wish to speak with you to address your concern.

I would first like to apologize for any inconvenience that you may have experienced with our company.  I understand from reviewing your concern that you are without service

I truly appreciate the opportunity to address your concerns, as it helps us become better at what we do.

Please contact me directly at: _______________, Monday through Friday between the hours of 12:00 AM – 9:00 PM.  I look forward to speaking to you soon.





I called, she couldn’t help. She said she put the A-team on it and she would get back to me. I believed her, she was working for the muckety-muck, as for the senior technician who was supposed to get back to me from the day before…I’m still waiting.

So I left to go to Ralph’s house and when I got to his neighborhood, a road was closed. This was in the hills, it was twisty and turny, and at least half the streets had no sign. So, I was on my own. I’d printed a map and directions, but I hadn’t bothered to zoom in on the map pic so tight that every street was clear, it seemed unnecessary. But, the street I was supposed to take according to Google’s directions was closed. You need a smartphone to get around.

And when I got home, just before three, there was an e-mail with instructions, and they didn’t work.

But then Ray called.

Ray told me he was called “the e-Sim whisperer” at Verizon. I got tons of e-mail castigating Apple, but it was a Verizon problem, not an Apple problem.


Ray kept sending me invitations to activate, and they never worked. We tried everything in the book. And then Ray asked if the phone was backed up to the cloud, which it was, so he said to erase it, which I did.

So now we start with a clean phone, and Ray says to skip cellular activation.

And after we set up the rest of the phone, we attacked it.

We went through four Verizon prompts to activate, and each and every one didn’t work. This was astounding Ray, but this is what was going on.

Meanwhile, since I was on the call with Ray for AN HOUR AND A HALF, we got to be best friends. Not only do I know where he grew up, his work career, but how he met his wife, where his kids go to school and what he does on the weekends. Because we were constantly waiting for things to work, and they did not.

And thank god I’m a power user. Do you know how many times I had to go in and out of the settings, read the ICCID number? Man, otherwise it would have taken days. As it was, mine was one of the longest phone calls Ray had ever been on. Most iPhone 14 calls last ten minutes, never mind people with other problems.

And when the phone finally activated, which was astounding, Ray said he was making a notation, for future reference, to spread to the company. Who knows what the problem was, Ray didn’t even know, the workaround that had worked for him for weeks didn’t work, but one thing is for sure, it was not Apple’s fault.

But eSIMS… I could list the advantages. But you’d rather have a physical SIM from the past. Like in your iPhone 6s.

So yes, a little after four thirty p.m. yesterday I got service. And maybe now I’ve completely recovered, well, not quite yet.

You see I’ve been a daily computer user since 1986 and my Mac Plus. And one thing I’ve learned is…if you have a major major problem it will always get fixed. But this was the longest I’ve ever had to wait for a fix. This time many Verizon techsters were stumped. Thank god I got to Ray.



So, yes, I’m still on Verizon. I want that rural coverage.

And it’s not only rural… L.A. is a hilly town, Verizon delivers the most consistent service. Whenever the phone call drops out…it’s always T-Mobile or AT&T. And if you’re doing business, this is important. Your kid may not need the most reliable connections, but the amount you pay for your phone bill is a pittance compared to the amount you’re earning for a living.

If you scrimp and save, it’s to your detriment. I see it all the time, and the people you want to be in business judge you for it. I’d like to say otherwise, but this is the truth. They ask you if you’ve seen this streaming show… Don’t say you don’t have that service and you won’t sign up for it, say you haven’t seen it yet and then pay for the month! You can’t cut corners in business. You’ve got to spend money to make money. I’d like to tell you it’s untrue, but it’s a fact.

As for this screed… It was gonna be more detail about what happened in my conversations with Verizon but it would have gone over the head of almost everybody.

So I got hung up in pissing off my audience.

Oh, that’s another thing, you can present someone with the truth, even a picture, and they’ll deny it, stay with their old position. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t deliver the truth, some people will change their minds after the fact, but the truth is the truth.

And the truth is America has got crappy cell service. It’s much better overseas, everybody who’s been there knows this. As for T-Mobile being a good overseas option, I understand that. But, I can pay Verizon ten bucks a day in Europe or Asia or South America, and if I’m gone for ten days, it’s a hundred bucks. What’s that in comparison to the trip costs? What’s that in comparison to what you might make on the trip? It’s just like business class. Believe me, if you fly twelve hours in the back of the plane it’s going to take you a week to recover. That’s what business class is about, not showing off. Which is why American’s planes to NYC are now mainly business class, have been for years. A small first class section, maybe a third of the plane economy and the rest is business, with lie-flat seats. If people are paying, they want service, ergo the seats. And in truth, unless you’re going at the busiest time, business class to NYC from L.A. is affordable. Now overseas, that’s another issue, that’s where status and upgrades and points come in. But as to the number of points I’ve got…I’ve got no idea. It’s just not worth it to me to track them. I’d rather work trying to make more money than spend all that time getting credit card bonuses and combing the flights for one I can get for free… Time is the most valuable commodity, waste it at your peril.

Now I’m only reacting to those who e-mailed me. If the rest of you understood what I wrote, mea culpa.

All I know is I’ve now got service.

I’ve crawled from the wreckage into a brand new car!

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