...or, at least, the cell phone.
1. I have a slightly older phone. It is slow, it has a lousy camera, and it can be grouchy about connecting to WiFi.
2. I have a brilliant idea: I will replace this phone.
[pause to admire the brilliance]
3. I order a replacement, which is keyed specifically to my provider. Things are looking up.
4. The replacement (keyed specifically to my provider) arrives. I do various things to make sure that it turns on, connects to WiFi, ports stuff over from the other phone...
5. ...and then I attempt to connect it to my provider.
6. I cannot connect it to my provider, because my provider does not believe in any of the IMEIs. I am sad.
[insert emoticon of your choice here]
7. I then do the logical thing and contact customer service.
8. Customer service makes suggestions. None of these suggestions work. I point this out.
9. Customer service suggests that I do something that is impossible with this brand of phone (removing the battery to check the serial number). I point this out also.
10. We have more suggestions, including a repetition of #9. I indicate that I am not impressed.
[insert sound effects: fingers drumming loudly on desk]
11. Customer service makes a suggestion that works! I have IMEIs of the correct length! Hooray!
[insert pom-poms here]
12. My provider does not believe in the existence of these IMEIs, either.
[insert image of pom-poms being tossed in nearest waste bin]
13. I send an email to the retailer, asking them if this is actually the phone they say it is.
14. I contact my provider again, with a list of everything they have suggested to date, and asking if there is something else we can try.
15. Remember #9? And #10? Customer service makes this suggestion again. I am agog.
[insert agog face here]
16. I contemplate responding to #15, then realize I can think of absolutely nothing to say that would not require bleeping, asterisks, dashes, etc. I do not respond to #15.
17. I contact the retailer again and suggest that evidence begins to mount that, despite all claims to the contrary, this may not be a cell phone that works with this provider.
18. I await a response. I also contemplate removing my cell phone business from both the retailer and the provider.