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Why I returned the LG CU515 Cell Phone

© November 2008 Anthony Lawrence

I've already related how I came to buy this LG CU515 cell phone. I had buyer's remorse almost instantly: I hadn't researched reviews, I hadn't even tried to look at one at the store.. it was really foolish to just blindly order this.

Unfortunately, AT&T makes this "upgrade your cell phone" process painful. I had originally gone to a local AT&T store, hoping to get my phone upgraded there. No, they don't do that. They can SELL me a phone, but if I want a free upgrade, I have to do that at the website. Aaargh..

Of course my wife cheerfully pointed out that I could shop the store and then go to the website.

Well, yeah, but what if they have different phones at the website then they do at the store? Even if they do have them, it's annoying.. I do not like this policy. That's why I ordered "blind", hoping for the best - or at least for a decent phone.

That shouldn't be hard. I'm not fussy about features. It needs to be a phone first and as for anything else.. well, I don't really care about anything else. I care that it can connect to the Internet to get my Gmail, but even that isn't critical. Everything else - cameras, music, ring tones - I don't care. Don't need any of it. So just about any phone should be fine, right?

Yeah, except I forgot about design ergonomics.

The LG CU515 is probably a perfectly fine cell phone. I mean that I'm sure it can make and receive phone calls and as that's all I really need, it would work for me. Except..

Well, the first thing that I didn't like was the charger. It looks like a USB connector and goes into the side of the phone, but first you need to pry off a little plastic cover with your fingernails. The cover is on the cell phone's charging port; it has to come off before you can charge the phone. It looks cheap, it's hard to pry off if you just cut your fingernails and I bet it will fall off and disappear soon, leaving the port open to collect dirt. Lousy design, strike one.

I installed the battery to get it charging. I noted that the battery cover was hard to remove. Strike two.

But I left it charging overnight and was about to activate it the next morning when I realized that I'd be smarter to transfer my Smart Chip from my old phone because I have all my stored phone numbers on it. So I went to take out the battery to get at the chip..

I couldn't get the stupid thing open.

There's no magic here. It's just like most cell phones: a little bump you push down and then slide the cover off. But it would not budge. I even had my wife try it.. no luck. That was it for me - I called AT&T and asked for an RMA. They sent one immediately by email, no complaints about that.

I then had a small epiphany. The problem with my phone seems to be charging.. it's several years old, maybe the battery is worn out? Duh.. I'm ordering a new battery today. They are ridiculously expensive, but I'd rather try that than go through more of this. If the new battery doesn't work, I'll research cell phones more carefully and get something else.

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