"Africa is, indeed, coming into fashion." - Horace Walpole (1774)


invasion of the pod snatchers

Let's talk about pods. Not the peas-in-a kind, and not the 60's horror-movie kind, but the kinds that are making my life easier and harder every day.

First, my iPod. It took me awhile to get on the iPod bandwagon, but now I can't imagine life without it. 10,000 songs! Always in my handbag! Even in Africa! But here's the thing. I have had absolutely terrible experiences with this product. My first one had a hardware flaw that caused it to completely stop working in January. They replaced it because it was still under warranty, but, due to the fact that my computer has 1/2 as much memory as my iPod, I had to reload all of my music again. It was March before I had it all together.

Fast forward to September when I came home from ACL and found that my iPod was completely frozen. It was literally one year to the day since I'd bought it, so the guys at the Apple Store looked at it and told me how to get all the music off of it and onto an external hard drive before they reset it. It magically restarted the next day, only to shut down in November for good. Shut down isn't really the word; it made this awful, beeping sound like an alarm. I took it to the store in December and the technician said, "Wow. I've never heard that before." After a long discussion about exactly what constituted the end of the year-long warranty, we finally agreed that they would replace my iPod for a $30 service fee, which was a-okay with me. So behold, iPod the Third. I've been busy trying to reload all my music ever since December, but I'm starting to think it won't get done. I got all the good stuff, but what will I do in the Congo if I don't have The Very Best of Dusty Springfield on there?

But I digress. Here's my question: why do I put up with this from Apple? Clearly, there's a product flaw in the 40G iPods, which is probably one of the reasons they don't make it anymore. They keep reassuring me that it isn't my fault and I believe them; I take care of my iPod and keep it in a cute little blue case and everything. They've given me 3 for the price of 1 over the course of a year. This was supposed to be the product that would make me want to buy a Mac, but instead I've had it up to here. I wouldn't put up with this from any other company! I've had to go to the Apple Store about eight times to deal with these issues. And yet. Why am I so addicted to my iPod that I put up with this?

One company whose product and customer service are no problem at all, however, is PODS. This is my second time to use them and wow, what a great idea. They bring the storage unit to you, you pack at your own pace, they take it to a warehouse, and, best of all, they drop it off wherever you end up, so you don't have to pay a mover or drive a moving truck. All for about the same price you'd pay for storage anyway! Plus they're efficient, friendly, and you can manage everything online. Here's a picture of my current pod when I had all my books packed. See what six years of graduate school will do to you? And there were actually three or four other boxes of books later...


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