Berlin, Odd

Just Drop It

May 28, 2018

A few weeks ago when I was in France (#sopretentious), my mobile phone suddenly started losing its signal. As frustrating as it was, I figured once back in Berlin it would be fine. That, because my SIM card kept switching to whatever provider was available, the poor thing got confused. 

But upon my return, the problem continued. The signal would be lost with the dreaded “searching…” In my younger days, not having a phone signal would bring out the fear of “how am I going to know where everyone is tonight?” Now, it brings out the fear of “What if I have to call 911 in the middle of the night?” Of course, I can’t remember what the equivalent of 911 is here, anyway.

Now, I could have contacted Vodafone but I know that it would be a difficult call with my basic German. And since I don’t have a contract, but use a pre-pay card, I was sure they would just tell me to get another SIM card with another phone number. It may not have actually gone that way. It’s just the suit of armor one puts on when preparing to deal with German customer service makes you believe it will be futile before it even starts.

So I googled “iPhone 6 no service” and found all these videos with a myriad of tips to try. Reset the network settings. Do a manual search for providers. Turn on and off Airplane mode three times. Restart the phone. None worked permanently.

I really was reluctant to go to the Apple store because the last time I went with my phone (iPhone 4s) for a sync problem, I ended up with the phone permanently thinking its provider was Vodafone Netherlands. This was when I lived in LA. Not quite sure what that connection was unless the phone was looking for some weed and the Red Light District, but it resulted in my forking over hundreds of dollars for this iPhone 6.

But I was beginning to be resigned to heading to the Apple store when I did one more search and found a site called Ifixit. Someone posted the same issue. And the suggestions from the posters? Drop the phone. Literally. Drop the phone. I thought it was a joke until person after person posted they had done it and it worked.

I couldn’t believe I was about to do it but I figured, what the hell. I nervously held out the phone flat so it would land on its back where I hoped the case would offer some measure of protection. I sat on my bed and held the phone about 75 centimeters from the floor, took a deep breath and dropped the phone.

My first thought was, thank goodness the screen didn’t crack. I picked up the phone and hit the Home button. It turned on. So far, so good. It seemed to be working fine. I looked and there was a signal. But some of the other solutions had worked temporarily. But, lo and behold, after over a week, the signal has been constant. Next time you need to contact tech support? Just drop it.







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  • Reply al belmont May 29, 2018 at 9:54 pm

    Michael, get an android! Also, hopefully your bed is not 75 meters high as it would be tough to feel the pea at the base.


    • Reply Michael June 14, 2018 at 7:31 am

      Thanks for catching that, Al. I need to change it to centimeters!

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