Science & Technology



Helpware: Remorse and the waiting game

Harold Glicken, Tribune News Service on

Published in Science & Technology News

Faced with a choice between an affordable, $799 iPhone 8 Plus and a $999 iPhone X, I had immediate buyer's remorse after I bought the 8 Plus. I mean, like, when I walked out of the Apple Store. For $10 a month more, with Apple's installment plan, I could have been a player.

What sold me on the 8 Plus was that it was available at a local Apple Store. I do not like waiting – in lines or anywhere else. I'm not sure I could have waited a month for the X. Sure, the X has a slightly bigger screen (5.8 inches vs 5.5 for the 8 Plus) and a better camera and screen than the 8. But what really tipped the balance against the X was that it would take a month to arrive at my doorstep.

So, I dug in, filled with remorse, as I tried out some of the new features in the 8. Sad to say, there aren't many. True, the screen is brighter, and it's faster than my iPhone 7 Plus. But it still has the maddening fingerprint scanner that has never worked for me. I lusted after the face scanner in the X.

Another feature I like in both the 8 and the 10 is their ability to use a charging pad. Just plug the pad into a power adapter or USB port and place the phone on top of it. If you aren't into gadgets, the first thing you might ask is what's so hard about plugging a lightning cable directly into the phone? Nothing. It's child's play. In fact, you can keep the power adapter plugged in all the time and keep the lightning plugged into the adapter. Makes perfect sense. But if, like me, you like gadgets, that won't do. If, like me, you need UPS or FedEx to show up at your door on a regular basis, you'll understand our addiction. My name is Harold, and I'm a gadget addict.

I did my research online, and chose the $50 Bezalel Futura charging pad. It's a sleek, shiny, acrylic 4x4-inch square. The packaging is slick, the instructions are clear. Plug the USB end of the cable into a USB port on a computer. And then, place the phone on the charging pad.

But wait. And wait. And wait. It took 10 hours to go from an 18 percent charge on my iPhone to 76 percent. I messaged the folks at Bezalel about my experience. They responded quickly and politely. If I want a faster charge, I'd have to plug it into a power adapter like the one that came with my iPhone. The charging pad didn't come with one. The description on Amazon was vague: "Simply connect it to a power source ..." And then it goes on to say: "Everything was considered; nothing was overlooked." Except the power adapter, which is crucial to a faster charge. To their credit, Bezalel offered to send me a power adapter, which I declined. Why should I be treated any differently from someone who doesn't write a column?

There are dozens of charging pads to choose from on, ranging from ones that cost $12 to ones that cost $60. Apple sells charging pads – with power adapters – for $60.

I have a suggestion for the good folks at Bezalel: Charge a few dollars more and include a power adapter – or include it for the $50 it charges.

Now then, I wasn't only remorseful for not buying the iPhone X; I regretted buying the Bezalel charging pad.

So, I bundled up the charging pad and sent it back. As for the X, I am going to grit my teeth and wait in line to return the 8. And sign up for the X. Because I have T-Mobile, I can't sign up online for Apple's upgrade plan. Unlike other carriers, T-Mobile requires sign-ups at the Apple Store. That means I'll have to check my local Apple Stores for availability almost daily, and hope that the X is still there when I scurry in.

"Remorse," a wise writer once said, "is the poison of life." The antidote? Get what you really want, 10 extra dollars be darned.

About The Writer

Harold Glicken is a retired newspaper editor. He can be reached at and a collection of his columns can be found at

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