Ellen Byron

A Pricey Hour without my iPhone

I’m renowned for loving a bargain. So when I heard Apple was selling iPhone batteries for $29 rather $79 in an effort to make up for a battery-slowing scam on their part, I jumped at the opportunity. Sure, my three-year-old iPhone 6+’s battery was “healthy” now, but who’s to say it would be a month from now? And oh, that savings of fifty dollars.

I went through all the necessaries steps and showed up at the local Apple store ready for my bargain. The technician took my phone and announced, “Come back in an hour.”

An hour? Wow. “Okay, well, I’ll just sit in the food court and check Facebook.” Except I wouldn’t have my phone. Riiighht………… This dilemma forced me to do something I hadn’t done in years: wander the local mall. Phone-free, no less.




The first stop was Francesca’s.  I headed straight to the sale rack and promptly picked up two tops in my signature colors of purple and green. Originally $34 each, they were reduced to $19.99, but it was buy one, get the second for $5. Such a deal! If you’re going to Left Coast Crime in Reno, you’ll definitely be seeing me model that purple number.

Next up was Forever 21. I found a pair of olive summer pants I loved, but they didn’t have them in my size. No problem, I’d just snap a pic of the tag and order them online. I reached for my phone to take a picture… oh, riiighhht. I wrote the info down on an old napkin I dug out of my purse.


Since no California mall trip is complete without a trip to See’s, I stopped and and justified my free chocolate sample with a half-pound box of Easter candy for my mom. And okay, a big scoop of bridge mix for me.

At that point, I figured my hour was up, and reached for my phone to check the time. Oh, riiighhht. Luckily, See’s shops still sport clocks as part of their old-timey decor. (It was the only place in the mall where I  found an actual clock, BTW.)

The clock showed it was over an hour since I’d left the Apple store, so I hastened back. “I think I spent more than that $50 savings just shopping in the mall,” I joked to my technician. She laughed and said, “You’re not the only one.” Apparently Apple’s sneaky faux pas has been a boon for the brick and mortars around them.

How much did it cost me to “save” fifty bucks? Here’s the grand total: $98.50, including the pants I eventually ordered from F21 and the box of candy I bought to replace the one I sent my mom so I could take this picture:


That’s right, I actually spent almost twenty dollars more than I would have if I’d paid full price for the battery. And the number of times I automatically reached for my phone? Seven, including the time in the Apple store when I reached for it while waiting to get my phone back so I could entertain myself while waiting to get my phone back.

If you thought this might be one of those “freed from the clutch of technology, I could once again smell the roses and hear all the beautiful sounds around me” posts, sorry about that. But I did learn a valuable lesson. The next time I have to kill time in the mall while waiting for phone repair, I’m bringing a book.

Oh, and here are the pants I ordered from F21. Cute, huh?


Readers, are you bargain hunters? Have you ever fallen into the Ellen Trap of spending more money than you would have saved?



20 thoughts on “A Pricey Hour without my iPhone

  1. Oh, spending more than I save on a “bargain” is my specialty! My favorite? Selling clothes online and then spending more than the credit I receive on “new” secondhand pieces. Now I’m closet-rich and wallet-poor. You’d think I could easily break this habit, but…sigh.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’m laughing here because that sounds like what I’d do. Even worse, I’d be reading an eARC when I went in to replace my battery, and since I don’t have a Kindle but use the Kindle app on my phone….

    Look at it this way. If you had bought the battery at full price, you would have spent that much money PLUS the full price for the battery. So you really did save money.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ha, great post, Ellen! And I think you still came way out ahead.:) Hubs phone wasn’t charging right, so he replaced battery — still wasn’t working. Turns out there was a dust bunny in the port preventing the charger thingy from connecting tightly. Fixed it with a toothpick!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. LOL I am a bargain hunter. This is why when I have something to take for service I content myself with window shopping in the Apple store – because everything’s too expensive to buy.

    But in the grocery store when some thing is “buy two and save $1.50”? Yeah, I’m quite sure I wind up spending more on the grocery bill that week.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. I definitely don’t look for bargains. I’m one of those “it’s only money” people. If I have the money, I buy it. My credit card bills are paid off each month ( only use them for purchases like my dental issues and places that require credit cards such as hotels).
    My problem is I go to the grocery store for 5 items, and end up spending $100. And don’t get me started on Barnes and Noble. I am a long standing member of the 10% off club, but my &25 membership fee pays for itself in 3 months or less.
    I dread going to Malice, because I will be bringing an empty suitcase!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Ha! Great post. And hey, there’s nothing better than a good bargain.

    Here’s my theory: the other things you bought were separate—so you still saved the original money, yay!


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