Nearly Swindled.

Last Thursday, I noticed that my tablet’s screen was dead. It was on, I could hear the beeps from notifications but it refused to come on. I called the airtel number on it with my phone and it rang, in the dark. I was slightly worried but tried not to let it affect my evening even though I scouted the room for a place to charge it, even though I knew the battery was at more than 60%. Before we left for home that night, the light came on and that was that.

 

On Sunday evening, I plugged it to charge and when I came back to see if I had any notification on it- it had gone blank. I rolled my eyes, was this going to become a pattern? I wondered. I called it from my phone but this time, the number was not reachable and I entered low-key panic mode.

 

By Monday morning, I checked it again and the story had not changed. Full-scale panic wove its way under my skin. My creative life runs on Isadora, it’s where I take decisions on photos, where most of my stories start out, where I read ebooks. Ah! They wanted to give my enemy heart block that morning.

 

So, I headed for the Samsung repair centre at Ojuelegba, despite being camped at VI that morning- the Samsung repair offices at VI are poster children for chaos. I walked into the office and gave the tablet to the young woman whose job it was to receive faulty items. She looked at it and then typed a few things on her computer’s keyboard.

“This tablet is not for this region,” she announced.

“Come again,” I said.

There’s a warranty on the tablet quite alright but it was not meant for this region so it cannot be fixed for free.”

“But I bought it at a Samsung store.”

“Yes, maybe they got it from abroad or something.” She said.

 

My first tablet was bought at a store in computer village and when it had a fault back then, I was told the same story about the tablet not being for this region. So, when I wanted to get a new tablet, I carried myself to the Samsung store at the Surulere mall to get the tablet, to avoid stories that touch the heart. Apparently, even that was not enough, I was still hearing stories.

 

How do I get it fixed?” I asked, after downloading the story of the tablet to her.

“You’d have to pay for the repair, let me check the price list and let you know.”

 

I nodded and went to sit with my brother, the TV at the centre was tuned to TVC and they were asking people on the street if they would rather work in an office for a hundred-thousand-naira salary or work as petrol attendant for double. Most people went for the money, but one guy said working in an office was his calling, so he would rather sit in the office. My brother and I ‘yimued’ him as we waited for her to come out with a diagnosis and cost.

 

She came out looking all serious and stern and my heart bounced into my stomach, the babe was going to ask for a ridiculous sum, I thought.

“The motherboard is bad, you’ll need to change the motherboard and that goes for forty thousand.”

“40k,” I said softly,

“Yes.”

“Thank you,” I said and retrieved Isadora from her hands.

 

We went home and I collected the bag in which Isadora was packed when I bought her, the receipt and warranty card were still there. I don’t know where Ashley’s receipt is (which cost far more than the tablet sef) but I kept Isadora’s paper’s well, I cannot shout.

 

We got to the Samsung store where I got the tablet and I told them the story, it appeared that the woman at the Samsung office, already had a reputation there, an unpleasant one for that matter. I wasn’t interested in their drama, how I could get the tablet repaired for free? that was my priority.

Let me see the tablet,” he said.

I turned to the young man who just spoke, he looked a lot like Korede Bello. If he had greasy hair, I would have sworn he was the one. I gave him the tablet, at this point, I was exhausted already.

 

Three minutes or so later, he handed Isadora back to me. He had a used a booster charger to get it back to life. He told me to come back if it happened again and also gave me tips to avoid a recurrence. I left the store with enough joy in my heart to power a city.

 

I wonder now if that woman at the Samsung centre had even gotten a diagnosis for the issue, where did the 40k come from? How come a booster charger could reactivate a fried motherboard. Why did she think I could afford to cough out forty thousand Naira in this economy to spend on repairing a tablet that is more than a year old? It’s better to buy a new one, works out better all around.

 

And when they ask the lady at the Samsung center what the problem of Nigeria is? She will open her wide mouth and mention my darling, President M. Buhari, right?

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