If your cell phone gets wet, lie. If it falls in the toilet, LEAVE IT!

I hate Verizon.

But I hate all the other cell phone companies MORE, so I’m sticking with them for now.

I’ve actually been with all of the major cell phone companies since 1996, when I got my first cell phone.  It was the original Nokia.  It was about the size of a cinderblock and worked in approximately 0.00000000001 percent of places I went to.  But I had a cell phone. And NO ONE I knew had a cell phone that wasn’t attached to a car in 1996. Except the drug dealers. And me. But no one else did.

 And while Verizon epic sucks, they epic suck SLIGHTLY less than AT&T, Sprint and TMobile.

Over the years, I’ve learned some tricks to handling Verizon. First of all, when you call them, ALWAYS lie and say you’re the policy holder even if you’re not. I’m still on a family plan with my mom (because it was cheaper for both of us now that my brother and father have defected and gotten iPhones), and even though we’ve told them roughly 500 billion times that I’m authorized to make changes, somehow I’m still not allowed to. But if I call and say I’m my mother, I can make changes to the plan with no problem. And this is necessary because my mother refuses to call Verizon under any circumstances. Ever. Even if they cancelled her plan, I would have to deal with it.

The biggest problems come with the phone insurance though. Because in theory, the insurance is fabulous for if your phone dies.

In reality, it never actually applies.

But there IS a way around this.

You just have to be willing to lie a little.

For example, water damage isn’t covered. So when my brother jumped in the pool with his phone in his pocket several times (yes, ladies and gentlemen, that genius is now a doctor. I fear for the future.), the phone wasn’t covered by the insurance.

By the third time this happened (I’m sure he’s a good doctor. But literally, multiple times forgetting to take his phone out of his pocket before jumping in a pool—you do the math), my brother decided to tell Verizon that he didn’t know what happened to his phone. He must have lost it.

Presto! New phone.

This is always the way to go. Whenever they ask you what’s wrong with it, just say you don’t know.

This comes in particularly handy if your phone winds up someplace where you’d rather gnaw your own limbs off than go after it.

This happened to my friend Janie*. We were at a bar one night and she went to the bathroom. The line for the women’s room was too long (as is often the case), so she, being braver than I, went into the men’s room.

(*Names have been changed to protect the guilty.)

When she came back, she had a look of horror on her face beyond anything that I had ever seen. Seriously. Picture the girl in the closet from the Ring. That kind of terrified.

I immediately asked her what happened. Was she okay? I assumed that at the very least she had just witnessed a grisly mass murder.

It was worse.

Much, MUCH worse.

She had dropped her phone in the men’s room toilet.

I tried to comfort her. “It’s okay,” I said. “Just go to Verizon tomorrow and tell them you lost it. It’ll be fine.”

“But I didn’t lose it,” she said, and to MY horror, she plopped the wet phone on the table in front of me.

Yes. She went in after the phone.

Of course, the best part of this story came later, when we went to another bar. We were sitting at a table and the phone kept vibrating randomly. Janie was talking to a guy who was friends with one of my friends, and he picked up her phone and asked her why it kept vibrating.

Janie explained about the men’s room toilet.

To the guy’s credit, he didn’t cry or run screaming. He just politely excused himself and spent the rest of the evening in the men’s room washing his hands. He didn’t come back until after last call when they MADE him stop washing his hands and leave. Poor guy.

If it had been me who dropped a phone in a men’s room toilet, I would have left the phone where it was and gone to Verizon the next morning with my story straight. “I don’t know what happened to it. I think it was stolen.”

Now, if you don’t have the insurance or aren’t a good enough liar, I’ve heard that rice works to soak up the excess moisture. But if that doesn’t work, just give me your password and I’ll call Verizon and say I’m you.

I’ve gotten very good at that game.

And if anyone from Verizon is reading this, my name is Tigran Kapinos.

I told you I’d get you back someday for putting that cricket video, Tig!