Of course, I should have known better, really. There are the three rules:-
1. Siamo in Italia
2. Customer Service. Sorry, what was that again?
3. Siamo in Italia ancora.
My phone was ‘broken’. I really believe that they set a ‘useful’ life, at which point, the phone stops working, making it imperative that you buy a new one. The reason for this? I had a phone. Nearly 4 years old. Suddenly, it stops making any sound or giving any screen display to show that a new message has been received or a call missed.
It’s just my phone, I thought. Someone with the same model lent me theirs as they have no use for it any more. It does the same. And yet, if the sim is put into a newer model, it works fine. Hmmm.
So, the choice was to go and get a new phone or change provider. Since transferring to a new provider gives you a much better rate and a cheaper phone (special deals for new customers), it seemed the wisest thing to change provider.
First there was Wind (part of Infostrada). I didn’t want it to go on my credit card (you don’t have the consumer protection thing here like you do in the UK – if a mistake is made you have to prove that it’s not your mistake an, in the meantime, the money is taken from your bank anyway), so asked to set up the equivalent of a Direct Debit. We spent a few hours in the shop, taking copies of my passport, noting my Codice Fiscale (similar to a National Insurance number and absolutely necessary here if you want to do almost anything), etc. Then came the fun part of typing it into the computer. After a number of tries they said I must have either the actual card for the Codice Fiscale or the Health Card, neither of which I have. So that was that.
Then I tried TIM. TIM were great. The situation would be sorted in about 2 weeks and when the number stopped working with 3 I was to go back to the shop, pay a small amount and get my new Blackberry.
After two weeks had passed I went to the shop. Apparently there was no problem but it would be another week.
Another 2 weeks passed. This morning I found that my 3 (spit spit) sim didn’t work anymore. Great, in that the transfer was made. Bad in that the new sim from TIM didn’t work in my (crap anyway) 3 phone as it is locked to 3. Never mind. This would all be fixed this evening when I went to the TIM shop and got my brand, spanking-new Blackberry.
Luckily, I borrowed an old phone to try out my sim – it’s working fine – but it’s not my phone.
As I sit here now at the computer I look at the phone a colleague lent me, very grateful that he did. I drove from work, rushed straight to the TIM shop. They were very helpful. They found the Blackberry and proceeded to fill in forms; enter stuff on the computer and, as is normal here, generally take half an hour to do something that should, in reality, take about 10 minutes.
However, the problem, it seems, is that although TIM have moved the number, it takes 24 hours for the contract to appear on the computer system. And the other problem is that the ‘special offer’ that applies to my contract has ended. The brand-spanking-new Blackberry is sitting in the box but I’m not allowed to have it.
‘Can you come back tomorrow?’ she asks.
There was no solution – and, trust me, I tried everything I possibly could.
Tomorrow, I must go again. That, plus get my suit altered, take the test, do Nan’s Trifle to take with us tomorrow night to R&Al’s, etc. etc.
Sometimes, I find Italy a little frustrating.