It’s time to move on.

“It will be fixed within 3 days”, he states.

“What? Another 3 days?”, I query with a certain amount of incredulity.

“What do you mean?”, he asks.

“I rang on Friday evening”, I reply, “and they told me that it would be fixed by Monday”.

“One moment”, he says, “I will check our records”.

I wait. I can hear the clicking of keys on keyboard.

“No, I’m sorry but I don’t have any record on the system”.

“But I did ring on Friday evening”.

“It’s not that I don’t believe you, it’s just that there’s nothing on the computer and that means that we can’t do anything until the 26th. If it still doesn’t work on the 26th, call us and we can send an email to the Technical people”.

Well, on the bright side, I now know how it works.

They receive a call to say that it isn’t working and they do nothing for three days. If, in three days, their technical people haven’t fixed the problem, then, and only then, will they contact the technical people.

They are, in fact, a bunch of tossers.

Today I look for someone else to provide me with the Internet as Telecom Italia are a fucking disgrace.

Italy….a little frustrating….part 2

I go back to the shop.  I am later than I would like and have difficulty parking.

The girl who sold me the deal is there (and she speaks good English).  I join the queue of about 5 people.  Not many except that there are only two assistants and each person takes at least 10 minutes.  We smile at each other in recognition.  It’s a weak smile from both of us.  She, probably because it’s been a long day (it’s already gone 6.30) and me because I am here again.

I notice a guy in the queue in front of me.  He was here on Friday too.  He had bought one of those mobile things for the pc.  Only it didn’t work properly since he tried to change from pay-as-you-go to a contract.  It seemed as if ‘the system’ couldn’t cope.  He was as unsuccessful as I was on Friday and was back to try again.  I nearly suggested we go for a drink!

Eventually I get to the girl.  She smiled and said she knew I would be here.  She went through the same things the girl on Friday had …….. and, in fact, from my perspective, it seemed that the girl on Friday just didn’t wait long enough.  On the same screen the girl had given up on, the system seemed to hang………..and hang…………….and hang………….but this girl knew the system better and we waited.  In fact, she served other customers whilst we were waiting.  But eventually it all came good and I am the proud owner of a new Blackberry!  Now, all I have to do is to set it up!!!!

But, in the end, I was in the shop for about an hour and a half!!!!  I kept thinking that, only here, would everything take so bloody long and require more than one visit.

However, it’s done now.  Her final words were that if I had any problem to come back but she hoped not to see me!  Bless!

Sometimes, I find Italy a little frustrating.

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.

And, yet again!


Isn’t it a shame the way we cheat each other, treat each other,
beat each other?
It’s a shame the way we use one other, abuse one another,
and screw one another

Make You Crazy – Brett Dennen (featuring: Femi Kuti)

I know it’s not actually true but since I moved into the perfect flat, I seem to have been speaking to Telecom Italia more often than using their service!

And, so, again, this morning. Apparently the whole of Milan and the Hinterland has a problem. It will be fixed within 24 hours. Or, maybe, 48 or, maybe, in my case, after it is fixed it will be another 2 or 3 days before I can actually get access.

Except that I will, probably, go away on Sunday for a few days and they don’t work over the weekend and it’s the holiday period and I won’t be here Monday or Tuesday so I will have to ring them again on Wednesday and then the will tell me that they will fix it within 3 days (which will be Friday) and then it won’t be fixed and then I will have to phone them again on Friday but because it’s Ferragosto on Sunday, it would be, probably Tuesday before they could come out except that I will probably be away again and then Best Mate will be here when I get back so it will all be too difficult and I ABSO-FUCKING-LUTELY FUCKING HATE THEM, THE BASTARDS!

Oh, yeah, and so I may not be online for about 2 weeks.

Did I say that I didn’t like Telecom Italia very much?

Update: Well, as I’m writing this update on Friday, just after 6, you can tell that they did get it fixed and it did not require an engineer to come out.  I hate them a little less than I did (but only a little) and this one time that they were as good as their word hardly makes up for the most times when they aren’t.

I’ve been thinking that I don’t really like Telecom Italia very much


The engineer phones me (about a day late). As my Italian is abysmal, he does try some English. We, more or less, make each other understood.

He thinks it may be necessary to come to the house. To be honest, they should have phoned me yesterday. However, he is very pleasant and tries to be helpful. Apparently they will make an appointment.

I wonder how, in the main, the engineers can be so nice and the call centre people can be so bloody crap. I guess, if they were engineers and had to actually see the people they deal with they would be nicer.

And so, once again, I am without ADSL and, so, no email or internet connection at home.

It all started Sunday night and although it had been working fine about half an hour earlier, when the break came, it was just too late. And I keep forgetting that Telecom Italia are not Infostrada and it will not ‘fix itself’ within an hour.

The next morning the same problem and I thought that if I don’t phone them now it will just continue not to work.

>I phone. It is just after 6 a.m. I have problems conversing in English at that time in the morning, even with the dogs, so Italian was, well, shall we say ‘interesting’. However, I made myself understood and the guy on the line said some stuff of which I probably caught about half. Basically, my understanding was that it was going to be fixed within four hours.

I put the phone down after I thanked him.

Then I reprocessed what he had said and had this horrible feeling that they were going to send an ‘tecnico’ round to the house within four hours! And, forgetting what day it was and that I HAD to be in work today, I toyed with the idea of not going in at all.

And then I remembered there was a reason why I had to wear a suit. We had a visitor and it was important that I was there, even if my presence was, in fact, not strictly necessary since I would sit and do nothing – except, maybe, make pleasantries with this guy, talking about his flight over; the hotel; the weather; and considering that he was someone that I didn’t much like, it all seemed so bloody pointless and not really important after all.

So, I phoned TI again. Again, Italian; again, difficult but possible. Certainly, as it was about 20 minutes later, it was a bit better. I explained that I wasn’t sure if I had understood what the guy had said to me and were they going to send this ‘tecnico’ round to my house because I had to go to work? She assured me that they weren’t. So, that’s OK then.

The annoying thing was that I had written a post and had emailed it to myself at work – it being better to re-read it before posting and do it during the day when I am, probably (hopefully) more cognisant. And, now I couldn’t. Damn.

Ah well, I thought, I could put it onto my USB key and take it to work that way. I recently got a new one as a gift (my old one being small and only working intermittently). But I couldn’t find it. Where the hell is it, I thought? Ah, I remember taking it to work.

I had no time to check at work, really, just a quick scout round my (very) messy desk. Not there. Later I even did a quick search of my desk drawers. It must be at home, somewhere.

I get home. I am excitedly expecting the internet to be obtainable. I am, of course, sadly misguided, this being Italy and the company being Telecom Italia and all. I phone again.

The automatic message says (I think) that the problem will be fixed on or before Wednesday! I’m not sure and I don’t want to believe it anyway. I wait. I get to an operator. She tells me it will be fixed tomorrow but at the very latest by Wednesday. I am incredulous. I want to be able to say that the four-hour promise was obviously pie-in-the-sky and, since they had my mobile number (I had given it to them in call 2, someone could have phoned me and add that it is totally ridiculous that, having come back to them as their customer (albeit without a choice in this) that they had, once again proved that I had been right to move to Infostrada and that, at the earliest opportunity I would return to Infostrada. I wanted to – but my Italian language skills restrict this to :- two more days? (said with the appropriate incredulous tone).

She is sorry (but doesn’t mean it, you can tell) but it is something to do with the central something or other and it is more complicated. And I know, in my heart, that, even when they say they have fixed it, it will not work in my home and they will have to come round and look and then, probably, do something at home or, after five minutes checking, something somewhere else.

I search for my USB memory stick. I remember the box it was in (I have not used it yet). It was quite large and silver in colour. It is nowhere to be found. I am frustrated.

A calls and I agree to go for a quick pasta dish at his house (F is not there because the call was unusual – it being Monday but without F he is looking for company and I am, after all, very obliging and there is only ironing that I must do but, damn it, I can’t pass up food just for that).

After the engineer phones (me knowing that I probably won’t have Internet access much before the weekend, if I am lucky) I check my desk for the umpteenth time for the USB stick. I find a small, not large, box that is more white than silver, under some papers. It is the key! I feel a little happier about the situation.

I still, very much, hate Telecom Italia.

I had forgotten……


……just how bad Telecom Italia were.

I am reminded this morning. No Internet. I phone the line. They ask if the ADSL light is on. It is. They do a check. They inform me that it will, definitely, be fixed before Thursday.

Someone (and I forget who) was surprised that Infostrada/Wind were so much better. But it is true. I think, in the 2 years (or whatever) I was with Infostrada, I only had to phone them once (and I’m not even certain that I had to do that!).

Whereas, with Telecom Italia, I had to phone them quite often.

They are, as I said before Teminally Ill – and crap with it.

I HATE TELECOM ITALIA! May they and all they arrogant, supercilious employees, rot in hell.

I remain, slightly, angry, in case you hadn’t guessed.



I am taking a break from cleaning, whilst also waiting for the Terminally Ill Techno Guy to come (now just to fix my telephone line).

I cleaned and sorted much of the bedroom and then cleaned the lounge and re-arranged everything as to how it should be.

But, I do wonder, who is it for? What real purpose does it serve? Let’s be honest, V was the home maker. He did all the curtains and the fancy stuff that made it a home. I would live without curtains – not because I want to, just because I couldn’t be bothered. And why spend all that money which could be spent on something else?

I mean, for instance, the bedroom really needs a chest of drawers. I know where it should go; I know what it should look like. And, if I got one, it would look good but I probably won’t get one now and, therefore, I will manage – for ever!

But V would have one and, somehow, it would make the bedroom just so much better. I sit here, at the open window, in the perfect flat, knowing that, if V were here, it would be better than perfect.

Strange things with the Internet

I laughed with Best Mate when I said –

“I bet, as soon as you go, the internet will be up and running”

And, as freaky as it might seem, it turned out to be perfectly true.

I rang Telecom Italia (although the initials TI might be better represented as Terminally Ill) to say that, after two days, my Internet and telephone line were STILL NOT working.

As is normal for the ignorant and unhelpful Telecom Italia operators, I was told that it had been up and running since about 4 p.m. that afternoon.

I insisted that it was still not working. The man agreed that they would send someone out but that it couldn’t be tomorrow (i.e. today) as this was a holiday and it would be Saturday.

I am less than impressed.

So, today, whilst BM was asleep (or at least, resting) I tried everything I could to get it working, to no avail.

After arriving back home after dropping her off at the airport, I thought I would have one last go at connecting. And it worked!

OK, this is not entirely the full story. The full story is that I found it [Edit 2015 – I don’t know what “it” is, I’m sorry] on the floor on the day that it didn’t work. The dogs, who have been sleeping in the bedroom, with me, whilst Best Mate (and also whilst FfI) stayed with me had knocked it off the desk.

So, the reality is that I thumped it a few times before trying to connect.

So now I don’t know whether it was me thumping it or that Terminally Ill did something else.

Who cares? The phone line still isn’t working properly so they can come here anyway. I know that because I tried to use the phone to tell them not to come and it won’t ring out.

I really, really, bloody HATE Terminally Ill!

In the meantime, Best Mate is on her way back home. >I shall miss her being here but know she must go home. I hope to see her again soon but at her place.

“There are no revelations. Everything you learn, you know already”

I sit here, with the post below, not posted; with the rain outside – knowing it’s raining because of the whoosh of the cars as they drive through the driving rain; with, as I just told Best Mate, the heater that I didn’t buy last year or the year before that, or, even, the first year that I felt the cold after they had switched the building central heating off, blowing no hot air to keep me from blowing on my fingers to try and stem the feeling that my fingers were gradually shrivelling up – when they had gone cold and shiny and slippery, in the way that they do with the cold – when they won’t work properly.

And, the reason for the post below not being posted, as this one won’t be, when I am finished, is down to wonderful Telecom Italia. I have been back with them less than a week and it already feels like I have never been away. It’s the rain, I suppose.

The difference between this time and the last time I had problems with Telecom Italia (which was just before I moved to Infostrada/Wind/whatever) was that the whole conversation was in Italian. Well, I say Italian. His bit was in Italian and my bit was in a version of Italian that, using a phrase used by one of my ex-students who is now a colleague could only be described as Kill Italian Volume 105.

Still, I made myself understood. He made himself understood to me. Everything was going swimmingly until the end when I asked how long it could possibly take to fix.

“Two days”

“TWO DAYS!” I could barely keep the shock that this information had on me out of my voice. In fact so barely was it concealed that, the reality was, it wasn’t.

He made a noise which I can only describe as a cross between a laugh and a snort. The laugh because I’m sure that’s what it was but the snort because there was a certain amount of the arrogant contempt for which all Telecom Italian employees must have special training in order that they are able to master it to perfection.

I thanked him but I have no idea what for.

Perhaps it is the rain after all. I have noticed that, in general, if anything goes wrong it is when it is raining here. The radio will go silent for minutes at a time; the electricity can be a little intermittent; the telephone lines don’t work properly.

Still, on the plus side, whilst Best Mate was listening to her iPod thing (which is not an iPod at all – just something similar), I finished the book that Peter had lent me at the Mantova festival last September! Yes, it has taken me 7 months to finish a single book. Even I am disgusted with myself. Anyway, the one line that really stood out for me was the line in the post title. I just loved it.

And the book? Kalooki Nights by Howard Jacobson – page 446 in the version Peter lent me. So there you have it.

This will be posted, exactly as it is, when I have internet access.

Cazzo Alice, nearly cazzo ZoneAlarm

Cazzo Alice

Had a few problems over the last few days. As you may know by this post, I had the problems with ADSL. At the end of it, methinks, it was almost certainly Alice’s fault (Alice being the brand name for Telecom Italia’s ADSL service and not some random girl; it’s actually pronounced aleechay and not aliss).

Then, 2 days ago, I found I couldn’t send email through Outlook. This meant I couldn’t reply to anything unless I used the web mail site, which is not so convenient, to say the least.

Of course, the first thing I do is search the web with my error and I find that ZoneAlarm may be the cause. Recently it suddenly, without my asking, put a spam filter on my Outlook. Now, actually, I thought this was quite good and I quickly got over my initial reaction of ‘why are you doing something to my machine that I didn’t ask for?’.

So, I have been watching it rather closely since then to see how it goes. I had almost got to the stage where I was trusting it and then, I find, it may be the cause of the sending emails function to fail.

So, how to switch it off? Well the ZoneAlarm console says it IS switched off. A check on the forums shows that it was an accident with one of their updates and that it did cause problems with Outlook and provides a link to be able to switch it off.

So, that’s what I do. But there is only a slight change in the error message that I can display when it won’t send. But then on another part of the forum I find you have to also do something else. Which I do. And the error message changes again.

And then I remember that I read on one of the forums that a persons ISP had suddenly blocked port 25 (used to send mail) except for their own smtp mail function. So I try, just in case. And then it works.

So was the problem Alice or ZoneAlarm or, even, both at the same time?

Either way, I’m now thinking that I will try and find another Firewall product (I haven’t really liked ZoneAlarm since Checkpoint took over) and then, if Wind/Infostrada get their act together, I’ll let them move me after all.

Of course, that almost certainly makes me a little, no, probably completely, crazy, but Alice have annoyed me twice in a week now. Cazzo Alice, and ZoneAlarm is only slightly better!