Last year I decided to buy a UK mobile phone while traveling in London.Â I can recall the trepidation as I entered the Vodafone shop expecting to be sucked into a 2-hour black hole. To my astonishment, I emerged 10 minutes later with aÂ $30 phone and pay-as-you-go service.
Everything worked well until I left for France where I discovered that I couldn’t add credits with vouchers in France because they weren’t available. No problem, I decided to go online where after 30 minutes of navigation, account creation, and forms I learned that you can’t buy credits unless you have a UK-based credit card. The phone was thus rendered useless save for the incessant Vodafone SMS spam promoting their stuff.
In the Fall, I was able to use the phone in Italy after several scavenger hunts to find places that sold the obscure credit vouchers which it turns out you can NOT stockpile because they can only be applied while you are in Italy.
That proved to be only a glimmer of hope as I have returned to France to discover that they now sell vouchers here but my phone refuses to connect to Vodafone in any fashion.Â It connects to all the French networks but refuses to access Vodafone services leading me to a dreaded customer service call via my US-based mobile with that $1.50/minute ticking by.Â Fortunately, the Vodafone service rep was in such a hurry to get me off the phone it was hard to do too much damage!
“Right, OK, then, thanks for calling.”
Except he didn’t offer me a solution or even a hope of solution. He told me to keep turning my phone on and off to see if I could suddenly use the network!Â All this leads back to retail I am guessing as I’ll have to venture back into a Vodafone shop in the UK.
On a lighter note, I recently called up my US service from ATT which was originally ATT Wireless and then became Cingular Wireless only to be shunted back to ATT.Â The service rep answered:
“Hi, thanks for calling Cingular, uh, ATT.”
[tags]vodafone, ukvodafone, cingular, att[/tags]