Is some celestial power working against me or something? If so, I hope it is mostly for your entertainment, and not serious like “You won’t need any Internet where you are going, mister.”
See previous entry about the impossibility of getting more than a trickle of Internet access in a town in the world’s arguably most advanced country.
Not easily deterred, I checked Multicom today again, the company where I ordered the Samsung Galaxy Tab. It continues to be pushed one day into the future for each day. Of course, since they have already got their money, they have less than zero incentive to ever order the actual products. So, it is time to cancel the order. But first I look for somewhere else to get the same thing.
The obvious choice is the Netcom site, which sells the actual telecommunication subscriptions with the hardware on the side, rather than the other way around. Unfortunately their pricing is deliberately confusing, I would guess, or else a result of exceptional incompetence. In any case, the minimum price I could figure out from it was substantially higher than the competition. So, onward to Telenor, the former monopoly (and occasionally still acting like one).
They have a rather affordable plan and rather affordable Galaxy Tab as well. It is almost too good to be true. (Wait for it.) I match the hardware to the fixed price plan and go to checkout. There is a form with fields for first name, last name, birth number (like social security number, for foreigners) and e-mail, twice. I dutifully fill out the form and click “To payment”. Â The computer works for a while. Then: “Phone number must be filled in.” It sends me back to the same form, where there is no field for phone number.
Somehow I doubt they are going to sell a lot of stuff over their web site … wonder how long they have had this up and not noticed that nobody ever ordered anything? Well, it probably doesn’t matter if you think you are a monopoly. After all, if the peasants don’t want your services, they can suffer. I am sure the CEO will get his bonus no matter what. I am not sure the programmer will, once this reaches the right ears. That may take some months, I guess, this being a multinational company after all.
In such a situation, I am the kind of guy who goes beyond the call of madness… er, duty. So I call the helpline. A voice message greets me and tells me to key in the phone number my request is about. Now, I am trying to buy a NEW account, so there is no phone number. I wait. The voice returns eventually, informing me that I have not keyed in the phone number. There is of course no manual operator and no choice other than the phone number.
I will now use the phone number of my existing phone, in order to get through to them. Watch me.
OK, I got through to a helpful and seemingly competent woman who took down the information. She promised they would send a confirmation e-mail. This is almost too good to be…
Mail arrived. They still have my address in Holum, even though their website said it will be sent to the address in the national registry (which is where the social security number comes in). You cannot change the address – it is locked to avoid identity theft. The postal collect slip will doubtlessly arrive in the mailbox at Riverview – I assume there will be a slip and they don’t just dump the whole box there. As it happens, I have reported my move to the post office, so perhaps they will send it after me to my new address. Or perhaps just the collect slip. Luckily there is a tracing number that I can use to trace it online, so I should be fine.
To be continued… God willing?