Thursday, August 25, 2011

The Foo Fairy takes charge of the phone saga

OK so the telephone handset arrived from Australia and I got a call from Roland from Fedex asking could I send him the invoice? Uh? Roland you have the phone - isn’t there an invoice with it?

Apparently not – it is just a box with a telephone. So  I cannot get the phone without producing an invoice and paying customs duty on the value of the phone – which actually has no value to me – I just want the SIM card – but that is not how the Austrian customs see it of course.

So Roland and I spend some time exchanging emails. How much did you actually pay for the phone then? Nothing.

Uh? You pull zee leg?

Well Roland it was like this blab blah blah……

Yeh sure. OK well the bottom line is no invoice no phone – talk to the supplier.

Jeez thanks Roland.

3-Vodaphone were not nearly as helpful as they were last time around. I can download a ‘Proof of Purchase’ from my account which shows that I purchased a handset for no cost  - but the fact that I paid $5 for it – with a $5 refund – will not reflect until my next statement issues in mid-September.

I am so sorry – that is the only document we can issue. Have a nice day. (i.e. go and stick your head up a dead bear’s bum)


I thought about this for a while and tried pleading with Roland. I said just get customs to assess the value and I will pay whatever duty they want – I just have to have that phone so I can get money from Australia. You can buy one of these online for about €140 - it cost me nothing so I am certainly happy to pay something for my foolishness in losing it. 

He went quiet - so I was working on plan B which involved Lenny just buying another SIM card and sending it to me and I would buy a cheap phone here and get the bank to change the number on my account.

But then a man from Fedex rang and said he would deliver my phone in 10 minutes and I could have it for €58.71 customs duty. Terrific – what a bargain.

So he did - and I rushed upstairs and tore the box open and started looking for the SIM card. Hmmm… no SIM card. Why would they send me a replacement for a lost phone without sending me a SIM card?

I know! Because they are fuckwits!

I tried to call 3 in Sydney but the replacement phone people only work normal business hours so they are not there – and I am switched through to India. Oh no – oh purleeease…..

Indira says that I can get a new SIM card by ‘popping in to my nearest 3 shop’ and it takes me a long time to convince her that I am in Austria not Australia. That is Austria – next to Germany. This slows her down a bit as she ponders why someone in Austria would want an Australian mobile phone - and I am so not going to tell her the story as it would serve no purpose because I have never - ever - in my whole life - found anyone in India who could help me with a problem that is not in their customer service manual - but undaunted she carries on - and foolishly so do I. 

Her next offer is to send it to the place where I don’t live in Sydney. Well that's not going to work is it? So we chew the fat about other options as she frantically racks her brains for a non-existent solution to the problem caused by the ever so friendly and eager but somewhat incompetent Jason in Sydney.

She has no further options so we part company – unhappily.

Plan C now comes into effect.

With this cunning plan Lenny takes a letter from me into 3 in Sydney and gets a new SIM card and Fedexes it to me. I have sent him the letter with my ID and he will execute this plan tomorrow AM Sydney time.

This is slightly complicated by the fact that Cate now has to go to the USA on Tuesday and - as we cannot split our flights - because they are on air miles - I have to go with her to Peoria. So Lenny will have to Fedex the SIM to Peoria. We will then go to Washington.

I am also working on Plans D and E as the Foo Fairy has clearly marked for a good kicking in Spades on this one. She dozes off occasionally - but when she wakes up - watch out! 


  1. if you get three very small people to stand on eachother with a long mac covering them, they could maybe go into a phone shop and buy a phone - then they could bake it into a cake before eating it. then they could simply get onto a plane - ensuring they don't go to the toilet - until they meet you in America. All you have to is wait, wash rthe parts, glue them back together and bingo - problem solved

  2. Hmmmm, I believe these are all minor variations of Plan F.

  3. This is too much: I can't remember why your local phone won't do. ;-)

  4. Glen: That might do it - but I am thinking Fedex will be cheaper.

    esbboston: As a skilled planner you have already thought through the possibilities and realized that we are certainly going to get to plan F - it is only a matter of time.

    ANGIV: As a Auslander in Vienna I am trained for such situations and can deal with them without undue stress.

    Merisi: Because - my dear girl - I need to get and SMS from my Australian bank.

  5. I am so glad this kind of stuff happens to someone other than just me.

  6. I meant that it was F from the aLmosT the beginning .... Fnjoyed your story! I once had a giant mess dealing with a brokerage firm simply because I gained an eXtra middle name at age 47 which their system didn't know how to handle.

  7. Hmmm. Life is so complicated! Still, you've still got plenty of Plans to devise before you arrive at Z!

  8. Your life gives me pains in my head.
    Sharp, stabbing pains.

  9. I remember once spending 2 days with Indira on the phone and then an additional 8 hours in person to get a US phone in the US.

    When I thought we were finished as I foolishly believed the bullshit she told me I could go across the street and drink coffee for an hour. I told her I could drive 1 mile and sit at a bar for one hour. And plot revenge. I have the oldest cell phones as I never want to deal with those people again.

  10. SymbioticLife: I am sure it happens to everybody - I just have the luxury of having the time to write about it.

    esbboston: Well you just should have know what a mess that would create - I mean REALLY!

    Annie: Confident we will never get there have never been past H.

    freefalling: Always read my blogs while drinking a strong cuppa. Thats how I write them.

    fmcgmcclic: They make the most sophisticated cell phones in the world - and the most fucked up way in the world to distribute them and screw the customers blind.