Observations about the universe, life, Lausanne and me

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Mobile Phone Madness

It is my own fault of course.

It is entirely reasonable for my cell phone provider to deny me calling abroad or - heaven forfend! - use roaming in the first three months of my contract. They could actually earn money with me! Likewise, automatically debiting from my bank-account smacks also of unethical behavior - not only would it save them money and myself hassle, no, it could also ... you know ... something. Bad.

Anyway, my three months probationary period is up, so I went into the shop yesterday to have them activate my account. This procedure consists of the saleslady calling the provider, being placed on hold, complaining to me about it, waiting, waiting some more, and so on and so forth, until the poor girl gave up and gave me a number which, so she claimed, would do the very thing for me (Then I thought she meant unlocking - now, I know better).

Two hours later I tried to call, and got the nice, tri-lingual message that my account was suspended, which nicely solved the roaming problem for me. The message also told me to call customer support, which, you know, I couldn't, on account of having a suspended account.

Well, I thought, I'll just do it from the lab tomorrow.
The service number is some kind of weird 0900-number, costs one swiss franc per call. Only university phones cannot call those kind of numbers, probably because sex-hotlines use them too. Skype can't either.

After a few bellows of frustration a kind soul (merci Philip!) lent me his mobile, mostly to shut me up I think. A few hours of on-hold-music-that-sucks-down-your-soul-into-limbo later, I got a puzzled guy on the line who explained to me that he didn't know either why my account was suspended, but that he would kind of like to un-suspend it. After some reflection I calmly told him that I was not disinclined to share his point of view, after which he naturally put me on hold.

Soon afterwards (I only just had time to calculate that given a spherical emitter emitting gigahertz radiation near my ear with about 200mW of power since the beginning of the call, an absorption coefficient of about 60% for salty water and the average weight of an eyeball (6g), my left eye had absorbed an energy of about 40 joules, enough to heat it up about one degree centigrade. No worries, yet.) somebody completely different told me that my ID was wrong. That wasn't any news for me - my id continuously fucks up, just see my post yesterday. Also, I don't hold much with Freud. I tried to explain this to the guy on the phone, but for some reason this threw him completely for a loop - he probably was an Adlerian. After some confusion we managed to come to a compromise, which consisted of me faxing them my permit de sejour.

An hour later my phone worked again.

I still can't call anyone abroad.

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