So I finally gave in and ordered a new iPhone from Amazon on 24 August. When it hadn't arrived after about 10 days I just put it down to ... well, whatever the excuse is at the moment, really. Not to worry, though, as my current phone still works, albeit in a somewhat temperamental manner when I'm out and about. But the other day I thought it really was taking a long time so I looked up my order on Amazon France and saw that it had been "delivered on 26 August"! Well not a bit of it! I haven't seen hide nor hair of that thing and since it was being transported by Chronopost (meaning it had to be signed for), I contacted Amazon by email to ask what gives. To be fair, they have always been very efficient, and they got back to me immediately saying they would put a trace on it, even though they "expected it to be delivered in the next 48 hours, but in any case they would get back to me by 3 September at the latest". When that didn't happen I waited a bit longer and contacted them again, but this time by phone. After a few goes back and forth with the young woman I asked why it was so difficult to trace something that had to be signed for and she couldn't answer me. Anyway, she told me she would have to contact her supervisor and we made arrangements for someone to call me at 10 a.m. last Monday - and you guessed it, nobody called! Again I have to say that this is most unusual for Amazon as on the rare occasion I have had a problem, they have always resolved it very quickly!
So yesterday I got p...ssed off and sent yet another email giving a résumé of the situation and asking when I was going to get my money back (€700 if you're interested). Well I finally got an email from the young woman I spoke to on the phone and she said she had issued a reimbursement order and to give it between five and seven days! Just on the off-chance I tried checking my credit card on my phone but so far, nothing yet. Trouble is, checking my credit card on my phone only works once every couple of times at the moment. Ditto trying to update my French banking app to incorporate a new security code that they are insisting on. Every time I try to do this I get a message telling me "this service is currently unavailable", so today I received a letter from them giving me a second code that I will have to input any time I want to make a purchase online. On a side note, I would be absolutely delighted if Amazon reimbursed me and then my phone finally showed up because on the couple of occasions I've had this happen and contacted them to find out how to return the item when it subsequently showed up, they've told me to keep it!!! Somehow I don't see that happening though, do you! I also have another large package which is waaayyy delayed too (two compendiums of the complete works of Gary Larsen. I have one myself and wanted to get one each for my sons for Christmas since they love mine). Well these haven't turned up yet either (although order tracking confirms "the plane has landed" - though where, I have no idea!). So now I'm wondering if these delays are due to the pandemic, a labour shortage or the global economic situation - who knows!
Then last week I received my new wifi box since my old one must be about 15 years old and is also on its last legs. Well I messed around with that thing for ages and couldn't get it to work, which again is odd because I had no problem setting the first one up. So in the end I asked my neighbour for help and he realized that the sim card codes I was trying to input were for my telephone and not for the wifi box. Just FYI, if you are ever told to insert a sim card into a wifi box (or into anything really) where you have to push it out of its plastic support, for goodness sakes don't throw that little piece of plastic away because that is where your codes and passwords are, in tiny, tiny letters on the back! I didn't know that but thankfully hadn't thrown it away and he was able to get it up and running! Just as a test, he called his wife using my home phone (which was now running off the new wifi) and everything seemed hunky dory - well that is until about 30 minutes later when I realized that my home phone no longer worked!
Well I've tried everything to get it to work and even ran down to a little shop in town (where André bought a whole bunch of stuff for his apartment) and explained my problem to them. The guy took his time and explained to me exactly where the cables should be hooked up and when I asked to buy a specific cable to do the hook up he just handed one over and told me to take it home and try it out - and come back tomorrow to pay for it if it worked! And he doesn't even know me (even though I've shopped there a few times). I have to admit I was a bit surprised at that. I mean, why should they trust me to come back and pay the next day? Oddly enough, about 15 years ago my husband and I were looking at furniture in a town about 30 minutes from here when we spotted a couple of paintings that we liked that were done by art students, but couldn't decide which one we preferred - so the guy told us to take them both home to get a better look at them and then come back later and settle up with him!!! Seriously, how great is it that there are still such trusting people around!
In the end I found my own cable to hook up the phone and the wifi box but yet again, my phone worked for one call and then nada! In any case I ran back into town today to take their cable back and the guy said they might well be working on a problem on the line so to give my phone carrier a call back. And that was when I got a text message from my carrier saying they were indeed working on the line and would let me know in a couple of days when everything was up and running again!
So the upshot is that I no longer have a working home phone but you know what - I'm not sure I mind because I'm no longer getting the telemarketing calls! How cool is that! I guess the only downside to doing away with it all together is that I don't like handing out my mobile number to all and sundry so I usually give out my home number and tell people to start leaving a message when the answering machine kicks in! We'll see what happens, I guess, but in the meantime it's really not such a hardship to do without it (again, first world problems right)! That being said, while getting rid of the telemarketers is a definite plus, I'm still getting the occasional email from someone wanting to put millions of $$$$$ into my bank account. Actually I got one yesterday from Dr. Fatima XXXX who had "a bank account with $10 million in it and she didn't know what to do with it" - so I went ahead and told her exactly what to do with it! Do you think that might be why they keep coming back?
But this got me thinking, if my wifi starts playing up (it's very slow in the evenings right now), my mobile phone hasn't arrived, and my home phone isn't working, how vulnerable are we if our access to these things gets completely cut for whatever reason? More and more today they are closing bank branches (they haven't used cheques in Switzerland since 2003) and pretty much everything has to be done online now. So if "they" cut off our access to these things where would that leave us? It's the ultimate control, really, isn't it!
Last year I was reading about the wildfires (in California, I think) and one lady said that she had painted her phone number onto her horses' hooves in nail polish before setting them free to get away, (she knew that if she painted it onto their flanks if they got singed or burned it would disappear), and she was also saying that she was going to get her hands on as much cash as she could in case "everything went down". I must admit I had never thought about this but of course if the banking system went down for whatever reason (hurricane, earthquake, flooding, revolution!) we'd all be screwed for getting cash wouldn't we. I also remember seeing a man in Sicily at the beginning of the pandemic trying to buy food for his family but because he had no access to cash and his card wouldn't work, they refused him! I don't really know where I'm going with all this, but I guess my struggling to get everything back up and running here at the moment brought home to me how much we are at the mercy of the online system and, potentially, the powers-that-be!
And finally, I started watching The Queen's Gambit the other night because I'd heard it was good. Well I'm on episode four (of seven) and yet again, so far, it's just not doing it for me. I've sat through three hours more or less watching people play chess so I'm hoping things improve in the remaining episodes because it's a bit like watching paint dry at the moment. Or maybe it's just me being difficult. I loved Downton Abbey, The Sopranos and Dr. Foster. Grace and Frankie was ok, The Kominsky Method was frankly painful, and here I am again half falling asleep watching a programme about playing chess and fixating on how wide set the main actress's eyes are! Maybe I'm just too hard to please, but if you have any suggestions for something a bit more stimulating feel free to let me know!
Oh dear, we probably all need a digital detox and a release from our reliance on all those devices, but when they are forced upon us by one event or another it’s another matter and a complete disruption to daily life.ReplyDelete
Precisely! I have a little "calculator" with my Swiss account (my pension is in Swiss francs) which generates an access code (a bit like HSBC does) and when that broke I was completely stumped for paying my doctor's bills until the UBS could get a new one to me. I'm happy using the technology of course but, as I say, we are completely dependent on it too aren't we!Delete
My phone's a Samsung, not a big fan of Apple. That's sounds like rather shoddy service from Amazon, I've never had a problem with them, and I buy a lot through them. Also, I do all my banking over my computer. I like looking at a big screen rather than a small phone screen.ReplyDelete
I've always had good service from Amazon too so I'm a bit surprised. And like you, I do my banking on my computer (big font too) but having everything go haywire at the same time brought it home to me how dependent we now are on the internet!Delete
I think when a lot of people were saying how good Queens Gambit was, we were in the real lull of stay at home. It was just about paint drying! Good luck with your phone saga.ReplyDelete
Oh I'm glad you didn't enjoy The Queen's Gambit as I was starting to think there is something wrong with me. Well there may well be but ...!Delete
I did at the time, but I think it was just something new to watch. ByDelete
We ARE dependent on our devices and that's just how our lives are now. I hope that your problems get resolved soon. And I think if you DO get your iPhone, you might just love it.ReplyDelete
I just checked my credit card this morning and I have finally been reimbursed by Amazon. So I went on to my phone carrier's site (SFR) and picked out an offer (to tempt me to sign back up with them) for an iPhone 11 for €9 plus re-enrolment with them for another two years. It pays to wait them out because they are usually desperate to get you to sign back up with them. Don't tell them, but I was going to stay with them anyway! My new monthly contract works out about the same as I'm paying now AND she gave me a monthly discount plus a phone case as she saw it was my birthday next week! Lesson learned - let your contract expire and call near your birthday!Delete
wonder who got your new phone! it is scary to think we could be cut off from money and wouldn't surprise me anymore if it does happen. Probably only a matter now of when. Now our politicians want to start tracking our bank accounts for anything over $600. There will be no more privacy at all.ReplyDelete
Well whoever got my phone for free made a killing. I find it weird though that Amazon can't trace it but .... And I agree with you about the bank accounts. A few years ago in Cyprus the government decided to give people's bank accounts "a haircut". I guess they were in dire straits so they limited the amount people could take out of their accounts and took a percentage out of any accounts with more than €100,000 in them. Now that wouldn't be a problem for me (obviously) because I don't have that kind of money, but I remember one poor guy had just sold his home and had the money in his account so he got screwed there. I heard there was a lot of "dirty money" in Cyprus so that's why they did it, but we really don't have any control any more do we. I know one thing, if I ever got a lot of money I would put it in Switzerland rather than leave it here in France but the likelihood of me ever having "a lot of money" makes it a pretty moot point I guess!Delete
At the beginning of the pandemic I took out a sum of money from the bank to have cash available. Of course that didn't work so well as everyone wanted us to use our cards so they didn't have to handle money! I find now I'm scrabbling about looking for change to use for tips etc I never seem to use 'proper' money any more. If I had a lot of money I'd put it in Switzerland too lol. xReplyDelete
I always keep cash in the house - it just works better for me that way as I pay cash for my groceries mostly. Not that it's ever likely to happen but I would indeed put money in Switzerland if I had a lot (I still have my account there as my pension is paid in Swiss francs) as I don't trust the current French government. In any case, it has always worked in my favour to keep my pension in Swiss francs until I need to switch it to euros because if ever there is a crisis the Swiss franc always goes up, of course. Still, like I say, it's a moot point as I don't see me ever having that kind of money!Delete
I watched bits of The Queen's Gambit but never got to be really invested. Currently watching Superstore and Sex Education as well as Offspring. All on Netflix. I watch with my kids so these shows might be targeted to younger audiences but I like them all.ReplyDelete
I hope you get the phone thing sorted soon and yes, how lovely to do business with helpful, trusting people. There really are great people out there, we just have to find them
I just watched episode 5 (of 7) of The Queen's Gambit and I think I might just forget the rest. Life's too short right? I think I might "attack" Clickbait next as I heard that was good. We'll see - in any case it's cheaper than going to the cinema (especially in Geneva). And you're right, I think we sometimes get sucked in to believing everyone is horrible but in reality there are many more nice people out there - they're probably just less vocal!Delete
I enjoyed Virgin River - fairly gentle & predictable (ish) but it drew me in. We are really into New Amsterdam (a hospital drama) and have also enjoyed Modern Family. All on Netflix.ReplyDelete
Oh thanks for that. I must admit I only watch TV late in the evening (around 11 p.m.) and I suppose I am difficult to please but it's always good to get recommendations. I just gave up on The Queen's Gambit (I'd rather have all my teeth out) and started Clickbait last night (yikes!!!)!Delete
I had a phone adventure in March 2020 right after Covid hit and everything was locked down tightly. My phone would only work if it was plugged into an outlet on the kitchen counter - nowhere else. I couldn't just run over to the local Verizon store because it wasn't open so Verizon shipped a new phone. The package arrived. I opened the iPhone box - the ear pods were in there; the charging cable was in there; but NO phone. Try explaining that to someone. Well, it appears that the package gets weighed every time it's tracked on its journey and the weight of the package never changed. So at first I was not believed (understandable). But then the phone was never activated so my credibility was restored. It took about three weeks and many phone calls before I finally received my new phone.ReplyDelete