Communication

Old Rose

Old Rose

Apparently I don’t speak English any more!

When I travel overseas I buy a new sim card for my phone when I get there and use that for all my contacts during my stay. It seems the easiest thing to do. My phone is very old and I don’t want the hassle of arranging ‘roaming’, having heard tales of people getting back to SA and finding massive bills awaiting them, as every call they made in the UK, to someone else in the UK, went via SA!

So as soon as possible after arriving in the UK in June, I walked into the little shopping centre in Windsor, with my friend’s husband D. We soon found a Vodaphone store. I knew their sim would work in my phone, as I’d done this last time. So far so good.

Now came the difficult part. I am English, but having lived in SA for many years, I speak SA English. There are differences in some words. For example, in SA you buy Airtime when your phone has run out of money to text or call someone; in the UK they call it Top Up. This much I knew.

However, the young girl serving me spoke with quite a strong accent and so fast that I was really struggling to understand her. Even D, a ‘native’, was battling!

Well, I explained what I wanted and she suggested options. She did ask me at one point did I want to call overseas. I said no, since I would mostly be texting, and use skype on a laptop to speak to SA. We settled on a 20 pound Big Value Bundle that gave me unlimited texts and 2GB of data for 30 days; more than enough for my needs.

I immediately inserted my new sim into my old phone and texted both my daughters to let them know my new UK cell phone number. The text to Pix in the UK went through no problem, but the one to DD in Germany refused to send. We were still sitting in the shop, so I told the Vodaphone assistant and asked her what was going on.

She said I couldn’t text overseas on this option; it was for the UK only.

So apparently when she said ‘call overseas’, she meant any sort of contact, not just speaking. Also, in my mind, SA was where I lived, and the UK and Germany were collectively ‘overseas’. I wasn’t thinking that now I was in the UK, even Germany was ‘overseas’!

I realise that this was my error.Β So I had to buy an extra 5 pound Top Up that would allow me to text overseas; both Germany and SA. This would be expensive to use, so I would have to be careful with it, but I did need to be able to contact DD in Germany, when I would be leaving from the airport in two weeks time.

Sorted!

And so it was, until I began running a little low on the Top Up option and needed another 5 pounds to see me through to my Germany visit. This time I went to a Vodaphone shop in Huddersfield with my sister. I must say that the man who served me was very off-hand and not listening to me at all.

I explained what I wanted and even got out the slip from my previous purchase, which had all the details on, but he wouldn’t look at it.

He was busy trying to find something on-line or in leaflets. In the end he called over a younger red-haired guy, who though obviously junior, also, obviously knew more. I started to speak to him and show him my slip from my last purchase, but the young guy said it was OK, he knew what I wanted from the older guy!

So I paid my 5 pounds and left the store. I checked my phone credit outside on a bench in the shopping centre and saw that it had not added any credit to my depleted amount. So I went back in the store and queried this.

After some more discussion, where I am really beginning to wonder if I am actually speaking English to these guys, he tells me, no the amount won’t show up. I do have 5 pounds worth of ‘calls’ to overseas – but I can’t text them!

Huh? So now ‘calls’ actually means speaking calls, which I had thought in the first shop! I explained that I needed to be able to text my daughter in Germany, for example if I am stuck at the airport and she is en route in a train, and unable to take my call or maybe without a signal. At least she will get the text at some point.

OK. Now he understands. That will be another 5 pounds please. It is a simple Top Up; which he would have seen if he had deigned to look at the slip I had been trying to show him in the first place!

I speak English – or so I thought! I can only sympathise with the problems non-English speaking people must have in England!

 

Advertisements

54 thoughts on “Communication

  1. pensitivity101

    Had a similar thing in NZ and the idiot in the shop sold me a sim that was totally useless for my phone, so I took it back He told me I couldn’t have a refund as I’d taken it out of the wrapper and used it. I said he’d sold it to me under false pretenses, it didn’t work and there was no way i could phone my ‘supplier’ as it was TESCO supermarket in the UK. He huffed and puffed and I demanded to see his superior as he’d sold me a useless item for my phone, even though I had explained fully what I wanted. I eventually got a refund for the sim, but not the time I’d purchased (so gave that to my sister in law). I suggested they kept the sim out so that they could test it with other phone users like myself before selling something that was totally unsuitable for the purpose. In the end, I sent texts to Hubby to let him know when I needed top ups and didn’t need anything extra at all to contact NZ or the UK!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  2. Ady

    Oh My !!! Spending so much amount of money on phones make me nervous and that too when the vendors sell so many different things half of which are not useful. In homeland, one can do it online and read properly the scheme but once I go to shops for recharge they try to overwhelm me with unknown many schemes ! In the end, I have wasted on it few times 😦 It’s beginning to worry me about Germany !

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  3. mistermuse

    Fortunately, I’m a technophobe and a make-do with what I’ve got guy, so I’m not tempted to buy anything beyond my very basic electronic needs. If I don’t understand it, I do without (easy for me to say, because my wife is just the opposite and can handle all the esoteric stuff).

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  4. faburlifekhloe

    Oh gosh it’s so sad to hear about it Sci! What you need wasn’t that complicated, but I feel like they didn’t pay enough attention to try understand what you want. If you would have listened to you properly, everything can easily be sorted out. I don’t understand why they made it complicated than what it was.

    Like

    Reply
    1. scifihammy Post author

      haha I am just an ‘old’ person – ie not a teenager! So I should just get with the trend! πŸ™‚
      But it was fine – I did get what I wanted in the end, even if it cost me 10 pounds extra!!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. faburlifekhloe

        Sometimes getting with the trend can be problematic too (just different kind of problem I guess)… Happy that you got what you wanted in the end, 10 pounds extra is little extra 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  5. colinandray

    I do not currently own a cell phone. Some times it is tempting but then ……………………! Reading your Post, I ‘ll stick to being “cell-less”! I have a phone at home which takes messages and when I am away from it? People just have to wait for me to return their call πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. scifihammy Post author

      That’s absolutely fine!
      However, I do like the security of being able to dial for help if for example my car breaks down, or is stolen. And it is great to be able to text my kids at odd times when I am out – they live 10,000 km away.

      Like

      Reply
  6. Midwestern Plant Girl

    Cell phone plans are such a huge hassle anywhere IMO. I just changed and actually got a great deal. The point that were still not able to communicate equally around the planet is baffling to me. Soon I will assume that when you’re born, you will have a phone implanted in your arm and will be able to talk to anyone. George Orwell 1984 anyone?

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
  7. Jackie Jain

    Oh my!! So sad… It’s difficult sometimes to find a perfect plan for roaming while travelling to different countries. And that ‘speaking calls’ incident is very rude. He should have listened to you carefully or should have seen that slip. Anyway you got a top-up from which you can message, which is good.. Have a good day..
    Communication plays an important role in conveying our thoughts..

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. scifihammy Post author

      We are so used to being able to contact each other at any time, that it is hard when you cannot! As I was travelling all over the UK in June, I needed to be able to communicate πŸ™‚
      Thank you for reading πŸ™‚ And have a good weekend too πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  8. southamptonoldlady

    I live in a student area of Southampton. During the Summer holidays, one hardly hears any English spoken at all yet alone all the versions of English – Polish, Latvian, Hindi, Urdu, Arabic, Russian, Spanish, French, Rumanian, Norwegian to name but 10. As people travel more – the earth seems to get smaller.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. scifihammy Post author

      Yes, more languages are spoken in more places. πŸ™‚ Being away from the UK so much, I get to notice the differences even more when I do visit. First dramatic change was 2 years ago. England just didn’t seem to be England any more.
      And who would have thought that Southampton would have so many languages spoken there now?

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  9. Garfield Hug

    I empathise with you! My oh my that is indeed perplexing. I have a suggestion, next time before you travel ask your telco for capped limits of overseas data roaming eg we pay a fixed value and it must allow pairing to your telco partner in country(s) you are going to.
    Usually hotels overseas have free wifi of which you must have access code to tap from and you disable mobile plan. Free of charge.
    Text messages are or can be expensive. If you have free apps like WeChat or Whats Apps you can call voice free, text free.
    I hope my English is ok for you to grasp LOL!
    UK people tend to have heavier accents in the country towns. I used to have Scottish colleagues…gawd it was tough!! LOL!

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. scifihammy Post author

      I don’t have a cellphone contract, but Pay as you go – and an Ancient phone which will not update with new Apps. – No WhatsApp, no skype etc. I just wanted to be able to contact everyone when needed, and 20 pounds for a month seemed a good deal to me.
      Last time I stayed in hotels quite a bit, and yes there was free wifi, but the connection was appalling – so actually No wifi! This time I stayed one night in a Travellodge, where you got about an hour’s free internet – all on one go, and that was that! So I didn’t even bother.
      I’m pretty good at understanding UK accents, but not so much Down South! And to be honest, England ain’t what she used to be! πŸ™‚
      Oh, and Yes, I understood you fine πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
      1. Garfield Hug

        I forget you are in a big country like SA!
        I forget you get power outtages too and so I guess telco not stable too! I am in a tiny island and ha ha we all have mobile plans. I have one that come with 4GB of free data and 1,000 smses. But not cheap at almost $100 a month!
        Oooh I am glad you understood my English ha ha πŸ˜‰.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. scifihammy Post author

        Many people here buy a 2 year contract and get their phone free. Trouble is, your phone is stolen and you are still paying off your contract!
        As I don’t use my phone very much at all, it suits me to have the Pay as you go. Just for emergencies really, if my car breaks down etc.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Garfield Hug

        Forgot to add that yes with bigger countries they are less generous with free wifi than us in Asia. Malaysian, Indonesian hotels or 3 stars and above have free wifi all day. For Singapore there is free wifi in malls and starbucks or McD too!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Garfield Hug

        Wow!! You are really saving Gaia. Great to use old phones they ladt longer. These days phones don’t last beyond 2 years! Else phone manfuacturers lose sales!! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Rachel M

    Oh dear this is just awful. I had no idea that you needed special top ups for texting and calls. How complicated! I use three.co.uk and for Β£15/month I get 300 minutes, 3000 texts, and unlimited data. I can also send text overseas but I doubt these fall under the free option so when I top up I will usually put on an extra Β£5 to cover any international texts. Maybe next time you could get Viber for your phone which lets you text all over the world for free, provided you have an internet connection. This is how I usually text friends and family overseas.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. scifihammy Post author

      Well that was half the problem – my phone is so very old, it cannot even get skype. I used other people’s laptops and internet when I visited them, but I wanted to be able to send texts from my cell phone in places I might not have internet, such as stations, on the train, in a car, at an airport etc.
      It worked fine in the past. I was just a bit annoyed with the mis-communication this time, and in the last instance, with being ignored altogether!

      Like

      Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s