Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Universality of Cell Phone Company Perfidy

2011 09 28

Seville well Gelves actually), Spain

Patio at the Cathedral of Seville
taken from the top of the Giralda

New Country, New Phone Number. 

Friends who cruised Greece a few years ago insisted it was easy peasy to change phone SIMs in Europe.  Whenever you entered a new country you just bought a new SIM card and plugged it into your phone.  SIMs were inexpensive and the process was near seamless.  So they said.

We actually believed them.  Arriving in Portugal we purchased a phone and Portuguese SIM from Vodafone.  Vodafone run a multinational cell phone network through much of Europe and we reasoned this would make changeovers even easier.  But we are dealing with cell phone companies here, masters of government sanctioned thievery.

Once  the hook was down just outside of Seville, which is in Spain I hasten to add, we trotted down to the Vodafone booth to get a new SIM.  As promised it was inexpensive.

However it would not work in our phone. No you see our cell phone was locked by Vodafone and would not accept other SIMs.  But, we asserted, this is a Vodafone phone.  It even had Vodafone engraved in its cover.  Surely a Vodafone could not be locked out of a Vodafone network.

Yes it can is the quick answer.  You cannot use a Vodafone Portugal cell phone with a Vodafone Spain SIM.  

So everytime you change countries you must buy a new phone.  Back home, where all things are done right and proper, this would be like having to buy a new phone everytime you went over a provincial boundary or state line.  Ludicrous.

Of course Europe can teach us in North America nothing about being screwed by cell phone companies.  We invented it.

Like the language it is different here.  You still get screwed but they do it differently. :)

Since Reading Pillars of the Earth
I Always Look Up when in Church

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