Monday, December 10, 2007

Good news, bad news

Well, here I am, writing offline... I am not complaining. Really. I am just telling it as it is. Ok, to summarize how I got to this point, I should take you back in time, like a week or so... remember that Fernando was in the States, and that he was bringing home a lot of goodies? Well, he arrived safely and he had no problems with his luggage. He enjoys some benefits as a "platinum" member of a certain airline that should remain nameless; he had two suitcases with him, one barely between the limits of the specified weight and another one BEYOND the limit. He was not charged extra for it, nor was he bothered by anyone because of it. We got everything we wanted, and now we are very happy AND very warm! But I am not getting to the point, am I? Well, Fernando decided to surprise me, and since my birthday is in December (tomorrow if you must know!) he bought me a new computer! Yes, I am the proud owner of a Mac-Book!!! YES!!!
I always got Fernando's second hand computers, as he is an engineer and he needs to update his hardware often. As an artist, I always wanted a Mac, but I was happy just to have a computer. That is until my 9 year old laptop decided to hibernate. ctrl+alt+del was my most common use for the machine. Talking on Skype was like playing voice charades. Needless to say I was very happy to get my dream computer! I had to wait a little to use it as all my information and all my files were on another hard disk that is not compatible with my new computer. OK, you must be wondering what all of this has to do with the fact that I am writing offline? Well, there are always ways in which we learn to appreciate what we have, and this usually happens when we no longer have them! In my case, I get my very first brand new computer, and Telecom is the instrument the universe chooses to show me how lucky I am. Telecom Italia had been calling Fernando for over a week, and since he was out of the country or at work, they never were able to talk to him. Finally, last week, I was able to talk the operator into telling me (the wife, not the account holder) whatever information they had for Fernando. Well, they were calling us because our bill was too high! What? A company calling a customer because they are paying too much? Yes, the operator tells me the bill is in the THOUSANDS of euros! WHAT? Yes, even though we requested a flat fee Internet service (about 20 euros a month), we are being charged by the hour, at the extravagant fee of 2 euros an hour! I keep my computer on most of the time, and the Internet is connected as soon as I turn the computer on... hence the super-bill of sorts. When talking to the operator I was able to tell him that this was a mistake, and that we would have never ordered the hourly fee and use it as often as we had. He was very polite, and he gave me a phone number to call to get everything straighten out. Up until this point I was very proud of myself and my Italian speaking abilities, but when it came time to call the service center, a machine answered my call, and I learned that I understand "human" Italian but not "machine" Italian. I called my relocation agent and she took care of the problem, or so we think. We have to wait until we get the bill in the mail, and then we can ask for a recalculation of the bill.
Some side effects of our little misunderstanding: they blocked my account for a while, and once service was reestablished, it shows that we are still paying the hourly fee... it can take only one second for someone to make a mistake and change my service from a flat fee to an hourly fee, but it would take 10 days to change it back!
This is the story of how it came to be that I am writing this entry offline.

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