Sunday, December 12, 2010

Ding Dong

Cell phone tower cleverly disguised to look li...Image via Wikipedia
Bet you'll never guess which tree is the cell phone tower!

My next door neighbour recently bought a Blackberry. I was so impressed that she could get You Tube on her new phone way out here in the country, that I took myself off to the nearest Bell Mobility store to see if they had anything similar in my price range.

They didn't .

They did, however, sell me a nifty little device called a turbo hub.

For a price, one that city people don't have to pay, the turbo hub lets rural folks enjoy highish speed internet access.

It has its own phone number and runs off the cell phone towers.

It works quite well.

It is easy to install.

But trying to arrange online billing does not work well and is not easy.

To set up an e bill account and avoid the extra $2 a month Bell charges for a paper bill, (Can you imagine? Have they no shame?), you need a secret access code.

And getting the secret access code is like trying to get plans to build a nuclear scud missile in your back yard.

But I didn't know that when I started.

"What fun," I thought. "A secret access code! I'm going undercover, just like in the movies."

As I left the store, I hid the turbo hub under my coat and scanned the parking lot looking for enemy infiltrators. When the coast was clear I hopped into the spy car and headed for North Pelham.

Safely at home I put the thing together and went to the website. Following my handler's instructions which said they would text my secret access code as soon as I contacted them, I entered my cell phone number.

Seconds later I was shocked to learn that they have no record of my phone.

Which, I might add, I've been using for years.

Now I won't say I panicked but I will tell you that Bell eventually locked me out for a while.

Anyway after 4,723 phone calls to Bombay I learned it was because my phone was from Bell Solo and my turbo hub was from Bell Mobility. It apparently didn't matter that I bought them both in the same little 10' by 10' Bell Mobility Store in St. Catharines.

Bell was pleased to send my secret access code to my turbo hub phone number though.

But the turbo hub is a screenless, soundless black box.  Bell might as well have sent the
secret access code to the tree in my backyard.

You know - the tree that stands beside my scud missile launch pad.

To make it worse I keep getting anxiety producing e-mails from Bell Mobility wondering why I haven't arranged my billing. I only have 14, oops, make that 11 days, left to set it up after all.

The people in India have given up on me. I'm presently waiting for a personal e mail from Ma Bell herself.

If, by mistake, they send me the plans to build a nuclear scud missile instead of my

secret access code,

I think I'll aim it at their head office.

Because I'm not paying Bell Canada an extra $2 a month for a piece of paper.

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