January 11, 2011 – Inside Day, But Pleasant – Phone Story at Last
Help Me Identify this Bird - They make a real racket each evening at sunset
See this link for pictures of the day on facebook “Electricians Visit (note the items he used to reach the sockets that needed fixing in my room) and Another Bird”
It has gotten even colder, but I seem to feel at peace with everything that is now happening, meaning, I am back to my old self. Had two healing sessions and I am lighter and more at peace than I have been for the whole past year. Again, simply back to myself.
It is now 5 degrees outside (!!!!!) – which is about 40 degrees farenheit for those of you who don’t understand the rest of the world. THAT is really cold, especially since it is foggy and damp and the sun has gone to visit other places.
But it means that I am contentedly in my room, meditation, doing yoga, reading, and of course using the internet which is wonderful, and completely happy with the forced rest. And in two weeks, winter will be over here anyway, and by the middle of February, it will already be 30 degrees celcius!!!
And now the phone story:
A day or two after I arrived I went down to reactiviate my phone number only to be told that there were new regulations and any phone which was not used in 90 days had the number cancelled. So I had to buy a new SIM card, but they are now cheap, 50 instead of 200 rupees. I got my new number, put in a balance of 888 rupees to last me the 4 months I am here and went home happy.
Two days later the phone stopped working! I went to the dealer who told me there was a problem and he will speak with the company and get it fixed. That was Xmas or something so the place was closed, and then it was Sunday, and closed again…and each day the answer was “tomorrow”…I finally got the answer that the number was cancelled (because it turns out the dealer did not send in my paperwork), so I simply took a new number, no problem, and asked that my balance be transferred. Then I was told the balance was cancelled with the old number! It could not be transferred! We are talking about a lot of money here (3 days rent for my room for example), and I was not willing to just dismiss it. So the guy said he would check further with the company, but then New Year’s rolled around and again things were closed and each day there was some other excuse. Finally he told me there was nothing he could do – even though as I pointed out that it was HIS problem since he did not send in my papers and because of this the number was cancelled…but he said it is NOT his problem and that I should go to the main office and get them to fix it for me. Well, I’m not good at dealing with “main offices” in a language I speak, and dealing with Indians…forget it!
So I began to talk to friends here…first I thought to ask the owner of the guesthouse to intervene as he is a very powerful person, but I was advised not to do that unless desperate as he is like a godfather and he would do something “bad” to the dealer. So another friend called him on the phone to try and figure out what was going on and got no better answer than I did, but was very angry that the dealer told ME to go to the main office to fix it.
At this point, I DID go to the guesthouse owner and told him the story, and he said he would fix it and for SURE he would get my money back. (Bottom line is, in the end he did nothing, and probably better he didn’t confront the dealer at this point)
So I then asked my other friend, my neighbors husband, to go with me to the company and try to straighten it out for me. He said he would go by himself and see what he could do.
He went, and came back with the answer as follows: Her number was cancelled because 8 people used the same ID to illegally purchase phone cards. And I could not get back my balance for sure.
The idea of someone stealing my identity was really scarey to me and so I went back to the original person who tried to help, and when I told him this he was extremely angry and told me to go back to the dealer, confront him and tell him if he doesn’t give me back my money immediately, and find out how my ID was stolen, I would go to the police.
So I did that! And the dealer (who I know by the way for the past 5 years and have never had any trouble with him…he has actually always been very honest and helpful so found this all hard to believe)…well, the dealer said to me “go to the police…I did not do this thing…I will go with you to police!!”
Then he suggested, finally, the HE go with me to the company and see what was going on.
Well, yesterday, more than 3 weeks after this all began, I went to the dealer, and on the coldest day yet…foggy, damp, windy, and 5 degrees out, we drove by motorbike into the market, and went to the company. After about 10 minutes of rapid fire Hindi between the dealer and the manager, he turned to me and explained that it was not MY identity that had been used (this had also frightened him as using a foreign passport is really a serious business for everyone involved which was why he said he would go with me to the police), but some Indian ID had been used 8 times, and my number had somehow fallen into this batch of numbers…maybe because he never sent in the papers and it was ID-less so they added this other ID to it…really don’t quite know. Anyway, the manager said there was no way they would return the money to me!! Even though it was not my fault, or the dealers, but THEIR fault.
I left with the dealer who simply said that HE would take the loss and give me back my money in full, by recharging my phone at his expense each time for 100 rupees for as long as I was here, and that HE would then fight the company until he got his money back, hopefully.
All’s well that end’s well but I feel bad for the dealer, and also must say that for a few days was really scared about the possibility of identity theft and having the hassle of going to the police and embassy etc.
Just more to make life interesting in India, but believe me, I could do very well without this!.