Swapping Homes Anybody?

NOW THAT WE'VE WALKED THE WALK, WE CAN GIVE YOU THE STRAIGHT TALK ON HOME SWAPPING. (Season 6)

Downtown the world famous spa resort of Baden-Baden

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fallen off the face of the Earth?


No- Just technical challenges in modern day Germany
In case you worried- thank you- I didn’t get lost in my own country or fall off the face of the earth. Blogging from the road can be quite a challenge. If you’re stationary and have a good broadband connection, not so much. I was experiencing the joys of  a data stick - and the technical problems that go with it. We never had that in the States. Maybe it was the mountains that surround us there that are responsible. A mobile data stick works on the principle of a cell phone where your reception depends on the signal and amount of bars that you get – or that you don’t get.
In the first week after my last report we traveled from eastern Germany via friends and family who didn’t have a viable connection either or where we just stayed for one night and I didn’t want to ask, ”Can I use your Internet?” instead of spending time with them.
Always planning ahead, we had ordered the first stick to the address where we stayed for 3 weeks. It arrived but we never got it to work. Like with the return of our damaged bags, there was an unbelievable song and dance to get it replaced. It duly arrived but this replacement didn’t work either. I think I still have a good command of my native tongue but these good customer people were as obtuse as if I spoke Chinese. Maybe they train them this way. We had to pay them for their good telephone support a mere 42 Cents/minute. Waiting in line for one to come on and listen to my grievances had to be paid for as well. So we heard the Euros clicking by.
Something that doesn’t often happen in the US. Ten Euros later, their data stick wasn’t compatible with Windows 7, according to their expert knowledge. Well, hello if that is the case and they know it, make it compatible, or please refund this customer.
Their position, however, was that once the data stick- −which is just a cell phone numbers − registered on your computer you have activated it and that’s it. They are not obliged to take it back and refund you. A fact we weren’t willing to swallow. 2 weeks and a stinker of a letter later, I got my money back yesterday.
We bought another one in a store where we coaxed a friendly employee into installing it for us by playing ignorant. Their policy also was once the stick is registered…Then you’re on your own. Good luck. We spent over an hour until the guy got it fixed. He had learned his superb English from the internet; not through an online course but by playing games online and interacting with English speakers.
Before I bore you too much with too many details let me finish off the first part of our trip to the former East on an episode in our eastern abode before we left. The data stick problems didn't allow me to upload photos or get on to FB to promote. The speed is just too slow to find FB or Twitter for that matter.
But I'm back in circulation now, thank goodness!

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