Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Thrills of Buying a Cell Phone in Argentina

Hola. Yes, I am in Buenos Aires again by myself.  It is so hard to be away from Leo, my heart hurts when I think about it.  I arrived last Tuesday.  I took care of setting myself up. I checked into the apartment, the land line had no answering machine and I was without computer (as well as Leo). 

My friend, Chris offered to buy the phone from me once I finished using it.  I just had to do the leg work.  Now, if you have never been to Argentina and only know American customer service you MUST lower your expectations about the service here. 

I walked over to the trendy and very overstimulating Alto Palermo mall.  I went to Personal's kiosco (one of the cell phone companies here) and bought the "mas barato" phone.  It meant a basic phone, no camera or any other tricks and gadgets.  I was advised by the sales chica that within 24 hours I would get a message with my new phone number.  Ok,  I thought thats cool. 

As this is Argentina  the story does not end yet.  On Tuesday, no service. On Wednesday, I made the dreaded trip back to Alto Palermo and to the Personal kiosco.  In my best Spanish, I advised the chica I had no service.  She assured me that in another 24 hours I would have service and if not I could call her.  I was skeptical but also hopeful.  No service on Thursday, Friday.  I really did not want to go back to the kiosco.

Today, I met my friend Richard and his zexy boyfriend Carlos ("Charlie") at Alto Palermo to see a terrible Bruce Willis movie.  Anyways, Richard said Charlie would help me with fixing the no cell phone problem.  We got to the kiosco and the spanish flying between Charlie and the sales guy was so fast I just mentally blacked out.  The sales guy was a jerk, he told me to go to the main office.  The main office is usually packed with 100 people waiting to be seen (not unlike the DMV). 

We went around the shopping center to another Personal kiosco.  The chica was very helpful and called the woman I had spoken to the other day and said she would be there in 15 minutes. We waited (although I was certain she would not show). I saw Mickey Mouse on Ave Santa Fe giving out balloons which only made me homesick.  Anyways, the woman showed up said it was a bad chip and changed it.  All that drama for a "bad" chip. Now, I have cell phone and I am plugged in.

Viaje a Nueva York

Viaje a Nueva York