So, last week as I was going throught some stuff for our upcoming trip to Italy, I decided to check the GSM phone I always take with us whenever we go to Europe which has an Italian Vodafone SIM card in it which I can recharge online. I turned it on, made sure I had plenty of battery power, took it to a part of the house that gets cell coverage, and waited for it to find a network. I waited…and I waited…and I waited some more. Hmmm….why was it taking so long? I looked down at the phone and noticed an info button. I hit that and …CARD IS INVALID!!! What? How could that be? I ran to my computer and logged onto Vodafone’s website (my trusty Italian phone site where I am registered and everything is hunky dory for recharging, etc) and find that they don’t recognize my phone number anymore! They tell me “errore”!!! So, after perusing the site for answers, I realized that my SIM card had expired because I hadn’t charged anything to it for more than a year!!! Stupid me….I knew that rule, but totally forgot! OK, I was going to figure this out by writing to customer service for their suggestions. I sent a total of 4 emails last week and have yet to receive a response!! So much for customer service!
Someone that is not American cannot understand our problems with cell phones when we travel overseas. The United States is the only country in the world, I think, that has it’s own unique cellular networks and they do not mix well with the rest of the world! My U.S. cell carrier is Verizon – they have great coverage and are extremely reliable IN THE UNITED STATES, and they don’t do SIM cards!!! But, unfortunately, I cannot use them anywhere else! And those that have other plans, like AT&T, may be able to use their phones throughout the world, but the fees are exorbitant! So, for this reason, I have a GSM phone which I use just for travel. But purchasing SIM cards is extremely difficult. They require lots of registration and also copies of passports, etc. Whydoes it have to be so complicated?
Luckily, I have relatives in Italy which are willing to help out this helpless American! But they don’t quite understand our problems with our cellular dilemmas!
“We don’t have one!!”
“How can that be? Vodafone is EVERYWHERE!!!”
“Except the U.S.A.!!!”