So we moved to Manchester over the weekend and have been exploring this lovely city lots. We knew of course that it would take some time before we sorted our broadband in the apartment. So I'm completely reliant on my mobile. I'm using personal hotspot to tether and we even managed to catch up with some TV on Netflix using my O2 package. Great.
Then yesterday my signal fell out completely. I mean TOTALLY. No texting calls or surfing. MMMM I thought after two hours there must be an outage. Since my hubby was in London I couldn't use his phone and that's when the fun started. So having turned the phone on and off a gazillion times, removing the battery and the SIM still dead as a dodo I find myself loitering around the Revolution Pub near us to log onto their free wifi so I can at least text my better half to let him know what's up.
It's a lovely place. They are lovely people. Is it the kind of place a fifty something woman shiftily trying to access the wifi should be hanging out at 10.30 at night. Nope. Tramped back to apartment and then spent about 2 hours trying to access any of the WIFI networks around me frantically trying to guess passwords. People have gotten much better at hard passwords. That's good. But not for me. I finally accepted it an evening disconnected from the world. To bed and hopefully situation resolved tomorrow.
The alarm goes off at 7.30 and I reach for the phone. STILL NO SIGNAL. Right then too early for 02 shop to open I find the nearest place with free WiFi (Mc Donald's) settle down with a McMuffin and start the web chat with the O2 live web chat service. And very good they were. Within five minutes of hand holding the operative tells me that someone identifying themselves as me has answered all the security questions and reported my phone stolen. Hence 02 shutting everything down. That's good. So I think right I'll just get another temporary SIM while I wait 24 HOURS before service is restored. (In fairness it was back within 6 - thank you 02). So down to the shop where the lovely Lisa sells me a Pay As You Go SIM and a Dongle so that I can connect to my laptop - Hurrah problem sorted.
Back at the apartment I thought I'd try the SIM/Dongle laptop first. Nope! can't use that since I have to have a password to verify and in order to do that I have to log on. Ok I'll use the temporary SIM in the phone and verify online there. NOPE! STILL NO SERVICE. Sigh.
Tramp back down to the store where the fantastic Lisa tells me after looking at my phone that everything is locked down including the phone so I can't use the temporary SIM. You can tell what I'm like at this stage. Fearing armagaddon Lisa quietly suggests that for £9.99 I can buy a cheap phone to use the SIM. She also tells me that if I round it up to £10.00 the extra penny will go to charity. What are the chances I'm going to say no. She's really kind. She gets the phone and puts the SIM in in while the equally lovely Paul tries to sort the other SIM for the Dongle. And then she hands it to me......
Words fail me. I mean really fail me. I'm prodding and poking at the screen. Lisa is looking at me very sympathetically. I appreciate that especially since she's wearing some sort of Ghostbusters back pack that's twice the size of her. That must be hard. Anyway. "YOU. NEED. TO. PRESS. THE. BUTTONS" she says very slowly like people do when they think people don't speak English. She's like a reverse Digital Native. She goes off to get the bill and I turn to Paul. He puts his hands in the air as if to say "beyond me". "I might kill someone if I have to use this" I say. By the time I leave the shop I've only managed to text my husband Tony (now in contacts as TO!NKY as its some kind of weird predictive text thingy and an interface worse than SKY TV) with one word "Me".
Thankfully by the time I eventually get back to the apartment my contract service is restored. This is good. What is less good is the gazillion texts from my Bank to tell me about all the unauthorized transactions on my account. Whoever worked out the 02 hack has had a merry spending spree and my bank account is considerably lighter. Thankfully their fraud people are brilliant and I'll get it back. But it's a lesson learned. For all my knowledge about technology I'm as laissez fair as most around passwords and have realized why my mother has such difficulties using the phone she has. Older and more vulnerable people should be given access to the best technology not the cheapest. Alcatel One Touch - One Touch? My ass