Monday, February 09, 2004
Anticipating that our ATT Wireless phones would not function down here, we hunted around for a U.S. cell-phone provider that could promise service in the Bahamas. Cingular averred that it had service in the Bahamas, so we acquired 20 phones with service contracts and allocated them among our management and our sales reps so that we could all stay in touch with our various money-making schemes while learning about neurosurgical devices by day and frolicking by night. Imagine our ventilating rage when we arrived in Nassau, plinked on our bright, shiny, new Nokia phones with the Cingular logo, only to get a "no service" stop sign on our screen.
It turns out that U.S. Cingular and Bahamian Cingular are not Cingularized. The Bahamians aren't actually turning on the towers that drive our bright, shiny new Nokia phones with the Cingular logo until next week! In short, Cingular lied!
Now, I know what you are thinking: "Fool. Relax. Use a land-line!" That's easy to say, but the land lines cost between $2.60 and $6.00 per minute, depending on how adept one is at manipulating the few forms of telecom service that are available down here. I'll get lock-jaw paying that much to talk on the phone.
UPDATE: It seems that Cingular did not, strictly speaking, lie. Their people in the U.S. apparently told "our people" that they couldn't guarantee that the phones would work. OK, a barely acceptable hedge.