FEB 16, 16 .. VODAFONE .. SOMETIMES IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE MONEY

I am venting. I advise you to do yourself a favor and not to waste your time reading this mess.

There is a very wise saying that goes thusly:  

Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – 

SOMETIMES IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE MONEY. If I have a complete understanding about any situation then I can deal with that situation and any costs involved properly.

SOMETIMES IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE MONEY BUT .. Let’s start with money.

At the current International Rate of Exchange (subject to change hourly) 67 Indian Rupees (RS) equals US $ 1.00. So 1 Indian Rupee equals US $ 0.015 or a cent-and-a-half (1 RS = 1-1/2 cents).

The subject is my getting ‘ripped-off’ by the largest cell phone carrier in India .. Vodafone.

Vodafone is the only cell phone company here in India that I have ever used.

Get it?

She is Pregnant and Cap continues to deal with Vodafone. Both of us say .. “OH NO NOT AGAIN! When Will I Ever Learn! Why Can’t I Remember The Past?”

Vodafone says one thing (For which I pay money) and means another thing (So I don’t get what I was told I was going to receive and for which I paid money). No matter what I do Vodafone wins each and every single time we two ‘discuss’ things.

Specifics.

I come to New Delhi India and I go into my local Vodafone store that I have been dealing with since November 2011.
VODAFONE 003So to some extent I do know-the-ropes. I ask for a pre-paid plan and Vodafone sets me up with a cell phone. I pay them 500 RS (US $ 7.46) and I get a Sim card.

Knowing the ropes I say to them .. “I want an International Calling Plan to the United States.”

“For 61 RS you can have a calling plan to call the United States for 25-days for a cost of 1 RS per minute.”

So for 1-1/2 cents U.S. I can talk for a minute. Actually the plan is even better than this. 1 RS is divided into 100 paise (singular paisa). I pay 1 Indian paisa per second of talk-time. So 60 paise is my cost for 1-minute of talk-time. This is even cheaper than 1-1/2 cents per minute.

At this point-in-time I thought that the U.S. Calling Plan I was purchasing was good for the entire nation of  India!

So out and off goes Gimmee-Some Roy (The Search For The Perfect High .. Shel Silverstein).

I make a call or two to the U.S. and everything is wonderful. El Cheapo.

Then Patti calls a friend in Alaska. I have on my cell phone account 190 RS. In theory (with my International Calling Plan with Vodafone) Patti can talk for 316 minutes ( 316 minutes times 60 paise per minute is 189.6 RS).

Suddenly Patti and her friend are dropped cold. No big deal. Happens all the time. Even in the U.S. cell phone calls are dropped from time-to-time.

Patti tries to call her friend back. Patti tries again. I try. I try again.

So I decide that I will check the balance on my cell phone. I find out why we can’t call anyone back. We do not have enough money in our cell phone balance.

WHAT? 

My cell phone balance is only 10 RS. I check the talk-time. Patti and her friend talked for only 12-minutes (not even close to the 316-minutes I think we have available to us).

I ‘do-the-math’ and I paid 15 RS per single minute or 180 RS for 12-minutes of talk-time. This is twenty five (25) times the cost I thought I was going to pay!

Into Vodafone I go.

“Why did I pay 180 RS for a 12-minute call to the U.S.?” .. “You said I would be paying 60 paise per minute to call the U.S.!”

To this point in time .. after too many minutes / hours of discussing this with too many Vodafone staffers .. I have never been given any explanation for this.

They win because I had to leave New Delhi to go to Agra Cantt then to Goa then to Pondicherry.

In Agra Cantt I discovered that my calling plan was NOT good there.

I was told when I questioned the cost of a call to the U.S. that ..

“You have a New Delhi phone. We can’t help you.” Patti and I left Agra Cantt so it was a wash.

In Goa they tell me the same thing ..

“You have a New Delhi phone. We can’t help you.”

“Sell me a Goa Sim card and a Goa plan.”

For 500 RS I got a Goa Sim card. I was told that calls from Goa would cost me 1 RS per minute. I asked them IF I had to pay extra for a Goa to U.S. calling plan. “No.” I was told. Fine.

I make one call to the U.S. and I pay 8 RS per minute.

Back I go to Vodafone Goa.

“Sir you need to pay 31 RS to get a plan to call the U.S.”

Grinding my teeth I say with clenched fists .. “I asked YOU specifically about this and YOU said NO.”

I buy the Goa to U.S. calling plan.

I make a few calls to the U.S. and I get charged 1 RS per minute. Fine.

I call Alaska and I pay 8 RS per minute.

I ask why .. They look at me and wag their heads and give me no answer.

Patti and I go to Pondicherry.

I go into Vodafone Pondi and simply ask them to sell me 115 RS (US $ 1.72) to recharge my phone.

“No problem Sir.”

I pay them 115 RS. They take my 115 RS.

I GET NOTHING FOR MY 115 RS.

I go back. They say it will take 24-hours for the re-charge. I say it NEVER takes more than a few seconds. I go home. 24-hours later still NOTHING for my 115 RS. Three days later still nothing for my 115 RS.

It costs me 70 RS to go to the store.

It is not worth it to go back. Why pay 70 RS each way (140 RS) and still fail to get anything for my 115 RS. So I just gave away (Vodafone stole) 115 RS to the cell phone mega-giant who KNOWS I will be leaving no matter where I am.

We leave Pondi and again Vodafone wins hands down.

ATTITUDE .. I finally realized that it is just not worth the money to try to ‘be right’ in this situation. I can’t win no matter what I do.

THE CONCLUSION .. LIVE WITH IT CAPTAIN .. Would you rather be happy or would you rather ‘be right’?

Vodafone does NOT honor Alaska as a part of the U.S. Their plan(s) only cover calls made to the so called lower 48 contiguous states. Period. Live with it Captain. I figured this out and never one time did any Vodafone representative tell me this. Had Vodafone just told me the fact that a call to Alaska is going to cost 15 RS per minute then I could decide when I make the call what I was willing to pay.

Now let’s see IF Patti agrees with me to delete this or post it.

Someday I need to meet She the pregnant woman and compare notes about our memories .. I tell her “You can have your tubes tied.” .. She tells me .. “I am so sorry about your mind. I have nothing to offer you as a solution for your mind.”

Smiling .. Really I AM Smiling .. Cap ..

Does The Shadow Know? Will I really be returning to India in the future what with the above and many other issues such as being sick so much this trip. I actually asked Patti this afternoon IF she would opt for Goa or Pondi this Autumn of 2016 IF she were to return. Patti has yet to answer me!!

9 thoughts on “FEB 16, 16 .. VODAFONE .. SOMETIMES IT’S NOT JUST ABOUT THE MONEY

  1. Jeanne Follett

    I look on all my and your DRAMA as adventures and fodder for stories. I’ve had a lot of fun that way. I’ll be picking on you at your expense in an upcoming blog. Get ready!

    PS: I get the cell phones.

  2. Shaddy Peters

    I wouldn’t do well traveling as you do. My frustration level is very low. I’d be fit to be tied most of the time.

    My motto is “keep it simple” and that’s how I live. Of course, I’m missing out on the positive experiences but I absolutely need the security of predictability in my day to day living.

  3. Cap Chastain Post author

    Forget Patti for the time-being. My own Jury is still out about us ever coming back to India. Do I really need the grief of yet another round of the same-ol-same-ol? I am not sure I do. Smiles and thanks for your interest. Cap .. My Oh My Hong Kong is sure looking good. I paid over US $ 20 for a few tidbits at the Wellcome Market yesterday. It is Wellcome with two Ls ..

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Now I want you to tell me something I don’t know. I .. THE OWNER OF THE WEB SITE .. CAN NOT ALWAYS CONTACT THEM. You probably think I am kidding you. I just spent over one full hour about this issue with Andrej my web master since I could not sign onto my own site since I could not find the server.. OH SIGH ..

  4. Jeanne Follett

    Frankly, I’d hang up the whole phone thing while in India. It doesn’t hurt to be off the grid for a while. But, I know your phone is surgically attached, so I doubt you’d do it. You might come down with radiation withdrawal. ;)

    1. Cap Chastain Post author

      Giving up on the cell phone in India is a pretty good idea. BUT .. No matter where I go I seem to have to give many organizations a cell phone number .. Especially when I check into hotels THEY want a positive way to contact me or to know I am legit. Same for hospitals. Same for the India rail system reservation process. And the airlines. So I don’t think I can totally give up on a cell phone. Smiles .. Cap .. Also I do USE a cell phone to contact my friends in India.

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