Posted by: bkivey | 17 September 2015

Canada Vacation Pt. 2

15 September 2015

I tried to sleep late, but was nagged by the fact I had a fair amount of work to do. I had to deal with the mobile data problem, field calls from customers and vendors, find out if my credit card would insure foreign rentals, and find a cheaper place to stay for my time in Vancouver. The last was actually the least important. I was already here, despite the efforts of Canadian Customs. The mobile data problem was Priority One. I had to have it to run my businesses, and basically function.

I’d arranged to switch my phone to an international plan two weeks prior, and was assured there wouldn’t be any problems. I made a point of telling Verizon that this had to work. Phone: check. Text: check. Data: oh so not check. I talked to one guy who walked me through the protocol, but ended up at ‘shutting the phone off’.’ That’s the last ditch, and it didn’t work. I called again after breakfast, and another rep nailed the problem on the first try. Chapeau! In fairness, Verizon customer service is good, but as with any other organization, competence can be variable. So that was done.

I called my bank, and after a couple of transfers, found that my credit card acts as the primary insurer on foreign rentals. That was good, as I could take the insurance off the rental, and save some much-needed money. Another problem solved.

Vacation yet? Uh, no.

I’d noticed the rental car (Mazda 3)  making chiming noises at random intervals. There didn’t seem to be any correlation between the chimes and operational aspects: braking, acceleration, etc. It was very annoying. I couldn’t see four days of that. I stopped by the rental agency, and they had no clue. I told them I was going to the dealer for an advisory opinion. The dealer’s mechanic informed that the driver’s side airbag was bad, and the chiming was likely caused by a faulty ‘door ajar’ sensor. As the mechanic noted ‘Safety first, eh?’ Back to the rental agency to exchange the car.

Oh, yeah. There were calls from customers and vendors.

Let’s recap the first 36 hours of my vacation week, something I look forward to all year:

Buy company truck.

Run errands.

Miss flight (because kiosk)

Pay $150 for later flight.

Detained by Customs for an hour.

Pay exorbitant amount for a room I’ll be in for 12 hours.

Deal with phone company all morning for something I was assured would work.

Something wrong with rental car.

Take rental car to dealer.

Exchange rental car.

1200 Tuesday. Vacation now?

Yes. Vacation now.



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