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My Barred Line!

This note was written on Monday, the 13th of August. I was just too lazy to edit and publish it. So read as though tis Monday : )
My BlackBerry Internet Service was to have expired on the 11th of August. It didn’t.

Today, however, it expired. I was sad. I had to recharge : (

Being that we do not use scratch cards in Moscow, I always have problems working with them. Once I over-scratched a $7 scratch card and had to finally go to the Telecoms company’s office to sort it out. It wasn’t funny.

Today, I bought a few scratch cards, had the lady at the counter scratch them for me, and proceeded to load it.

The young lady, sensing that I might probably not be used to them, offers to help load it to my phone, to which I refuse.

That was a bad strike. I was soon to pay for the refusal.

I did what I thought was the right thing to do.

‘Invalid pin’, was the response I got.

Twice did I do it, and twice did I receive the same response. Only for me to realize that what I was sending was the serial number and not the pin. What a big shame!

Well, I finally did the right thing, put in the pin, and guess the message I received?

‘Everything is now fresh. You have successfully loaded 1500 NGN into your account. Enjoy!’

But no. That wasn’t what I received. That was what I expected to receive.

What I actually received was something of this nature:

‘You are barred from this service!’

Ah! Why so? Perhaps because I entered the wrong pin three times.

Not fresh, I thought to myself.

I tried another card, the same response,

‘you are barred from this service’.

The only natural thing to do at this point was to go to the Telecoms provider’s office – Airtel in this case. And off I went.

I took a cab to their office from Transcorp Hilton where I had had a meeting,

The queue was very long, but also very organized.

There was this lady whose english was in itself entertaining. Was almost tempted to ask whether she was born and bred in America.

This very lady advertised a certain movie – Figurine- which she explained was original bla bla bla. When I said I’ll come back and pick it up, she reacted in a soft American accent, ‘so you don’t want to support the fight against piracy?’

Now as a Do Something person that I am, I had to do something. And I did.

The lady sitting next to me had a different and sour story.

Mine was a personal error; hers was an involuntary response to an event she couldn’t control.

She was on her way to church and she entered a vehicle popularly described as ‘last chance’. Last chance explains a cab or bus that has just one passenger space unoccupied in it. One would enter the cab only to discover that was the worst decision ever, as the other ‘passengers’ aren’t actually passengers but work in tandem with the driver to make you sorry.

As she moved a few distance, all her belongings were forcefully collected from her with the exception of her ID card.

And thus, she had to come recover her sim card as her phone was also taken from her.

Sad story.

It takes God to know which cabs are genuine and which aren’t.

I digress.

So, it got to my turn, after having sat for an hour plus. I explained my situation to the lady. She takes my details and to my utmost wonder, the line, she says, wasn’t barred from any service.

And then she adds, ‘maybe you just wanted to come to our office.’


And guess what?

She didn’t smile when saying it.

I tried to load the same card which had put me in trouble, and it loaded at first try.

I thanked the customer service personnel and exited the premises.

Now thinking back, why did I not just let the lady load the card for me?

Ike Amadi

@ikeamadi on Twitter.

Ike Amadi

Author of the book Do Something! I am an advocate of all things #fresh. I want to see you become a #dosomethingperson.

  • Ayo

    It takes some getting used to. Happened to me before but never had to go to any telecom service provider’s office to sort a recharge problem. Better luck next time and oh! I must commend yo blogs, your style is unique and contemporary.