Merry Xmas & No Network

A couple weeks ago, I received a notification from Bell, who is my provider. It thanked me for my recent upgrade and the adjusted balance owing for the device.

The issue here is that I never upgraded or, for that matter, entered any store or contacted Bell, for any reason.  I have a Samsung Note 3 so I use the Shaw wireless network for connecting to the Internet. 

I started my day by trying to answer a text SMS message which is transmitted over the cell network. No luck. The texts would not send. I then tried to call my number. No Network.

I rebooted my device and there was still “No Network”. Now what? This is my only phone.  All I could dial us 911. The wifi was working fine so I tried to contact Bell to find out a reason for being without any network. 


The Bell chat is a big aggravating experience. They start by transferring you to technical support even if you select it. I spoke with 4 different experts and each one gave me a different story. No solutions. One person told me to go and visit the store. One gave me the accounts phone number. I even got a number to the Fraud line. Still, I had no phone. Still, I had no solutions. Heaven only knows where the chat center was but it was not Bell.

The next day, Black Friday, I went to Visions and was told that I had to call the Fraud people at Bell. Next stop was the phone.

The Bell fraud department was extremely helpful. I explained that my SIM had been changed during the so called “upgrade.”  Now, I live in Winnipeg and the upgrade was done at a store in Calgary. Hmmmm?

The Fraud guy could see all the transactions and he asked me to hold while he called the Calgary store. After about 10 minutes, he returned and said it was a mistake in Calgary.  He immediately re-entered my correct SIM and asked me to reboot. Then he called me on my device and voilà….. It worked!

This is a lesson on how a careless clerk, in a busy season, can cause one heck of a lot of aggravating hours, with one entry on a keyboard. Wonder how it worked out for the person in Calgary? Season’s greetings to all!

Long Phone Call


The Wild Ride Home

….continues from last week’s blog.

So, now the time comes to say goodbye to Vancouver.  I load up the Toyota Prius and try to make it back to Winnipeg.

With white smoke billowing from the tailpipe for the first 5 minutes, I started out on the highway with no challenges. After a couple of hours the engine was over heating, and so I pulled off the highway to top up my fluids. I carry on for another hour and again, overheating engine.

Somehow I made it to Golden, BC. At that point the gas engine blew. So, I could run the gas engine with one only cylinder and that was enough to charge the battery for the electric motor. The engine would only charge the battery 33%. That would allow me to drive 1 kilometer. Then I would repeat the process, and the next destination was Field, BC. That was a 4 hour journey of 55 kilometers. Field  is close to the Alberta border.

I pulled into a gift shop and Alberta Tourism office and attempted to revive the engine. Turns out a fan belt snapped and the overheating blew out a head gasket so the oil and coolant were mixed. That car was toast.

The gift shop allowed me to park the car on their lot. It was now evening. With nothing left I could do on June 30, 2010. I settled in for a frigid night of sleep in the mountains. That was the coldest and longest night of sleepless sleep that I ever had.

The morning came and the gift shop opened so I could grab some munchies and figure out how I was going to get back to Winnipeg. The lady in the gift shop made arrangements for me to catch a Greyhound bus back home. Luckily, her daughter worked at Greyhound in Golden. She told me to be on the highway at 4pm and the bus would stop and pick me up.

With a whole day ahead of me, I was invited to the Alberta tourist office July 1st Canada day party. Big barbecue and lots of fun and games. Good people.

The bus arrived on time and I jumped the Gerthound to Calgary with a stop in Banff, Alberta. In Calgary I had to transfer to another bus to Winnipeg. Only a 6 hour wait.

I had dinner in Calgary and at about 11pm caught the bus for the last leg of my trip home. The bus was almost empty. I slept most of the way home and wondered what would become of the Prius. I think the ride from Calgary was about 16 hours and I was back in time for supper in Winnipeg. What a wild ride home!

Welcome to Field (this is not me)

Welcome to Field (this is not me)