Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Culture shock: credit checks.

We tried yet again to get David a mobile phone last week, this time using the company we've already got broadband service with, and we were informed that our credit check failed. I'm sorry, but I'm as obsessive about our credit scores as I was about my GPA (Yes, I was THAT girl, and anyway, isn't your credit score like a grownup GPA?). Our credit is most excellent, and certainly good enough to get a crappy Virgin mobile phone. Besides, we're already Virgin customers and had clearly passed the broadband credit check. "I'm sorry, that's a different part of the company. This is mobile phone department. Our credit check is different."

Another interesting fact: when you move to a new country, you start fresh with some companies. It's like we haven't existed in this country until six weeks ago, and no amount of Here's-my-drivers-license-and-previous-eight-addresses will convince them to look up your United States address, despite the fact that they use the exact same credit bureaus we use at home. Somehow the broadband department in Virgin had no problem using a US address, but the mobile folks just won't do it.

What looked like was going to take "five to ten minutes," as we were promised by the overly-kind salesman, has now taken four trips the store, multiple hours of nonsense, and several frustrating phone calls -- and STILL all we have is an expensive pay-as-you-go phone.

On the up side, I can now actually get in touch with David and don't have to leave him notes and hope he finds me. It just costs me 50p a text and even more per minute to call him.

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