Have never been a fan of the phrases “only in Spain” and “typically Spanish”, but sometimes the cap just fits!
Living in Spain, or indeed any country other than your “own”, it is important to adapt and accept the conditions you find yourself living in. It can be hard, frustrating, and with the atrocious animal welfare attitude in Spain downright heart breaking at times.
Nowadays the Smartphone has arrived big time, and significantly spoiled a night out as it has around the world, but while the hardware has caught up the other side of the equation (Internet speed and costs) haven’t.
Which is why over the last two weeks I have only just got round to updating to 4G!
More than a tad painful to say the least.
Sands and I both use a HTC Dual SIM as we both regularly spend time in the UK, and business requires we have UK numbers (property business for Sands, ALStrays pet transport business between Spain and UK for pet cats and dogs (PETS Scheme) and rehomed rescue cats and dogs (TRACES for me).
So both phones require two SIM cards, which required upgrading for 4G. In Spain we use Movistar, and in the UK giffgaff. In addition to upgrading the SIM cards we needed to upgrade the phones from the 3G M7 model to the 4G E9+ model.
We both use a tablet in Spain. Sands was using a third generation iPad on an Orange SIM, and I was on a Samsung 10.1 with a Vodafone SIM. As both tablets needed upgrading for 4G we both went with the new Samsung 10.5
We share a Three SIM in our respective tablet when we go to UK. This also needed to be upgraded to a 4G SIM.
So how did it go?
Hardware was easy enough. Bought online, delivered on time. One HTC had a battery issue but sorting out a replacement was painless.
First up into Vodafone for a duplicate SIM for my tablet. 5€ and done very easily.
Second up into Orange for a duplicate SIM for Sands tablet. Because we didn’t have original NIE document (it has long since fallen apart and being replaced with a photocopy) the girl in the store wouldn’t issue a duplicate, so I told her we wanted to close the account. She just shrugged and gave me the phone number. So rather than issue a duplicate SIM to the obvious account holder she was happy to lose a 5 year long client.
Into El Corte Ingles just in case they would issue a duplicate SIM on Orange they don’t hold duplicate SIM’S so asked her to cancel. Can’t be done over phone, but she said best option was to transfer the number to Vodafone PAYG and then cancel on Vodafone.
Madness but we did that.
At the same time we opened a data only SIM on Vodafone for Sands, and upgraded my account.
Back home, Sands new SIM worked in her new 10.5, mine only picked up 3G. Swapped SIM cards over to test wasn’t an issue with my tablet. It wasn’t.
Back at El Corte Ingles they put in a new SIM which didn’t work either, and told me it was a technical issue and to call their technical department.
I did, it wasn’t!
Back to El Corte Ingles and they then admitted that when they opened new account for Sands and upgraded my account they didn’t activate my account.
Anyway, having been to a Vodafone Store once, an Orange Store once, El Corte Ingles three times and cancelled one account, opened one account, upgraded one account and received two duplicate SIM cards we had two Samsung 10.5 working on 4G.
Deep breath and off to the Movistar store. Explained wanted two duplicate SIM cards, showed paperwork, all OK …….except the system was down. This was 1pm on a Saturday. Told to go back 5pm, system still down. Returned 10am Monday to be told they had no duplicate SIM cards. The pack of 10 I saw at 5pm on Saturday had apparently all been used up. Strange given system was down, and store closed on Sunday.
Back to El Corte Ingles they issued two duplicate SIM for Movistar, 15€.
So three visits to the Movistar store, one visit to El Corte Ingles and we had our two 4G SIM cards.
So what about the UK Three SIM card? 10 minute on line chat with live advisor and new SIM in the post, on a much improved plan as a thank you for being loyal.
giffgaf SIM cards ….. ditto, quick online chat with live advisor and new cards in the post.
Spain has a long way to go still I am afraid.