…Its the way that you do it! Yes, tell me about it.
In truth, when it comes to receiving customer service, I’m probably more forgiving than most, because its an area I’ve worked in for much of my life. However, there are times, and people who even drive me to frustration, and yes, I met one on Friday.
The rule I’ve always applied personally, is, if in doubt, ask someone, and make sure you’re doing the right thing. It has led to moments when I’ve been 99.9% certain that I’m right, but still feel its better just to make sure, especially on critical matters. Anyway, on Friday…
Normally, when I have anything to do with foreign currency prepaid credit cards, I head to Thomas Cook, as I did on Friday. Their card does all I need, and the staff in Huddersfield know exactly what they’re doing, and you get smooth, professional service. To cut a long story short, I was over in Bradford on Friday, so I thought I’d get it done over there. Not a wise move!
I guess I should have taken the hint when the woman behind the counter was fighting a losing battle to put a currency order into the system, and asked me to wait while she sorted it out. As I now know, like a fool, I did! I should have walked out the door, there and then, but fine, hindsight is a wonderful thing.
I rather gathered she’d never had to issue, and activate a prepaid card before. So after a few minutes of trying to convince the system let her do it, she gave up, and asked for help. The snag was, the woman who she called for help had never done one either. So, instead of the 5 minutes I have spent in the past doing this, in Huddersfield, we were now up to 15 minutes, and no closer to getting it issued than when I had walked in!
Eventually they said they’d won the battle, and quoted me a dollar figure for the amount I was handing over. I misheard, or I would have said something because the figure they put through was ridiculously low. Yes, instead of giving me the sell rate, of around $1.20, they gave me the buy back rate about $1.11! But I only realized this after they’d handed me everything, including the receipt. After all that time (about 25 minutes), I wasnt inclined to start again, for about the sake of $4.50, as I was only putting a small amount on the card to get it active.
So, got it home, registered the card online. Yes, its showing up, but no, its not showing any balance! My suspicion, they havent confirmed something, or they’ve confused the system with the exchange rate they’ve used, or something? So now, on Tuesday, I’m going to have to go into Thomas Cook, in Huddersfield, on my day off, and get the whole matter sorted out. All because 2 people, who admitted they didnt know what they were doing, couldnt ask someone who did, or ask me to go to another branch where they would!
Yes, I’m glad thats not my regular branch! I’ll stick with Huddersfield in future!
The video, as so often, a clue in the blog title. An, err, interesting live vocals performance by a group of people who I suspect were more used to lip syncing!
Well I decided it was probably a shrewd move to get my visa waiver sorted out before Trump, Pence and co take over on Friday, and try to start asking questions about whether potential visitors are LGBT or whatever, so I did it earlier today. Fine, before anyone jumps on me, I’m sure it would be illegal for them to do that, but I’m sure Pence would love to know which tourists he needs to offer conversion to, lol. Fine, I’d be interested to get that offer, but…
I realized just how long it had been since I did this (would have been Spring 2014), by all the extra questions now asked. Parents, employers, the works! I can see the logic of it all, but it all meant it took a bit longer than I’d thought. But yes, fine, I got authorized very quickly. All very much easier than getting an actual visa, believe me! Yes, I’ve been there, done that, first time was 1987! Yes, that old!
Mind, getting a visa waiver to visit, or indeed a tourist visa as it was that first time is a lot easier than getting a work visa would be! Still, maybe one day…?
The thing that caught my eye this time around, and maybe it was there before, and just didnt notice it, was that in addition to using the visa waiver for short term (under 90 days) tourist travel, you can use it for short term business trips. Anyone know exactly what that covers? I’m sure I can go visit an agency (or maybe 2) while over there, and discuss things, or equally, if a studio lost their minds, and decided they wanted to turn one of my books into a TV program, or movie, that would be fine. But beyond that?
Pretty sure that no theater, studio, or model agency would want to do an audition/test session while I was there, but could I do so without papers, if not paid? Gets even more complex as I have an American tax number, because of the ebooks, but clearly I’m registered as a non native for that. Dont get me wrong, I know that if they wanted to take it further, I’d have to go through the whole process of applying for a work visa, but can I make a case, and show it, without one? I cant see it coming to that, but you never know, I guess?
Maybe I should ask Mrs Trump lol, seeing she was earning money as a model in the US before she had any qualifying papers, oops! If Donald wants to provide me with work papers, just to keep me quiet…lol? You know, keep my lips sealed?
I’ve chosen the original version of this song, because I love the cheerier version, and besides, its more fun to introduce people to groups they’ve never got to know. So yes, Fun Boy Three did the famous version over here, but I prefer this!