Costa Rica WILL happen, but not until tomorrow for Lauren or I. To make a moderate length story short Lauren arrived at the airport this morning with only 15 minutes to check-in, pass through security, and run to the gate to board the plane. Needless to say, she was too late for any of this to be accomplished. However, her tardiness proved to be fortunate given that she was bumped to a seat just shy of first-class on my flight leaving tomorrow. So, one problem with this voyage resolved (we fly together and Lauren avoids wandering into any unsavory alleys alone in Costa Rica) but as of today yet another one created: NO CELL PHONE!
The phone I have attempted repeatedly to rent over the past week and a half is a no go. Why, you might ask? Horrible customer service. The company I have been “working” with on this necessary endeavor, for lack of a better word, sucks. My emails went unanswered for days on end and any progress I made in reserving the phone was erased by the incompetence and general lack of business etiquette of the company’s employees. Taking a direct quote from a phone conversation I had earlier today with one of these gremlins, “We rent hundreds of phones each month. They’re gone. You’re out of luck. You’re renting a car, just rent a phone from them.” Fine, push your problem off on me, I’ll push my problem with you off on a bad review you can find here (in case you should ever need to rent an international cell phone).
Moving on, given that this phone is vital for me to continue running Illstreet while in Costa Rica I called the car rental company to see what could be done . . . and I called . . . and I called. Each time new issues arose and one persisted, that being what the junk are these people saying?! Dealing with an American company whose customer service sector is riddled with an incomprehensible mosh posh of international dialects is no bueno. On top of that, first I’m told I can’t rent a phone through the company. Then I’m informed that I can but that I need to speak with a representative from the local office in Costa Rica. Excuse me, but I’m not all that interested in paying six dollars a minute to be on the line with CENTRAL AMERICA. I inquired from the rep if it would be possible for him to make the call: “No, we can’t do that.” After that I landed on the line with an office located in India and an agent reiterating that he can not place the call to Costa Rica which is understandable, who would want to call India from America or Costa Rica from anywhere apparently. I’m left with the option of hoping that a phone will be available to rent at the local car rental office in Costa Rica. Wish me luck.
Despite all of this I remain optimistic about this adventure, albeit exasperated with waiting on hold listening to mediocre melodies that sound like midi ringtones crafted by a fourteen year old in a basement somewhere. Well, maybe I’m exaggerating. I DO have lots of awesome camping gear to play with and a mad cool pack I picked up from Appalachian Outfitters in Greenville, SC though. I suggest stopping by there if you’re in need of good conversation and even better gear. More to come seeing as how anything could happen.