Tuesday’s drive across Manitoba and into Saskatchewan was almost uneventful. Almost.
We drove into Portage La Prairie to see if Tim Horton’s had wifi. Nope, but the coffee and doughnuts were great, again. We walked to city hall because it looked like the post office, then a bit down the street to the post office for stamps, and the bank for cash. Portage is compact and really pretty along the lake shores on its south side.
On up the Yellow Head #16 we drove to Neewapa looking for wifi and a gas stop. Bumped into a very nice young fellow, an insurance adjustor, and asked him where he thought we might find wifi locally. First guess? Tim Horton’s. We told him we’d sure check there but would appreciate another clue just in case. He said the McDonalds is brand new and likely has wifi. And he is right, McDonalds in Neewapa has good coffee and wifi.
It was a good time to call Jim’s sister and wish her happy birthday. But our verizon phone wouldn’t dial any calls, none at all. Not even Verizon, we can’t even call them? We had a nice telcon two weeks ago with a Verizon help desk tech who switched us over to nationwide plus Canada. When the phone doesn’t work, how do you call it in? We used McDonald’s wifi to look for answers to our dilemma.
Verizon’s FAQ on-line told us to call them with a landline. Hmm, we did see two pay phone booths at our campground the night before but scarcely have seen another one in we don’t remember how long. Hey McDonald’s folks, can we borrow your telephone for a quick 45 minute call to Verizon? No, we didn’t think so. How about we use our Skype? The restaurant isn’t too noisy, we gave this a try.
The first Verizon helpful person told us we’d (1) have to wait until we return to the States to set up our phone for Canada or, (2) we could purchase a prepaid phone for the couple of months we’ll be in Canada. Jim was more direct than patient with this fellow, and explained to the fellow perhaps Verizon wanted to send us a prepaid phone? A few seconds later a second helpful person comes on the line and explains our phone isn’t set up for Canada calls although it had previously been so arranged.
She connected us to Kimberly, the most helpful person. Kimberly learned our phone had been disconnected entirely, no US and no Canada service, no service at all. Verizon reportedly detected suspicious goings-on with our phone and investigated. Someone had made changes to our phone account and was using it in some manner we never had. Verizon would erase the charges and restore our service and couldn’t explain why they hadn’t notified us. Ah, but maybe they had?
We hung up on the Skype phone call with Verizon, disconnected form McDonald’s wifi, logged onto another wifi and changed our Verizon passwords. We will look forward to seeing just how much trouble we were in with our off-shore phone traffic last week. Ought to be pretty interesting, eh?
Why didn’t Verizon warn us our phone was being disconnected? Maybe they did. While we were driving between Duluth and International Falls we received a weird phone call. Some woman called and advised our service would be interrupted. Sounded very fishy and just wasn’t credible. How would they know service in our area would be interrupted? Do they even know where we are (although I’m sure google does)?
Guess what? We should have called Verizon right then to (1) report that call and (2) see if anything was amiss. We use our phone too infrequently, and went a week without knowing it wasn’t going to work when we needed it. It seems Verizon tried to warn us after all. We like Verizon again.
Jim and Debbie
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