A couple of weeks ago, on the side of the busy highway in Fronteras, Guatemala, at a store that was really not much more than a stall, I bought a sim card for my unlocked cell phone, as well as a prepaid plan that allowed me to make local calls, international calls, and access the internet. The salesman, who told me his name was Dennis, didn't speak any English. I don't really speak any Spanish. The whole transaction took about 8 minutes from the time we started to the time I had the card in my phone and could make a call.
|Fronteras, Rio Dulce. Real, or imagined?|
I have repeated this exact transaction in the Bahamas, Jamaica, the Caymans, and Honduras. It has never taken more than about 15 minutes.
Yesterday, in a busy mall in the middle of Red Deer, Alberta, I went to the Telus store to do the same thing. Only it should have been even quicker, since I already had the prepaid sim card I bought when I was here in December. TWO HOURS after I got into line, I finally left the store with a cell phone that should work for the next week. The first hour and a quarter was spent standing in line. In that time, the three customer service agents at Telus managed to serve a total of 3 other people (one each). My turn took another 45 minutes, with the salesman having to phone the Telus customer service line to make it work. Unbelievable. I have no idea why Canadians put up with this, but we all pretty much just stood there in line, getting more and more frustrated at the ineptitude of the whole thing. Anyway, if you have a choice, don't go to Telus.
|Telus could learn a thing or two about customer service at a roadside store in Guatemala.|
Flying from Guatemala City to Calgary via Dallas/Fort Worth, it occurred to me that these are three cities in three different countries where you can wear a cowboy hat with no hint of irony. And people do.
|Got a ground floor room in the hotel this time. Right next to the pool. So that should be good.|