About 3 weeks into a 4-week stay in Rochester, I finally decided I didn’t feel like getting run past the point of broke by Rogers. This prompted me to bite the bullet and deal with its slightly less evil twin. So I called up At&t and decided on their pay as you go job.
The easy part of getting set up with them was actually unlocking the phone. Once I found a site who’s payment system wasn’t broken (it only took two tries), it was just a matter of paying the boys and sitting pretty. Couple days later, I had a Nokia E71 unlock code, and had the carrier restriction removed on the first go. The fun part came later.
Rogers didn’t just buy At&t out in Canada, but I think they learned from them how to make things difficult for potential new customers. Since I already had a compatible phone, the sim card was all they needed to send me. Good thing, considering what I ended up having to tapdance around to get it.
Apparently, At&t doesn’t like those of us who have the unmitigated gall to order their service without a US creditcard. Fortunately, I don’t leave home without backup, and this time was no different. I was able to put the whole $5 on Jessica’s card, which got me around that part of the restriction.
The next part, the actual activation of the service, required a touch more creativity. Because of the above mentioned issue with their payment system not liking billing addresses that aren’t in the US, I needed to borrow one. Seeing as I all but live here when I’m on this side of the border, I used this one. And, because the Royal Bank of Canada is made of win, it only took 3 painless steps.
1: Call up the bank, change my address temporarily to match this apartment.
2: Call up At&t, give them my creditcard info complete with new address and zipcode.
3: Change the address back to my Canadian one, and laugh at At&t.
It’s convoluted, and more than a little headache inducing if you aren’t quite sure of which hoops to jump through–kind of like another cell phone company we all know and love. But I didn’t need to reach for the tylenol or the vodka, so we’re making progress. I’m now not afraid to pick up the phone and risk my soul to Rogers. I’ll just sell half of it to the guys they bought out in Canada instead. Enjoy it, At&t. I’ll need that back eventually.