Phone saga… again…

8 03 2008

I thought I’d solved the phone issue two years ago. Not so. (See these posts from 2006: 1, 2)

Short story—the TracPhone I had could not be activated with the new Airtime card I purchased as the SIM is no longer valid. It seems that because the number associated with that SIM got allocated to someone else after expiry, the only solution was to get a new SIM card sent out by the TracPhone people (of course, being on the road and needing a phone now, mailing out a replacement SIM card wasn’t an option!!).

So back to the supermarket to buy ANOTHER phone. It activated very quickly, so now I have a phone. But it’s a pain in the proverbial, this whole phone business.

I believe that my new-ish Australian mobile phone will work in the US, but last I checked it costs about $5 PER CONNECTION (plus international timed call charges) to take or make a call on my Aussie mobile in the US. A US$59.99 phone is cheaper! Though I hate the idea of having to throw the old one away.

Bloody phones… Bloody disposable society.

Car rental

8 03 2008

The Hertz counter at LAX didn’t have a Mazda6 as I’d requested, so I ended up in a Chevrolet something-or-other. I wanted a Mazda6 as that will likely be the next car we get—we currently have two 10-year old Mazdas and are really happy with them, so this was to be an opportunity to take one for a long test drive.

However, on hearing me mention that I was going via San Francisco, the lady at the Hertz counter suggested I try exchanging the car there. Well, I could do one better than that—Orange County (John Wayne) airport which is about 6 miles from where I’m staying in Corona Del Mar! I called the Hertz counter at John Wayne when I arrived at Bill’s, but they didn’t have a Mazda6. The helpful lady suggested I call back the next day. So I called this morning (Saturday) and got one! So down to the airport to do the exchange.

Erin at the Hertz Gold counter was most helpful and polite, unlike the usual treatment you get at LAX. However, Erin did say that Hertz LAX did 2000 rentals just on Monday, so I guess they get a bit frazzled by people wanting something that isn’t available.