Intense research followed, along with lengthy calls to Sprint in the U.S. (using our Vonage phone). He thought he'd isolated the problem on their end -- although they said the phone was unlocked, it was not, according to some diagnostic tests that someone posted directions for on youtube.
My husband has a quality I love (and sometimes find very frustrating) and that is excessive perseverance. He is like a dog with a bone that just won't let go. He ended up spending a total of OVER TWELVE HOURS on the phone with Sprint. The last call lasted over four hours and he spoke with nine people.
The ninth person, bless his heart, actually wanted to help! What a concept in the service industry. John (with a name like that you just know he's a good guy) began searching the internet while they were talking, having the hubby try different things.
And then a breakthrough! Not what we'd hoped for, but finally an explanation for Why It Will Not Now Nor Ever Work In Argentina.
It turns out that two months ago Argentina changed frequencies. Of the four frequencies that his Blackberry supports, none of them are viable here now. Oh it was a sad moment when the insidious truth reached out and slapped him silly.
John at Sprint said he's sending us a check for what we paid for the phone and he's taking off the early termination fee that they'd initially said we wouldn't have to pay but then put it on the bill anyway.
The dream died but not without a fight. And I have a funny feeling he's going to try and find some poor Personal employee to trade phones so he can have one that works.
Meanwhile we did get cell phones. I am the proud owner of a cute little Motorola with some pretty orange accents. Since I don't speak enough Spanish to burn up the lines with conversation, I'm doing the prepaid card plan. The hubby, who does spend considerable time on the phone due to ministry and the business of life, has a monthly plan with his second-hand phone. The customer in front of him was buying a new phone and Ivan bought his old one. Saved a little money and gives him some breathing room to check out what
I can call and receive calls, but haven't figured out the texting thing yet. Most people text rather than call, to save money. For voice calls it costs 70¢/minute with the monthly plan and $1.60 pesos/minute when you use prepaid cards. Translated: 24¢ to 53¢ per minute. NOT cheap!
We're also getting a landline. Had not planned to, but that's how we'll be getting internet AND maybe even more importantly, security service. We're not dog people so having a dog for security isn't gonna happen. And I guess it's pretty important to have something as a deterrent to would-be thiefs. Our co-workers have suggested the company they use.
So hopefully all these points will converge in the next few days. The hubby had tried again and again to pay for the landline, following the directions he'd been given by a phone company employee. There's no office to go to, you can only contact them by *surprise!* phone.
Anyway, you pay all your utilities and services at little places called rapi-pagos (literally translates rapid pay). He made many calls to the phone company and trips to the rapi-pago, all for naught. Then yesterday our co-worker stopped at the house and suggested checking the mail box [since we've only been going over to clean and paint we hadn't thought of checking the mail box yet]. Sure enough, there was a bill from the phone company with the right number to use when paying!!! One last quick trip to the rapi-pago and SUCCESS. So now we just wait for them to actually hook us up. We're really praying that will take place in the next few days.
This long rambling post to simply say:
The hubby's Blackberry doesn't work in Argentina,
We now have cell phones.
We will soon have a landline, and accompanying internet and security service.
I sure use a lot of words to communicate very little, don't I. It's worse when I'm tired. Sorry folks, but if you've made it to the end of this post, pop a little gold star on your forehead for PERSEVERANCE!