Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Frustrating Communications

I have to say, the most frustrating thing I do all day is try to communicate. I don't remember this much of a problem last year, but everyone with the Globalstar phone seems to be having the same problem with receiving and maintaining a signal. Globalstar was kind enough to double our minutes this year, but that doesn't really help if you can't get a signal to last long enough to have a conversation! It's a miracle when we get a signal long enough to send and receive emails, and then if there's a long email in there, well, that will take two or three times to download everything.
For anyone setting out cruising, I really don't know what to tell you. What you really want is the ability to send and receive email in remote places, not where you have easy access to internet. We've tried Pocketmail, and that's good for travelling back and forth from the States to the Bahamas, but that's about it in our opinion. We thought, after spending all this money for a phone, data cable to have the ability to do emails and the yearly fee, we'd be all set. Turns out we're wrong! On top of that, Globalstar's Accounting Department leaves a lot to be desired. They're quite good at charging your charge card for roaming, where you've never been - I was told the one time I must have picked up a Peruvian satellite - ????? - long distance where you've never called, and just a charge because they messed up. Oh, they forgot that I paid that yearly fee and started charging me for my minutes used. That wouldn't be bad if they gave you a credit right away, but that never happens until you've sent nasty emails a month later to a supervisor. What a way to run a business!! The best was when I first purchased the phone and couldn't get it to initialize. After many, many conversations with people who answered the phone and tech support, they told me to send the phone back and they would take care of it. No phone ever went out without the ability to initialize and I must be doing something wrong. Three days later I received a brand new phone because they couldn't get the phone to initialize either!
We'll have to figure out something by the time we head west next year because then we will be roaming with Globalstar. If anyone has any suggestions (aside from through SSB), let us know! Ocens, as an email carrier is wonderful, but it's just trying to connect.~~~~_/)~~~

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