On 14 Feb I took my Fossil watch (a precious and most loved gift) to Fossil at the Waterfront. It needed a new battery. I was shocked to find out that it would take up to two weeks because it needed to go off site, to, wait for it, Greenpoint! That’s around the corner! Nonetheless, I wanted the Fossil people to do it properly, so I left it there. Yesterday I tried for an hour to phone the shop but the line was busy. Finally I called the Waterfront and asked them to check at the store if there was something wrong with the phone. No, there wasn’t; Ronnie was just talking to head office, she told me, when she finally called me back. when I told her my problem, that I was still waiting to hear about my watch, almost a month later, she told me that there was a backlog. Then I gave her my slip number and held on. Then she came back and told me my watch was in fact there, and that someone had smssed me to tell me to collect it. I ask you, with tears of frustration pouring down my mug! This morning I called the guys at the place where they fix the damn things, to complain about the shitty service and, the first guy I spoke to wanted to give me a cellphone number so I could phone the main actual guy! When I got shirty he handed me to someone else. Roderick came up with a few pathetic excuses about what had happened and I started getting very cross. I was phoning to complain about bad service. The thing to do was to hear, apologise and fix. Not Roderick. I could hear that he couldn’t give two balls of rhino dung. I went to the store. The two staff on duty were in an entirely empty shop. Ronnie grinned when I told her who I was. She proudly held up a piece of paper, showing me that ‘somebody’ had ‘put my cellphone number in wrong’ and that’s why I didn’t get the sms. She was most offended when this didn’t seem to comfort me. I wish that that was the end of the story, but no. I had to change shopping centres for my next episode in the dark and shifting world of incompetence, lies and deceit. In I walk, to MTN at Canal walk. I was there on 25 Feb changing my unwieldy and expensive and outdated contract for an updated version of the same. Yesterday I qualified for my handset upgrade and was going to be phoned about whether they had stock; I want to stay with Sony Ericsson since I have finally worked out how to use their stuff. You have got to be kidding me. The guy Scott had forgotten to phone me; they had no stock, nor could they find any, and if they ever did find one while I was still living, I was going to have to pay R800 for the damn thing on the new, updated contract I now have. The person who has the lesser, cheaper contract gets this phone for free. I have to pay in extra. I lost my mind. The bottom line is, contrary to all my money that MTN uses for false advertising, special deals and promotions, I can actually only ‘upgrade’ to a phone just as shitty as the one I already have. The smoke was pouring out of my ears when I walked out of that totally styled, very expensive and completely empty shop. Empty handed. No phone. No service. No help. No advice. No nothing.