So, the miracle has happened. The parcel sent from Barisardo in Sardinia in October last year has finally been delivered to my in-laws in Palermo, after over eight months in postal limbo. From what I hear, the content was rather smelly, so the washing machine has been working in overdrive since the parcel’s arrival. It’ll be interesting to see the state of the garments when I get down there the next time.
Posts Tagged ‘Bureaucracy’
During the first leg of the Sardinia circumnavigation I sent a parcel with excess equipment from Bari Sardo in Sardinia to a friend in Palermo. The parcel wasn’t picked up in time at the post office in Palermo, and while everybody assured me it would be returned to my address in Denmark, it wasn’t. It just disappeared.
We have tried to report it missing in every conceivable way, by telephone, by email, at the post office in Palermo and even in Bari Sardo, but we have either received no answers, requests for further information on the parcel, unhelpful answers or just plain wrong answers, until today, that is. Today I received a phone call from the Poste Italiane that they have found the parcel, and that it will be sent to my in-laws in Palermo within ten working days.
I had practically given up any hope of ever seeing my stuff again. Now we just have to wait and see if the parcel will in fact rematerialise as promised.
The Sardinia journey seems to wrap itself up quite nicely
I have finally received an answer from the Poste Italiane (the usual word document attached to an empty email):
In riferimento alla sua e-mail del “07/01/2008” con Oggetto: «pacco estero», Le comunichiamo che per richieste di informazioni sull’esito di spedizioni inviate e/o in attesa, riguardanti il prodotto dei pacchi internazionali, si dovrà recare esclusivamente presso l’Ufficio Postale per la compilazione dell’apposito modello CN08 ( modello di reclamo internazionale) in quanto attualmente, per tali spedizioni, non è previsto alcun servizio di T. & T. e nessuna assistenza telefonica.
which is (more or less) in English:
With reference to your email of January 7, 2008, with the subject “pacco estero” [which wasn't the subject -rs], we can inform you that for requests for information on the whereabouts of missives sent and/or awaited, regarding international parcels, it is necessary exclusively to present oneself at the postal office to fill in the form model CN08 (model for international complaint) since at this time, for such missives, no service is foreseen by the T&T [probably Track&Trace -rs] and no telephonic assistance.
That’s Italian bureaucratic lingo for “f… you”.
I sent a parcel from Sardinia last October. I sent it to Palermo where it arrived after two weeks. Unfortunately, it wasn’t picked up by the recipient, so it was returned, but returned to where?
I’ve been hunting this parcel for over three months now, and I’m still none the wiser.
The kayak journey in Sardinia was my first ever long kayak trip, and I had packed way too much stuff. After about a weeks paddling I decided to send what I no longer believed I would need back to a good friend in Palermo, Giacomo della Gatta. On the first rest day, which happened to be at Torre di Bari near the inland city of Bari Sardo, I went through all my stuff, and pruned my luggage with a fairly rough hand. We got a lift to Bari Sardo, which was a few kilometres inland, and made a huge parcel of some boxes from a supermarket and ample quantities of duct tape.
I asked what I should use as a return address, since we weren’t going to stay there, and I was advised to give my Danish address as the return address. In case of a failed delivery the parcel would then be returned to Denmark, although at an additional cost.
A fairly huge parcel of almost 10kg cost only €7, which was quite astonishing. We had both expected it to be some €40-50 at least.
Anyway, off it went, into the unknown and mysterious bowels of the Italian postal beast.
We continued our journey and inquired a few times if Giacomo had received it, but no. Well, not to worry, nobody in their right mind would expect a parcel to arrive in less than a few weeks anyway. Not in Italy, at least.
When I returned to Palermo in early November and met Giacomo again, he told me that the parcel had arrived a week before, but since I had addressed it to a little used office of his company, he hadn’t been able to pick it up within the seven day limit given.
Giacomo had called the post office in Palermo to ask what would happen to the parcel, and they confirmed that the parcel had been returned. When asked where to, the answer was to Denmark. I called the toll free number a week later and got the same message. Everything should be fine then, as I was on my way back home too.
Back in Denmark, now in early December, I still hadn’t seen anything of the parcel. I then contacted the Danish mail to hear if they had any news on the parcel, but they had never heard of it. Over a month after it should have been returned, the parcel was apparently still somewhere in Italy.
I tried to call the toll free number again from Denmark, but it didn’t work. It seems the number only works within Italy, but the homepage of the Poste Italiane doesn’t give any other numbers to call. I then wrote an email, and after a week I got an answer: an empty email with a MS word document attached with two lines of text: please call the toll free number. Well, it doesn’t work.
I have since written the Italian mail once a week requesting a reply by email, but haven’t received any kind of responses after about a month of trying. My in-laws in Palermo have been calling the toll free number and talking to the post office in Palermo, and has only gotten the usual answer: the parcel has been returned to Denmark. Only it hasn’t.
In the last few days we have been able to get different responses, though. My in-laws was now told that the parcel had been returned to the post office in Bari Sardo from where it had been sent, but I called them today and they don’t know anything about it. It’s a very small post office, and they actually remembered me from back in October, and were quite certain that no such parcel had returned to them.
I have myself been calling the main corporate number of the Poste Italiane, and there I got the answer that they were way behind with answering correspondence that I would just have to wait until it got my turn. They wouldn’t be able to answer me in any way before they had worked off the backlog. According to the Italian press they do seem to have problems.
So, after three month I have gotten nowhere. The only factual information I have about the parcel is that it is not in Bari Sardo. I will be writing them once a week as I have been doing since before Christmas, but I’m losing faith that I will ever see that parcel again.
As mentioned previously, I have had some problems with my Telecom Italia Mobile prepaid mobile phone account. It ran out of money, I put in €50 and was told my account was still at €0.
My assumption was that the payment had somehow failed.
I spent hours on the Internet and on the phone to figure out what had happened. In the end I had to go to a TIM service point to get help. The fellow there weren’t very helpful. I just had to call 119 to get help, but I had spent hours there the day before. Then he did the call and got me an operator, or rather an operatrix.
“Your account is empty” she told me. “I’ve just put in €50″. “Yes, but you still have to put in at least another €110 to use your phone”.
According to TIM I have run up a deficit on my prepaid account by using the Internet. I find it rather weird that I can make a deficit on a prepaid account, and frankly, it seems to be TIMs problem if they have delivered services I haven’t requested. I don’t see how I can have obligations beyond the amount I have prepaid.
The agreement on a prepaid account is exactly that I pay in advance, and TIM stops the services as soon as my account reaches €0. That way both parties are sure there will be no unpaid balance, no debts incurred and no money to collect afterwards. I’ve used TIM’s services on that assumption, that once the money was gone my connection would be shut down. That gave me a safety that expenses would run out of hand. TIM, on the other hand, has broken the agreement by not stopping their services as the money ran out, and I don’t believe they can hold me accountable for whatever they believe they have provided in excess of my payment.
The account ran into deficit because I had used the Internet on a “€20 for 100Mb traffic” deal, but that deal ran out without any warning whatsoever, and TIM then switched me over to their default “€6 per Mb” tariff. That ate the credit on my account in a split second, but they didn’t terminate my access as they should have. They just let me go on, until my account was over €156 in the red. According to TIM my “€20 for 100Mb” (€0.2/Mb) deal has in fact become a “€176 for 126Mb” (€1.4/Mb) deal, which is quite a difference.
Let this be a warning if you intend to use mobile Internet in Italy with TIM. You might not get the deal you bargain for, due to their slightly less than honest and transparent business methods.
TIM has lost a customer for good here.
I have a TIM sim card in my mobile phone here in Italy. It’s a pre-paid card, so I have to ‘recharge’ it regularly.
I did that today. I bought a €50 card, scratch the field to get the number, call the service and enter the number. I get a message that it went well. I get an SMS that the transaction succeeded and that my credit is now €0.
I paid €50 for that card, it should be worth more.
I have now tried to get in touch with TIM customer service for hours. Their website is completely useless, all promotional stuff and no real information. Their phone service is pure waste of time. You’re listing to one stupid menu after the other until you’re about to vomit just at the thought of the oh so sweet female voice.
There is absolutely no way of getting through to a real operator to get some help. At most you can get “Virtual assistance”. Apparently TIM has no concept for “Real assistance”.
This is probably the last time I will have a TIM sim card in my phone.