Quite how I was supposed to tell the Orange gate guardian my phone number when it hadnt been allocated, Ill never know, but finally I was put through to Murdot.
I explained I was new to Orange prepay and couldnt find a phone number on the SIM card pack. Murdot couldve explained Orange doesnt allocate a number until you register, but he didnt; instead he asked me for the number on the SIM card.
Thats too long for a phone number, I protested. Murdot carried on as if I hadnt said a thing.
Now I need the handsets IMEI number. It should be an Orange branded handset, Murdot told me.
Its not Orange-branded, I said.
In that case it will not work, Murdot replied with certainty.
I protested the phone was a hand-me-down and Id been assured it would work on any network. Still Murdot had his doubts. Ill put the IMEI into my system and see if it is accepted, he said, reluctantly.
But in order to do that, he needed to take my details. Is that Mr or Mrs, Murdot wanted to know.
Im not noted for an effeminate voice, though people say my impression of Graham Norton is disconcertingly accurate. I asked Murdot what he was talking about. It transpires he meant to say Mr or Dr.
While waiting for the system to churn along, Murdot made small talk, asking what the weather was like. When I told him it was drizzling, he sympathised, telling me about the monsoons sweeping India.
Eventually, Orange issued me a number. Please put the SIM in the phone and make a call. There is some credit on your account to allow you to do that. Then you will receive some text messages in the next 24 hours. Read them, turn the phone off for 10 seconds then on again.
Murdot took me through the call plan I was on without drawing my attention to any available offers. Calls will cost 50p a minute, he explained. Further questioning clarified the situation; hes actually said 15p. Just that it sounded like 50p.
Murdot did a tolerable job of explaining topping up, without troubling me with any detail. After he described the swipe card I could buy at any market, I told him one had been included in the pack. Could that be linked to my account as hed described. Could we do it now?
Alas no. Id have to call back.
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