How do you deal with a female Chinese torture expert?

Its Friday so I decided to go and get a new phone. I liked the look of the BlackBerry Pearl and was assured by the salesman that he would st it up so that it works for me.

All good so far.

But then (this is China) there was a beauratic issue. The female saleswoman, whos only job would seem to be data entry took over starting up my account.

So, I hand over my ID card, phone bill, letter from the Embassy (stating where I live) and my passport. You would at this point think that this is enough information... Oh but wait.

(SW) "This ID car no good."
(Me) "Really? Why?"
(SW) "Not enough digits, it is not good."
(Me) "It is fine. if it is fine for the Hong Kong Government, the Chinese government, my employer and just about everyone else on this island I feel sure it is fine for you."
(SW) "I need HK ID card This one is no good."

At this point I am wondering why they threw her out of her job at the Chinese torture camp and am thinking it was probably due to something akin to what she is doing to me right now. After several minutes of patient face saving from me to her, she finally relents and gives me a solution.

(SW) "You could get a Hong Kong friend to come in with their ID card, I can then process it this way."
(ME) So you are saying that you can't accept my EMBASSY ID CARD BUT YOU WILL ACCEPT ANY OLD SOD OF THE STREET???!"
(SW) "Yes. You have friend?"
(SW) "Hong Kong ID only, you have friend?"
(ME) "I surrender, I'll take my business to 3"

Well it looks like Vodafone have all the customers that they need. A good lesson in the culture of China though. Have to work on ways around this.

9 Responses to "How do you deal with a female Chinese torture expert?"

Mia says
19 May 2007 at 04:49

You will find that you need a HK ID for many many things, and I'm pretty sure its against the law for you to be without one.

ali bullock says
19 May 2007 at 04:54

Hi Mia. Yes thank you for the heads up on the ID card. I do have one, but it is "Diplomatic."

I am hoping that this is where the issue is... If not, I won't be making many phone calls.


You don't need a HK ID card, you just need "an ID card". Which includes a passport, or a few other things.

Most phone salespeople are, as a rule of thumb, morons.

962 says
21 May 2007 at 08:14

I would like to register my flat for the gas and take over the meter
You have to come to our office and do this
I dont want to come to your office in Tsuen Wan You want to sell me gas you come to my home
Why cant you
Ill put you onto my boss
You have to come to our office
Look you read my meter every month why cant you do the work then
Why cannot
Because you must fill in the form and we must check the meter and your id card and the sale and purchase agreement
What for
This is our rules
Can you take the meter away I will use electricity
yes but you have to come to our office.
Ok can you post me the form
No cannot you have to come to our office
Im not coming to your office
Ok we will send the form with the man who reads the meter then you come to our office
Can I post it to you
No you must come to our office
I wont
Can you give it to our man that reads the meter
Thats ok then you dont need to come to our office.
Obviously this is an abridged conversation of a saga that ran for weeks.

By the way under the data protection ordinance very few people are entiltled to see your ID or travel document information. However try telling that to the China Dragon

The problem exists I think because most people in Hong Kong just except this crap from and I use this term loosely service providers.

962 says
21 May 2007 at 08:15

By thew way I thought you worked for Motorola?????

ali bullock says
21 May 2007 at 10:36

Glad to see that you have had the same experiences!

Crazy stuff indeed.

And yes, I do work for Motorola, but we still have to buy our own handsets and contracts!

962 says
22 May 2007 at 00:41

However as in Little Britain
The lady in the Bank says

"The computer says no"



Forgive her. She just tried to make her task easier. Guess if she was smart enough to understand something is called embassy ID card, why would she stay there as a data entry clerk?

ali bullock says
29 May 2007 at 05:44

Thanks Ellen. When I walked out I felt exactly that way.

At some point I will learn to control my temper. And this is probably a good place to learn.