Trying to Connect is Trying

I am writing this on Word for Mac as we have no internet again today. At least every other month the signal is affected for 3-6 days. Often it is because of high usage in the area and this is following a similar pattern. Fine till 9 a.m. then off till 1p.m. on for an hour then off till 7 p.m. so somewhere nearby is a trulli full of Brits with kids on mobiles and everyone else on iPads plus a couple of laptops. Hopefuly they are only here for a week but I wish they would go out more.
The expat forums in Italy are full of moans about the internet and down here it is worse. A veritable backwater as far as technology is concerned with little coverage and seemingly no real interest from anyone to improve the situation. Our bejeweled governor makes the right noises as he does about most things. Promises revolution and then goes back to fighting the various corruption charges being leveled against him. His hands are certainly full with the various solar scams being uncovered by the Finance Police over the last two weeks.
It is odd that the third largest industrial country in Europe is so far behind in using the internet.

Surfing  ! But you got that didn’t you
When I applied and received my American State pension I did it all on line and apart from having to prove my identity to a consul in Naples I never talked to a soul nor filled in a single non on line piece of paper.
I could read all the information on line knew what I had to do and did it. The money arrives in my bank account each month and still I have talked to no one. The British one required a form to be sent but they said for the reason again of identity. Otherwise everything else was done on line.
The Italian government has not embraced the internet at all. Knowledge it seems is still power and paperwork an essential part of the government process. I have posted about Post Offices and won’t belabor it but it is a real shame that government is less than ready to impart information though really by now they should be way past that stage and be happily closing post offices as people happily complete forms etc on line.
The UK probably goes over the top to be fair with the nanny state very much in evidence when on the National Health Service site. Have a look at going for a blood test. The advice is to “look away’ and almost Tony Hancock ish ” it is not a lot of blood but you might feel faint. …ask to sit down ”

Italian business has done little on the internet either again seemingly not understanding peoples thirst for knowledge about products and where to buy them. With so little information out there the country also lacks comparison websites and the few that do exist are from the ark in terms of search capabilities.
Trenitalia the railway lads do an okay job though the site becomes quite confused and packs up on you if you start anything complicated. However at least they are discovering that it is good to have online bookings that can be ticketed at the station and no longer hide the ticket machines well away from the booking offices . Indeed they report last minute sales through their machines almost on the platform are booming since they made them highly visible.
Alitalia keep upgrading their offering but still seem unable to grasp the importance of one way fares and offer stupid fares unless you are coming back which keeps them firmly in the 1990’s compared to other airlines. The ferry companies are pathetic and really should try harder.
Most retailers seem to shy away from the web or seem unable to grasp the fact that the offering shouldn’t just be an advertisement for what they have in their stores.
Supermarkets in the North are trialling home delivery with orders placed on line and Expert the electrical giant are now doing a buy online and pick up in store but neither do anything in the south.
I have used Monclick the online electrical retailer but delivery to the south took forever and it seems we were lucky to finally receive it as most expensive stuff gets stolen they tell me when coming down here.
I ordered a new jeep soft top from the UK last week and it left Nottingham on the 18th arrived at Luton the same day, left Luton that evening and arrived in Milan that night. It flew to Bari in the early hours and hit UPS Bari ( 38 miles from my house)  on the afternoon of the 19th. There it sat for 4 days for some reason and then inexplicably moved through here to Taranto. They must have almost passed my door and it sat there till it was delivered today. The cynic in me says they were looking for a buyer in Bari but then moved it to the only other place with a large Suzuki dealership, Taranto. Again no takers so I got my roof .
The fridge from Monclick arrived with no packaging and all the shelves in it. So someone had found it didn’t fit their kitchen and put it back on the truck is what I was told.

Lets’ see if the Brits have gone out and I can now send this.


About hereinpuglia

Retired to Puglia after some 40 years in the travel industry working for P&O Lines, British Airways, Alamo rent-a-car,Abercrombie&Kent, owner of Quest Tours and Travel and finally with Thomas Cook North America. Married to Geraldine we now have a small house with too much land near the town of Martina Franca in Puglia. Two kids one married and living in Hong Kong and the other single and living in London. No dogs, no cats no animals.
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2 Responses to Trying to Connect is Trying

  1. Rosemarie Amatulli says:

    Love your blog, Mike, and you generally hit the nail right on the head. I agree the mobile networks aren’t very reliable, so we now have Telecom – obviously more expensive, but, fingers crossed, no problems up till now. (Since May). Hope the fact that they’ve been sold off won’t change this! As for buying on-line, I have to disagree with you somewhat, as I’ve bought loads of stuff from Italian sites, all with well-packaged products and swift delivery. (Fridge from Euronics, for example, garden furniture, phones etc. from other sites.) They’ve even discovered Groupon! UPS, however, also didn’t work too well for us with some stuff coming from Germany. Try Bartolini, if possible – they seem to be more reliable.

    • hereinpuglia says:

      Excellent , I am so pleased it has worked. Maybe I have been unlucky and my house is hard to find which is why I use the bar. I used again the other day and delivering to the bar went as planned. Probably as well they use TNT now not the Post Office. Someone in Martina Franca Post Office is sporting 6 very nice made to measure Hong Kong shirts so if your postino is a size 15 collar ask him for them back please !!! Thanks also for your kind comments about the blog.

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