Thursday, June 2, 2011

Lebara Mobile, The Empire Strikes Back

Yeah!  It's Feast of the Ascension day in Germany, and also Father's Day!
Which means no work Thursday or Friday, "If you show up, no one will be here."
But it's a stay at home with your family holiday--I asked several people if there was anything going on in town today, but they just said everybody's going to be at home or with their family someplace and everything will be closed.
Everything is closed.  Nobody is anywhere.

No one can hear you scream.

SO, Jessica sends me a text and invites me to lunch.  I text her back.  "Text undeliverable" ???  I try calling.  "The number you are calling is not listed."  I send her an email, but she's not checking her inbox.

Finally, it hits me.  I've run out of minutes.  Ha ha ah, silly me, running out of minutes.  I'll just go to and top-up.  Yes, here's the English website, no problems here.  And here's the Top Up button to refill my account.  "Register Now" to Top Up?  Ok, I see no problems here.  Filling out information, and done!

"We're sorry, we're not up to standard and are having technical problems."

What?  Ok, I'll try again in case it was my fault.

Try to register second time...Same error message.

Gaah, fine, I'll try one more time.

"Thank you for registering."  Oh, so it works now...fine.  *activates account via email*
"Please Select a way to Top Up"  I choose 10Euro, and they want a "promotional voucher" number.
What's that?  *tries every number on the SIM card information there is, including phone number and pin number*

Nothing Works!  What's a voucher number?  Ok, I'll call help, it says the first fifteen minutes are free.
*dials number*  "The number you are calling is not listed."  WHAT? THAT'S THE HELP NUMBER!
*Tries FOUR more times*
"Welcome, to Lebara Mobile, you have 0,2 cents, press 1 to Top Up"  *press1*
"Enter your 16 digit Voucher Code"  What do I have that's sixteen digits?  Credit card number?
"The number you have entered is not valid."  How about a person, can I call the help desk?
"You do not have enough credit to make this call, arrange a Top Up."  GAAAAAAAAAAA!!!!

All right, I'll just run a search for 'lebara voucher code.'  See, they just want me to buy a voucher from someone else, fine, take my money, I just want my phone back.
Here's my credit card number and my email, now send me the voucher code.

"Hello Edward Carley,
Mobile Top-up Online just sent you a full refund of £12.50 GBP for your purchase."

NOnononononononononoNnnO!  DON'T send me a REFUND, keep the money!  I just want a voucher code!  Take my money, take my money, Why Won't You Take My Money!?!

My phone is broken so there's no one I can call.  It's a stay-at-home holiday so there's no one I can talk to.  None of this would bother me, I would just shrug the whole thing off on any other day, but I just missed lunch with a friend because of this.  Any other time this would be nothing more than a minor inconvenience to me, I still have internet so I can still be in contact with my family and friends so it's not even a big deal, BUT it had to be on the day when I was going somewhere and didn't know when or where to go and couldn't ask anyone.

So I ended up communicating with my parents through gmail, and they haven't figured it out yet--they might yet, but not in time for Lunch with Jessica (it's 12:35pm and it takes 40 minutes to get to Osnabruck) so my story is fairly much concluded.  If all else fails, I'll walk to the store in town tomorrow and they be able to help me for sure because I got it from them.  It's not a very satisfactory end to the story, I know, so I'll end it on a good (but unrelated) note.

I've been wanting to go to this cute little Chinese place in town, but I didn't know when they were open, and I just got a menu in the mail with their hours on it!  This totally brightens my otherwise gloomy morning.

It's like a Sympathy Card from God.


  1. Sympathy Card from God - I'm going to use that one.

  2. This one had everyone in stitches at the family dinner tonight. Why does misery lend itself to comedy so well?

    By the time you read this your phone problem will be solved (I pray). I hope your sequel doesn't have the word revenge in it!

  3. Hi there,

    I am really sorry to hear about your experience. Is your phone working fine now? I work at Lebara and I am willing to help you. Please could you mail me your Lebara number at and I will see what I can do for you.

    Take care :)

    Thanks and regards,
    (Lebara Customer Service)

  4. In order to get my phone working, I had to wait over the weekend for a local place to get new cards. I bought a new sim card Monday, and my phone works find now. I still can't Top Up.