Lost in Translation

I had a very interesting experience the other night when buying a Viva internet account here in Al Khout, Fahaheel, Kuwait.

It was one of those small shopping kiosks you see spread along the center of the mall.

After I establishing that I wanted a service with Viva and I just pay 24 KD per month, I was told that I would get a free USB wireless dongle. I thought “Great, but I’ve got two laptops…”.

“Can I get two dongles” I asked and the answer was “yes, yes!”

Talking further about the two laptops, it was then explained that a wireless router could be obtained for an additional purchase of 25KD. OK good to know. Not needed by the sounds of it though.

OK, I understand: When I get an account. I get one free USB wireless dongle, apparently another free USB dongle if I ask for it, and if I pay 25KD I get a wireless router. The hardware would give me flexibility running the two X60 laptops my wife and I own.

So I go for it: I set up the account and get my free USB dongle. 2 minutes. Halas. Done! I then ask what about the other one, the other dongle, and yes, I can have one, but that’s another account – another 24KD per month.

Hang on, when I asked can I have another one, you said yes. Hmmm… OK, well that’s no good. I’ve got two laptops.

Just give me the wireless router instead. No problems, 25KD plus 24KD per month.


Yes, it’s another account

But I only need one account. Just swap the USB dongle for the router and I’ll pay 25KD.

No, you’ll have to pay 50KD because we’ll have to cancel the account – there’s a 50KD cancellation fee, didn’t you read the contract you just signed?

But you said I’d get another USB dongle with the first account, and if I paid 25 KD I’d get a wireless dongle.

Nope – one bit of hardware, one SIM card. One SIM card – one account. To change you need to cancel the account, paying 50KD, and it can be set up.

But the account is only 30 seconds old?!

Not my problem. Billing look after it now.


What happened? I got my wonderful mandoup Bashar Alainieh to sort it out for me: cancelling the first account (the one with the USB dongle) set up a new account (with the router) and not pay the 50KD cancellation fee. I made a note on the new contract documents saying this.

So what was lost in translation: Can I have another one? Of course, but you must pay for it too! 😮

Jeremiah Josey


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