Every day, I try to take care of at least one unpleasant or annoying new-to-Amsterdam task. Today that task was call Telfort and figure out exactly why they can't hook up my internet service at home. The reason is ridiculous.
All around me this afternoon, my (foreign) colleagues were on the phone with their internet providers and their doctors and insurance companies, arguing charges or waiting on hold or trying to get answers to questions without success. I decided to join the club and put in a call to Telfort.
The back story is: over a month ago (I'm guessing the 25th of June, or around there), a friend of mine helped me set up my internet service online - I needed the help because the website is all in Dutch. Once everything was translated and explained, the process seemed very easy and logical, and all I had to do was wait... up to eight weeks... for my home internet service. The eight-week wait is common and I knew to expect it. Luckily I found an open wireless network somewhere in my apartment building that is almost always on, so I didn't mind the wait so much.
Sometime in mid-July I received a letter from Telfort, obviously in Dutch, and from what little Dutch I understand I could gather that they weren't going to hook up the service. It was a really vague letter (I had a colleague translate) that basically said "we can't set up your service, and it could be for any one of the reasons listed below, sorry." The only way to get a real answer was to call, so I did that today (putting it off because it just seemed like such a pain in the ass). Navigated my way through several Dutch-language menus (mostly just taking educated guesses), waited on hold for about 15 minutes (and by the way, that phone call cost something like 30 cents a minute, but luckily I called from work), and finally talked to a friendly enough guy who explained that yes, my order had been canceled.
Because I told Telfort (at the time of signing up) that I live in apartment 77-B. This is the address on my rental contract, this is the address where I'm registered with the city of Amsterdam, this is the address on my paystub, my mail, etc.
Yet according to Telfort, there is no 77B on my street. There's 77-1 and 77-2. "You must be in 77-2," the man says to me.
"Yes, I suppose that's the case."
"I'm guessing this means I have to start all over again, and wait another 4-8 weeks?"
There's no point in arguing with them, really. The order I placed (over a month ago!) was canceled, done, finito. All I can really do at this point is double-check with my bank that Telfort hasn't taken any money out of my account yet and start over. The most important lesson I learned, should this happen again, is to call right away.