This morning I awoke to two annoying email messages. One was from Google Fi as follows:
Thanks for contacting Google Fi support!
I see that you’ve contacted us to request an exception for international roaming. Let me look into this.
After reviewing your account, it shows that you are not verified via Sheer ID. Eligible users include Military statuses other than active duty or reservists, like retired.
Military or State Department employees who are in the US and don’t serve abroad
People that work on a military base but aren’t in the military, like contractors
Dependents who aren’t in the same group as the eligible military or State Department employee
If you fall under one of the above categories, please submit documentation through goo.gle/fi-sheerid. If your military status or branch isn’t listed as an option on the verification form, you’re not eligible for an exception. I hope this helps!
If you have any further concerns and questions, please reply to this email or contact us over Chat or phone (available with a limited team). We’re here to support you 24/7.
Google Fi Support”
Subsequently, we will have to research a suitable alternative and set it up when we’re in the US at the beginning of April. This is frustrating. We purchased expensive Google phones for this purpose. Our phones will work with other providers, but the costs for data and calls will be outrageous on a roaming basis. We’ll update what we find here in the next week or so.
Secondly, we received an email from one of our credit cards:
We’re writing to inform you of an upcoming account review scheduled for April 2022. Over the last several months, the highest balance on this account has been significantly lower than your credit limit. Because of this, your credit limit could be decreased following this review.
If your credit limit is decreased as a result of this review, we’ll notify you and make sure to keep your credit limit significantly above your highest balance from the previous two years.”
We have excellent credit. But now, when we haven’t used this particular card over the past year, why do they want to lower the credit line? That’s ridiculous! We called the company, opted out of the “review,” and tried to use this card regularly to avoid losing the good credit limit.
With these two things on our minds, we felt frustrated this morning. As soon as I’ve uploaded today’s post, I’ll get to work on researching a new cell provider, so we don’t have to spend a lot of time on this when we get to Florida. In any case, whichever company we choose will cost us a lot more than we’ve been paying. Our monthly bill with calls and data hasn’t ever been over US $80, ZAR 1206.
Many such issues exist for world travelers, including health insurance challenges. We will be in the US for about eight days. During that time, the only coverage we’ll have in the basic included Medicare plan, certainly not enough to cover in the event of a medical emergency. Our current health insurance with United Healthcare Global, SafeTrip, doesn’t provide any coverage in the US.
You may ask, “With these inconveniences, is it all worth it?”
We aren’t letting various agencies and organizations prevent us from our freedom of traveling as we choose. We often think of people in countries where they aren’t allowed to travel at their leisure. As US citizens, we are grateful that we can but never allow any company or provider to dictate what we can and can’t do.
If all else fails with cell service, we can always return to buying SIM cards in every country we visit. We did this for the first seven years of our world travel journey, and if we have to do it again, we will. It just seems illogical to go backward in technology based on some arbitrary regulations to make companies more money.
Anyway, on a lighter note, yesterday afternoon, we met Rita and Gerhard at Two Trees overlooking the Crocodile River. We didn’t see much. Many animals have access to water holes throughout Kruger National Park with the recent rains and may not venture down the steep ravine to the river to drink and cool off.
Fortunately, we took photos of these two elephants from afar. The photos aren’t as clear as we’d like, but they were across the river from us up a steep hill. They never came down to the river, although they stayed nearby. They appeared to be two males, one much larger than the other. They may have been “kicked out” of the main herd based on their ages.
Once an elephant reaches puberty and can impregnate females, they are banned from participating with the larger herd, usually by the matriarch. She intends to preserve the “family line” integrity by preventing young males from mating with their sisters and other family members. This makes so much sense. These wild beasts are so intelligent!
That’s it for today, folks. Tomorrow is another day, and hopefully, we’ll have found a resolution for our cell phone needs by then.
Photo from one year ago today, February 16, 2021:
There was no post one year ago on this date due to a power and WiFi outage resulting from storms.