Tricky situation…

Happy on a hill.

“Fascinating Fact of the Day About Ireland”
Beer is widely popular in Ireland. It first originated in the country and can be found in Pubs and grocery stores.”

It’s challenging to decide on how to begin describing this dilemma. We encounter such challenges in our world travels and usually can figure out a solution. But, the situation we describe here today is challenging.

Picture this…we purchase SIM cards in each country we visit, resulting in our getting a new phone number each time we move to new lands. For us, this works well, avoiding the cost of paying for a US contract we’d never use nor want to use, based on international roaming.

Wildflowers in the garden.

As described in yesterday’s post here, based on the fact our international health insurance isn’t paying my medical bills, we are delivering the outstanding bills out-of-pocket, hoping to get reimbursed at some point which is highly unlikely.

We’ve been able to pay the outstanding bills using credit cards, for which we call the payee and provided credit card information over the phone, except for one.  Thus, this is the dilemma we describe.  

Pretty pink flower in the side garden of our holiday home.

The only way this particular provider will accept payment is through a bank transfer. This is well and good under normal circumstances. However, this morning our bank informed me they require verification of the wire transfer through a verifiable US phone number.  

We don’t have such a number, nor can we receive texts through Messenger on Facebook or locally on our Irish SIM card. For friends and family worldwide, this has worked perfectly. We do have a Skype number but cannot receive texts via this means.

Excuse the tilted photo taken while the car was moving.

When we arrived in the US, we’ve decided to purchase two Google phones. These phones can have a US number and be used at affordable rates for calling and texting worldwide. If we had those phones now, it wouldn’t be an issue.

However, we didn’t want to order the phones to be shipped to us to avoid the possibility of theft and high customs fees. While in the US, this won’t be an issue. We’ll order the phones to be delivered before arrival in the US to be shipped to our hotel in Minneapolis.  

Overcast day view of the Twelve Bens (mountains).

Upon receipt of the Google phones, we won’t ever need to purchase a SIM card again. One weird factor of these phones is that it is expensive for us to call one another. Subsequently, we can use Whatsapp at little cost using the included data plan we’ll select with Google, which may be around Euro 26.53, US $30 a month.

While living in the US before traveling in 2012, our Verizon phone bill with unlimited data, text, and calling was approximately Euro 199, US $225 per month.  If we had a US contract these days, we’d spend more than we can imagine.

Unusual markings on this cow who looks pregnant.

Another benefit of using Google phones is that as soon as we land in a new country, we can call Uber instead of grabbing an expensive taxi waiting outside the pier or airport. Plus, we’ll always have the availability of MAPS the moment we drive off in the rental car.

However, the above is a moot point. For now, we can’t receive a text, nor will our bank accept a phone number belonging to a family member. They will only accept a phone number in our name in the US.  

Her calf is suckling.

How will we pay this bill? I have contacted the payee’s billing department, asking them to suggest an option such as PayPal or, can we mail them a check? Our bank doesn’t handle BillPay payments outside the USA. But we can send a check to our mailing service and have them snail mail the payment, which seems to be our best option.  

We’ll see how this rolls out. We’ll report back.

Have a happy, healthy day!

Photo from one year ago today, June 10, 2018:
Mongooses stay close to one another, often seen grooming and cuddling one another. For more photos, please click here.

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