After some 40 minutes attempting to use my Digicell to call someone on the mainland I decided to do what I was constantly being advised, to call Customer Services and quote fault code UCC3.
I got through to a very helpful gentleman who asked what number I was trying to call. When I told him he said "that's a SMART phone".
"We don't guarantee a service to call anyone on SMART".
"Oh, that's news to me. I thought I could call anyone".
"Well, you need to report this to Digicell".
"I thought that was what I was doing"
"Listen to me. You need to go into a Digicell office Monday - Friday and report it"
"Does that mean I can't use my phone until Monday?"
"You need to go into an office and report it"
"What is your role then? You are called 'Fault Enquiries'"
Me again. "I have already reported this problem in person at BTL San Pedro on two occasions, both some months ago, and on neither occasion did anything happen"
"You want to report to me a problem that happened months ago?"
I couldn't think of a suitable response to that. The conversation went on in this surreal Pinteresque form for some time longer, before I hung up in sheer exasperation.
I have been out of the country for some weeks, but shortly before I left I came across some BTL engineers doing line work in the street near my house. I asked them what was the problem with Digicell, and they said they weren't aware of a problem. One of them tried to call the office on his own Digicell phone, and couldn't get a connection. "Oh yes, that often happens", he said. "Don't you call that a problem then?"
They are playing games with us. They KNOW Digicell is giving an abysmal service, and either they don't care or perversely they're actually orchestrating it. I am now coming round to thinking that it is indeed deliberate and something to do with Ashcroft & ownership issues.