I kid you not.
I've been using VOIP phone numbers in three different continents for well over five years and the first time thought I'd get a South African number; just an incoming virtual number with voicemail capabilities. So headed over to mybroadband forums for pointers.
There's skypein and countless others that do it for a fee, which would set me back $60 a year, but I couldn't
justify the cost so I'm was in the market for a free incoming number but topupable if I wanted to make calls. Two companies seem to enjoy glowing reviews so I decided to sign up with both of them in an effort to compare both services. One didn't even bother to get back to me; and two e-mails and two months later, not a word. The other got back to me fairly promptly. But there was red tape to get through first. Admittedly, not though their doing. It's government legislation and they have to comply if they want to run a business.
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I had to e-mail them a certified copy of my ID document. I didn't have time to get that done and the number could wait. Two months later, I find myself with some time on my hands so I get it done and send it off. No I can't have the number; this time the reason: I failed the fraud check and I'm also out of the country. When I enquired as to what the "fraud check" entails and why my being out of the country would affect the usability of the number, I got this reply.
Fraud check? Have they somehow ascertained that I'm going to use the number to run a 419 type scam? Or do I actually not exist and am just a figment of my own imagination. I'll never know because they won't tell me what they mean. In the meantime, I've spoken to another provider and they promise to have me up and running within the next 24 hours. But I do wonder if this company I dealt with actually understands what they're selling.
And I think we can go ahead and add "you've failed the fraud check" to the same list that "computer says no" belongs to as shorthand for inept customer services people's inability to execute their duties.