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Language Barrier Problems

Language Barrier Problems

Old Jul 14th 2015, 6:53 am
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Default Language Barrier Problems

This is going to sound like a rant but that is not my intention. I merely want to illustrate the possible pitfalls of living in a country where you don't speak the language and hardly anyone speaks your language.

A high priority job at the moment is to do the repairs and modifications to my LDV 3.5 tonne van to get it registered on Hungarian plates. I have been doing a few bits of MIG welding but ran out of the carbon dioxide shield gas. My gas cylinder was one I brought with me from UK and is the sort used in pubs to pressurise the beer pumps. I found a gas supplier in Nagykanizsa who told me my old cylinder was no good as an exchange but my Hungarian was not good enough to ask him what I had to do to get a full bottle with no empty to exchange.

The gas problem was solved quite easily the next time I was in Croatia. I found a supplier in Koprivnica and as usual in Croatia there were a couple of people who spoke good English so I got my bottle by paying about £80 deposit which will be refunded if I return the bottle in 2 months time.

With the new gas I started welding again but had further problems. The plastic liner for the MIG wire was getting bunged up with dirt, making the wire feed initially jerky then it stopped altogether. Having no idea how to clean out the inside of a plastic hose that thin it seemed the only option was to get a new liner. I initially looked at UK websites to see what was available then looked for the same things on Hungarian sites. This actually proved much easier than expected and I soon had an online order in for 2 sizes of liner and 2 sizes of tips for the gun/torch. I was a bit bothered that it did not state how much the postage would be but I thought it should not be too bad as it will be a very small parcel. I also assumed it would come by the normal post service for the same reason.

I received an email confirmation of the items I had ordered but again there was no information about delivery cost or date. As I could not do much more on the van I decided to go to Croatia for a few days. I had put in the order on Wednesday evening so it seemed highly unlikely that I would receive the parcel before Monday. In any case, if it came by post and I was out I would only have to collect it from the village post office.

I went to Croatia early Thursday morning then at about 11 am I got another email from the welding supplies firm. This time they did say that the parcel was being sent by Trans o Flex Logistics and it would be next day delivery. They did not actually say which day they would send out the goods though so it was only implicit that it could arrive at my place on the Friday. I stayed at the Croatia house until Sunday evening and got back to Hungary to find a card from Trans o Flex to say they had tried to deliver it on Friday. They did not say what they would do next. There is a box saying "Second delivery attempt in the next weekday in working hours." but it was not ticked.

I waited in all day on Monday but they didn't come. I found that neither my landline phone or my mobile were working. I thought perhaps the credit had expired on the mobile so I went out at 5.45 this morning to the next village where there is a cash machine. I tried to buy a top-up for the phone but the machine would not recognise my number as a valid prepaid sim. I did get a text a few days ago from Magyar Telecom but it was in Hungarian so I deleted it. It was probably something along the lines of "Top up now or your sim will be cancelled permanently"

Anyway, I managed to get the landline phone working by plugging it in directly to the wifi router. As the card from the courier firm was in English as well as Hungarian I hoped the switchbored operator might be able to pass me onto someone who speaks English. No such luck, after all my messing about with phones I was again defeated by the language barrier. I have emailed the welding supplies firm to ask how I can get my parcel but no reply from them. I have looked on the Trans o Flex website and there is a facility there for making delivery enquiries but it looks like it is only for the senders who have account numbers etc. Again I waited in all day but they didn't come. I want to take the dog to the vet but I don't dare go anywhere until I can find out when this delivery will happen.
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Old Jul 14th 2015, 10:48 am
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Default Re: Language Barrier Problems

You need a couple of shots of palinka ..... keep your chin up .... you'll get there in the end.
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Old Jul 14th 2015, 6:49 pm
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Default Re: Language Barrier Problems

Oh! do I feel and sympathise with you Fid.

In England online orders were paid by card, so the package could be left with a neighbour or in the porch.
In Hungary it is always CoD, so as you say you have to be home with a wad of various sized notes to cover both item and delivery.

I use plaster bandages for modelling, which from a model shop cost 2500ft, exactly the same item from a medical supplier cost 580ft. the problem is every time I order they send a confirmation e-mail saying delivery within 8 working days and no indication of delivery charge. so I have to be home all day, rearrange shopping etc for later hours.

I have regular deliveries by Sprinter the driver is always here next day before 9 a.m. and he even speaks English.
Items ordered from England always seem to be delivered by Trans-o-flex, and since these are paid by card in advance I can leave a note to ask the driver to give it to my neighbour.

I find with some things it is actually easier to order from the UK, pay by card, and get an order tracking system I can fully comprehend.

All of this is of no help what so ever to your situation, but hope you can get it sorted.
Can you ask the supplier for the order/waybill number and try ToF tracker?
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Old Jul 15th 2015, 8:42 pm
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Default Re: Language Barrier Problems

Apparently the delivery firm have sent the parcel back to the sender so if I want it I now have to pay double delivery charge, 3100 Ft. As the delivery firm failed to adhere to their own stated policy of making 2 delivery attempts I do not want to pay that sort of money for delivery. The postage at that rate would be about double the price of the goods so I would be paying 3 times as much as someone who visits their shop in Debrecen.
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Old Jul 17th 2015, 8:13 am
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Default Re: Language Barrier Problems

Sorry, what I don't understand is why you would order something in a country where you don't speak the language and then go away for a few days. Common sense would say that if you're planning on going away then order the goods when you return :/
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Old Jul 17th 2015, 7:50 pm
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Default Re: Language Barrier Problems

I did explain that bit
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