Thursday, March 15, 2007

The Move Isn't Over Yet

The actual act of moving abroad sucks, no two ways about it. (Or as my cranky cruisin'-for-a-heart-attack high school choir director would have said, "no three ways about it".) This wouldn't be a problem anymore if the whole experience would just get behind us...but no, it lives on!

When we left Boston, we still had no German address. We could not get our German address until we arrived here. So, we had our forwarding address down as Damon's parents. We figured this was not going to be a problem, because we had tied up loose ends in Boston and would be calling important places with our new address as soon as we had it. It was really a just-in-case move.

Of course, things didn't work out very well with this arrangement. First came the problems with Verizon. We still had work to do with them, because we were breaking our contract early and they needed proof that we had moved out of their provider zone and seriously couldn't use them anymore. And, they refused to send mail to a foreign address. So, we had to use the parental address.

The parentals decided this wasn't a very important job. We got communications from Verizon generally three months after they'd been sent. Guess what happened after a lot of miscommunication with Verizon and a lot of lack-of-mail-forwarding from Damon's parents? WE GOT SENT TO AN EFFING COLLECTION AGENCY. Damon was quite the cranky man last night trying to sort this one out. We had really, really good credit. Probably not anymore. And it's not just one of us whose credit has just gone to hell because....

My health insurance company and hospital screwed up as well! I certainly didn't expect any more mail from them because I paid all my copays happily and went on my merry way. Well, the referral from my PCP didn't match the claim from the hospital letter-by-letter. There were a couple of letters different, even though I did go to the correct place for which I had a referral. But the insurance company couldn't recognize this. So enormous bills and then...again...A WARNING FROM ANOTHER EFFING COLLECTION AGENCY were sent to my in-laws house. Just got the collection agency thing last night. I have already worked the whole thing out with the insurance company a while ago and yes, it was entirely their fault...but anyway, now my credit rating has gone to hell too. We are going to try to protest both of these collection agency things, but how many sob stories must those guys hear every day? I don't have a lot of confidence that we will get out of the damage.

So, whatever you do if moving abroad, ladies and gentlemen....leave your parents out of it. And if Verizon demands a domestic address and your hospital/insurance company screw up everything...well, I hope you have a good friend who can help you with your mail.

This came on top of Damon already being sort of cranky because his mom never calls him anymore. This has definitely been symptomatic of all our parents since the move abroad. I think we did the wrong thing, and they have given up on us. But with my experiences so far, I have a very hard time agreeing with them about this being the wrong thing. So, I guess we can accept a bit of familial rejection in return for the benefits of living in a new country :)


  1. I should steer you to Dave Ramsey, who will tell you to forget about your credit rating. After several years in Germany, I learned I have no credit history whatsoever in the USA. This despite having a couple of US credit cards. Give it enough time and you will drop off the radar, for better or worse.

  2. Some of the best money we spend each year is for a PO Box (well, technically a mailbox at one of those strip-mall mailing places) in the USA, checked by a very reliable friend who scans and emails pertinent information to us, or forwards the stuff we would like to keep private. This way, we keep our business to ourselves and can spend our time talking with family about more fun things than the bills. Our parents still think we're silly for keeping a separate address when we could just use theirs, but they've given up dropping hints. Also, nice to have a shipping address in the USA so I can order stuff from American online retailers, have it shipped to myself, and pick it up when I make a visit. Love it!

    Good luck with Verizon and the credit agencies; maybe you'll get a collector who is in a good mood...

  3. iiiiiiiiiiiiiiiii still love YOUUUUUUU
    i think you meant to type "THEY think we did the wrong thing, and they gave up on us" but it says "I think"?

    that really, really sucks. because collection agency is scary :/

  4. Well, at least you didn't misplace/forget a University bill for $24 and have THAT sent to a collections agency. woops.

    I'm glad you didn't have us forward your mail b/c we can't even get a package out of the country without it getting sent back.

  5. Good luck! My parents leave me alone most of the time, unless they want to ask for money!

  6. Mike: Hmm, you are just giving us more reason not to go back :) Look out, our parents may come after you! ;)
    I'm usually pretty wary of these financial guru type guys (example: guy who tells everyone they should buy a house NO MATTER WHAT, then we have a disaster like right now in the US where people can't pay thier mortgages) - but Mr. Ramsey seems alright!

    Blythe - Good idea! I thought about having my sister do it, but she could move to a new city at any moment - as could a lot of the other people I know (we are all too dang mobile!). Hopefully this will be the end of all this - hopefully.

    Sara: I was going for something along the lines of "I think they think we did the wrong thing" but maybe it didn't come off so well :)

    Nathan: Oops.... Yeah, I am really, really, really goody-two-shoes about money and bills, which is why this whole thing was so disturbing to me! I wanted continued perfection dammit! Oh well.
    Don't feel bad about the package, I have a friend who had something sent back twice now :/

    Arashi-Kishu: Aww....darn parents :( Do you give them the money? I don't have any really so I have refused when asked...


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