Indeed, nearly a month after we ordered it, our DSL connection was activated, piece by piece. The modem finally arrived, but with no access codes or any of the other bits that should have come with it. After continully hassling them on their toll free line, Telecom Italia has slowly relinqueshed, bit by bit, that which we needed to make everything work.
I’ve just started reading Tobias Jones’ “Dark Heart of Italy”, and don’t know what to think of the book yet, but I do know that my own, private “Dark Heart of Italy” is definitely Telecom Italia. The beaurocracy is generally unpleasant here, but it’s not like it’s ever fun – there’s just less of it in the states. And nowhere do I personally bump head on into The System more than when dealing with Telecom. Consider that in the US, for the same price, I had a working cable internet connection after 4 days. And although they are slow, they are also thoroughly incompetent. Every single time I called, they asked again for the details of my order – what sort of telephone plugs I have, which service I was ordering, which connection would I like for my computer, and so on. I guess it never occured to them to store this information electronically somewhere in order to access it easily in the future.
Unfortunately, I don’t have any funny anecdotes with which to close my description of dealing with Telecom – I was about to go funny in the head myself from dealing with them after a month. At this point some of the more jaded Italian readers are saying “a month? ha! that’s nothing – you got lucky!”, and sadly, I know they’re right.