The phone was replaced into its box and left there. Next time I saw the friend who advised me to buy it online, I handed him the box and asked him to see if he knew anyone who would be able to work out the WHY of this situation. A week later he returned the phone to me and told me that he had to set up a meeting with the person who could probably help and tell me what to do. The first two efforts did not come of, so now we were trying to get a third date set.
My nephew visited from overseas where he lives and works. It was great to see him and we had much catching up to do. As we were sitting talking I suddenly remembered that he has spent all his working life with a TelCo and works on mobile phone networks. I simply asked him to have a look to see why the phone I bought would not work.
With my phone in one hand and his latest smart phone in the other, it did not take him long to find the technical details and looked into them. It was very clear. The phone I had bought worked on the 901 Mhz network and my provider was with the 850 Mhz network. The phone was perfectly good, just not for the network that I had my SIM with. My balloon did not burst, it slowly deflated as I realized what had happened.
Oh well, it is new and in good condition, so I can try to sell it to someone who is with a provider that is on the 901 Mhz network. Sounded reasonable and also simple. Then my nephew's wife spoke up and said, "No, we will buy it and I can give it to my mother because where we live, the whole country is on the 901 Mhz network." Done. They took the phone and gave me some money and I was back to square one. No phone.
However, my nephew took over and showed me how to ensure that I bought a phone that was on the correct frequency for the network I was on. From there I took over, found a phone, ordered it, paid for it and within a week it had arrived. It works on either the 850 Mhz network or the 901 Mhz network. It is a flip phone, has big buttons and a reasonably sized screen with large lettering, as well as predictive text for messages.
Am I happy? You bet I am. And I have a nice long tale to tell.