Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

OTE: A miracle on Thiseos Street

otegr.jpgGetting a new phone line or stathero in Greece used to take a year or several months in the not-so-distant past and has improved slightly to 30 to 90 days in big cities, where it is considered easier than say a village or remote area.

But do you know anyone who got ADSL and a phone line from OTE in 36 hours?

Now you do — us.

So you’re thinking:
a) Are you an OTE employee?
b) Who did you bribe?
c) Is this another urban legend?
d) You’re full of cr@p!

I’m not an OTE employee, in fact the only one I know had to wait two weeks for his line. I bribed no one and wouldn’t know how to pull that off, even if I was willing to go against my principles to partake. And readers know that this site is about straight talk and real life stories, not rumors and fairy tales.

A week before our move, my fiancé called his connection at OTE and let her know we were moving, set our disconnection date for Friday at the old house and asked her to hook us up at the new house ASAP. Apparently, that’s exactly what happened.

Monday morning, our old connection was cut and a new signal was working at the new house, although we couldn’t get online because “the gate” hadn’t been opened. Tuesday we were informed that technicians would show up at our house between 8:00 and 14:00 on Thursday, and today at noon they came and “opened the gate” to give us access. Telos.

With all of the horror stories about OTE taking forever, I can’t help but wonder if my fiancé agreed to trade our first-born child and therefore don’t feel comfortable to break out in a happy dance. 😕

I humbly and very gratefully call it a miracle on Thiseos Street.*

Related posts

Communications blackout
The magic of DSL in Greece

Photo from

* Title is Greek spin of “Miracle on 34th Street,” a holiday classic.
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  dealsend wrote @ December 7th, 2007 at 17:01

OTE rulzzzzz Kat!!


Take care and have a good X-stmas

  DIO wrote @ December 7th, 2007 at 17:51

damn! and I thought that Greeks (like the rest of the world of course) were discriminating against the Americans…. indeed you got a miracle! and with OTE??? you know it doesn’t get any better than that…

  Stathis wrote @ December 7th, 2007 at 17:51

Generally speaking Greece can be another country if you know the right guys or if you know a guy that knows the guys!

  graffic wrote @ December 8th, 2007 at 11:56


You’re really lucky because the people who do their job well worked for you. There are not so many.

It took me 2 months last time to get a DSL line. Nowadays I use a WIND 3G connection. I didn’t want to test my “luck” again 😛

Enjoy your internet 🙂

  EllasDevil wrote @ December 8th, 2007 at 12:27

This line was the one that stood out to me: “my fiancé called his CONNECTION at OTE.”

It’s a case of not what you know but who you know. Poor DD had to wait weeks for her homemove with OTE to be carried out. Delay after delay after delay!

In my particular case, because I know how bad OTE can be, I ordered my new connection 4 months before I moved in just to make sure it’d all be done and completed on moving day!

I bet he probably agreed to name your first born after one of their products.

Cue to you in the playground shouting, “Conn-X …. it’s time to go home!”


  Kat wrote @ December 8th, 2007 at 20:57

DE – Hehe, thanks! Nice to see you here again.

D – Well, as I said in the story, my fiance was the one who arranged it and he’s Greek so it’s all about who you are and who you know…as you know.

S – That’s so true! That’s what I say in my “Warning and Disclaimer.” I’ve had so many people promise things, then never deliver. The right person is someone who actually gets it done. Filakia!

G – You’re right. I’m not jumping up and down and bragging because it’s unreal. In the past, I got an appt to get DSL in 2 weeks, but 3 days!!! I’m lucky my fiance’s connection is a reliable one that keeps her promises.

ED – Four months in advance, ela vre! “Conn-X” is unique, could be for a boy or girl, and does go quite well with Kat, anyway. 😉

  EllasDevil wrote @ December 8th, 2007 at 22:02

I was having work done on the place before i moved in so actually another reason for making them come early was so I could have the phone points moved before plastering and painting etc.

I was waiting a month tho!

  x wrote @ December 9th, 2007 at 17:13

i had to wait 6 months 4 vivody.
anyway cngrats 4 the blog i think its very funny and usefull.

  Kat wrote @ December 9th, 2007 at 19:00

ED – I was teasing you. I totally understand and it makes perfect sense.

X – That’s horrible! And I’m sure they didn’t apologize or offer you any compensation either.

Thanks for making a comment today and your compliment. 🙂

  Simon Baddeley wrote @ December 12th, 2007 at 11:34

Having heard that transferring a phone line from the old house owner to the new required the physical presence of the old account holders at the signing of the transfer documents (rather like the actual buying of the property) we decided to rely on mobiles, but we have heard very good reports of ‘Go Broadband’ in Corfu. You sign up in the shop in Corfu town, they check your address on the island for coverage and the engineers arrive in the same week and do not leave the house until skype phone and broadband is working. I’ll let you know if what we’ve been told is true!

  FMS wrote @ December 25th, 2007 at 13:16

As I have understood [but I didn’t check the actual law] OTEhas for several years been required to fit a phone line in 3 days or else pay a penalty.When I moved to my current address about 4 years ago [a short distance down Lykavittos] I asked to keep my old number. OTE refused. I asked if they could divert calls from the old number to the new one: OTE refused. I asked if i COULD PAY LOTS OF MONEY for them to put a recording on the old number, informing people of the new number [yet to be allocated]: OTE refused. So, I just gave up with the old number.

I went to the local OTE office, and asked for a new number. Actually, I wanted three on ISDN! The folks there were really helpful, spoke to me in English, and allowed me to choose the numbers by spending over an hour looking on the computer listings of available numbers. We made the arrangement, but they said nothing about when anything would happen: “That’s up to the engineers”. So, I insisted that they phone the engineers, rather than leaving me to deal with it. The answer that the girl received, was 3 weeks minimum. So, I started shouting that this was against Greek law, I could not wait 3 weeks, and I would sue OTE for loss of earnings by refusing to provide a phoneservice.

This verbal onslaught caught the attention of an older guy nearby, who offered to phone his old friend the technician for Kolonaki. This he did, and persuaded him to make it the following morning to fit the line. I went home, having given them my mobile number. One hour later. I got a call saying that he could come immediately and was I available. I made sure that I was!

So, by shouting and arguing, and with some luck, I managed to have my phone line fitted the same day instead of in 3 weeks. I think there is a general principle here, which I offer to fellow blog-readers:-) Of course, from an economist’s point of view, it reveals the primacy of personal connections and contacts over properly organised business structures: no news there!

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