Living in Greece

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

Conversations with my cell phone service provider

A simple woman’s dream of paying her cell phone bill in Greece.

Via Phone

Kat (K): Hello, can you tell me where I can pay my bill? I live in ____ , and I’d like to find somewhere open past 18:00.

Service provider (SP): You can go to ______ .

K: No, that’s only open until 17:00.

SP: It says in our database that it’s open until 20:00.

K: Well, it’s not. I went there.

SP: How about ____ ?

K: No, they’re closed for vacation.

SP: You can pay at the post office.

K: The three post offices in my area close at 14:30.

SP: Why can’t your husband pay it for you?

K: Because I don’t have one, and my boyfriend works longer hours than I do.

SP: Your mother can pay it for you.

K: No she can’t because she’s dead. And when she was alive, she lived in a different country.

SP: What about your father?

K: My father is dead too. I haven’t lived with my parents since I was 17.

SP: What about a brother or sister? Or a friend?

K: For the record, my friends work and so does my brother. I appreciate what you’re doing, but let’s just say I’m responsible for myself, so please don’t give me options that involve other people.

SP: You can pay it at a bank, get a bank check or have it set up to automatically pay it monthly.

K: I work longer hours than the banks in my area, which close at 13:30, and I do not have a car to drive to a bank that is open late.

SP: You can pay at an ATM.

K: Actually, I can’t because you do not cooperate with the bank I use. Listen, I’m not an idiot. I already went to your website and looked at your ‘How to Pay Your Bill’ options, and they do not fit me, so if you could just get back to my original question and tell me a place open past 18:00, that’d be great.

SP: Why can you use our pay online service?

K: Because your online system does not recognize my phone number! Can you just give me the answer to my original question, please?

SP: Why doesn’t it recognize it?

K: You’re asking me? How would I know? I’m calling you from that number right now, so obviously it exists.

SP: I don’t understand.

K: I don’t either, I just accept that it doesn’t work and I move on since I’ve already asked you to fix it twice, and you’ve done nothing. Now can you give me the answer to my original question?

SP: Just that store I told you already.

K: Yes, but I told you it’s not open past 17:00.

SP: Well then, I don’t have any information for you.

K: There are no other stores?

SP: No. By the way, your bill is overdue by 2 days.

K: Yes, I know that. I’ve been trying to pay it for the past week!

SP: If you don’t pay it, we’ll disconnect your service.

K: Oh, how nice. :) (*sigh*)

At the store

I got permission from my boss to leave 2 hours early to pay my phone bill. He laughed at me and thought I was lying.

K: Hello, I’d like to pay my bill.

SP: You must go to the other counter.

K: Thank you. (Stand in line at the other counter)

…10 minutes later

K: Hello, I’d like to pay my bill.

SP: You need to go to the other counter.

K: I was at the other counter, and he told me to come here, so I waited 10 minutes and now I have to go back?

SP: Yes.

K: I don’t accept that because if I leave this counter and go back to the other, he’s going to tell me to come back here. If neither of you want to help me, just say so instead of passing me back and forth.

SP: Fine, I’ll help you. Wait here.

…5 minutes later

SP: Here’s your receipt. Is there something else?

K: Yes, I’d like to change my address.

SP: Sure, can I see your identification?

K: Here you go.

SP: Wait, while I make a call to verify.

…minutes later

SP: This is not the same passport on file.

K: Yes, I know. The one you have on file is my passport from 10 years ago when I first signed up with you. Of course that one is expired, and this is my new one.

SP: Well, the new one is not on file.

K: I’m obviously the same person. It’s the same AFM, and I can provide other proof as well. Here’s my driver’s license, my ATM card, my bus pass.

SP: Show me your expired passport.

K: What? Why?

SP: You don’t have it?

K: No, it expired 7 years ago. It’s at home in storage.

SP: So you don’t have it with you?

K: Why would I carry around a passport that expired 7 years ago? It’s not even a valid form of ID.

SP: Do you know the number?

K: Do you even understand what you’re asking me?

SP: So you don’t know the number?

K: Do you know the number of your tautotita in your wallet right now or your AFM by heart? Notice that I didn’t ask you something from 7 years ago; I’m asking you something you’ve had almost all your life.

SP: Point taken.

Related posts

Conversations from a day in my life, as a “non-blonde lesbian, liar, thief, uneducated American that no speak good English
Just another day in Hellas
Greek Ombudsman: Registering a complaint about Greece


  Paying your cell phone in Greece « Journey to Ithaki wrote @ July 22nd, 2008 at 06:21

[…] Greece and Greek idolizers, give it a read… unless you don’t want to be […]

  Darrell wrote @ August 2nd, 2008 at 11:59

Since Greek prepaid cellular services now roam, I use an online service to purchase a recharge code for my prepaid card when I’ve been using it in other parts of Europe. This service is an electronic branch of a regular Greek bank.

You can fund your payments with VISA and MasterCard in addition to a bank account. The same site offers other payment options for Greek telephone, electricity, water, gas, tax and every sort of bills so you can also pay your postpaid mobile, fixed phone, cable, water, gas, tax or social security bills when abroad or in Greece.

When my local kiosk was out of Wind SIMs this past December, I went to the Wind store around the corner to buy a SIM and refill card. It turned out to be one of the most complicated €8 transaction I can remember. If I had known, I would’ve tried other kiosks. Once the staff discovered I did not want to buy ‘regular’ service, I was shunted off to the trainee fellow who had to constantly ask others what to do. I ended up with 4 different printed forms. But I did get a bag of little presents with Wind written all over them.

Darrell In Detroit

  Kat wrote @ August 2nd, 2008 at 12:11

D – It’s a great idea and convenient for anyone interested. I’d be more inclined to use it if my employer wired my salary into an account and didn’t pay me cash each month, thus necessitating a visit to the bank to facilitate payments through this online process. I’ve also had poor experiences in the past with auto-pay, namely double payments were being made and paid past the date I lived in a specific residence, and I fought for several months to get my money back.

P.S. I replaced specifics with generics in your comment because the bank you listed is sensitive about using their links.

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