Wednesday, 28 October 2009


For fairly easily-guessable reasons, my mobile phone bill didn't get paid this month. It's not a big deal, and I've been trying for the last few days to find out how to pay the outstanding balance. I finally managed to speak to an English-speaking agent at Orange who gave me an account number and told me I could pay it at any Banco Santander branch.

So I went to my friendly (not) local Santander branch, and tried to pay the bill. The teller laughed at me, and pointed to a sign: the one that says utilities and phone bills will only be accepted between the 10th and 20th of the month, Mondays to Thursdays, 0830-1030.

I'm not joking. These people are fecking mental.

Spoke to several people at Orange this morning. You can apparently pay via the post office, but it can take up to 14 days for them to bother to give the money to Orange (are they using PayPal, I wonder?). The only other option is to pay by credit/debit card, or do a transfer from a Spanish bank account. So I slapped some cash into my bank. Then I called Orange: gave them my card details, but they barfed at the 3-digit security code bit. Feck, double-feck, treble-feck. It fecking works for Ryanair and EasyJet! I'm just wondering if they're storing my card details in their database, rather than doing a real-time look-up (the card was replaced about six months ago - same number, but different code on the back). In which case I'm fecked.

Once again, all I'm trying to do is give the bastards money. All they're trying to do is come up with reasons why I can't. Feck, feck, feckity-feck. The modern world will be great when it's finished.

The buggers have my account details on file: why can't they just press a button and get the money? Buggered if I know. Sob.

I called them again this morning, planning to ask for their full bank details so I could do a TT. But before doing that, we had another go at doing it with my debit card, and this time it bally-well-worked. (I suspect yesterday's lady thought it was a credit card). So, the next challenge will be to get some money into my account in time for the next payment in about a week's time.


Jayne said...

Strange, very strange.

Lee said...

This problem actually started with the utility companies. All of them -Telefónica, Union Fenosa, etc.used to have walk in customer service centers where you could request service installation, changes or cancellations, and pay bills. Then they informed the banks that they-the utility companies-just weren't going to do it any more and the banks, who had previously taken the payments too, would be flying solo. The banks responded by cutting back on the hours thay'd take payments. And the consumer got caught in the middle. (I had a student who was a top executive in a national bank whose responsiblity covered this area.)