Saturday, 25 January 2014

The telephone bill ...

An everyday tale of life on a green island in the aegean ...

(S) Can you change the name on the bill for me ?

Yes but Why ?

(S) That's not my name ...

How long have you had the number ?

(S) Four Years ...

Why have you not changed it before?

(S) No-one has the technical ability. The office, the call centre or anyone I have met - but you are new here ...

I can do this no problem.

(S) Great lets give it a try ...

Six screens later, there is the offending screen ready to be changed ...

Can I have your passport ?

(S) There you go ...

Can I have your tax number ?

(S) There it is its on the bill ...

No I need your official tax number.

(S) Why ? its there on the bill that I just paid, and is in your hand ...

I need your ID.

(S) You have my brand new passport there in your hand, Actually - Its been in more Greek hands, than my own countrymen.

But I need your tax number as ID, as you want me to change the bill into your name.

(S) Yes as ID for the bill thats in your hand, paid for by the person who actually wants their name on the bill!

Supervisor: The Tax number is the most official number in Greece, you cannot do anything without it.

(S) You just accessed my full account details, actually someone else who could be me - for the last few years. I have also been able to view them - Just because I paid the bill, and had a piece of paper in my hand.

Supervisor: Who set this account up!

(S) I told him ...

Supervisor: How long has it been like this?

(S) Four years and about a month, and around another ten minutes or so ...

He laughs out loud, as we all do ...

(S) OK Back later say I, with lots of papers for you to play with.

(S) By the way I say, can you stop sending me (Namesakes) bill

Supervisor: Why do you get that bill ?

(S) Because their name is spelt correctly, and despite them moving twice, in the last four years or so, the postman thinks its me ...

An excellent example, of how you have to deal with any office, on this video here ...

The journey continues ...


  1. That story and video are hilarious but would so put me off ever moving to Greece...the bureaucracy must drive you all round the bend!

    1. If you turn up with a large file of papers, you see the eyebrows raise :) Sometimes it just lacks common sense ...

  2. That's not unlike the phone convos my husband has to have with various utilities , I'm deaf so he very often has to phone on my behalf and it's like an interrogation every time . Mind you , things like the Greek bureaucracy just aid to the charm of Greece for me , btw have you made the lemon pudding yet ?

    1. Sometimes sign language here, would be useful. No pudding yet, battened down here bad weather ...

  3. The joys of living on a Greek island in the Aegean .......

    1. Yes it's not all Sun sand and lovely Mythos. Many friends now encountering the bureaucracy, and struggling. I really do have a file of copies, just like the girl in the video. Still working on the telephone bill though ...

  4. Ah, Is this the right room for an argument?
    I told you once.
    No you haven't.
    Yes I have.
    Just now.
    No you didn't.
    Yes I did.
    You didn't
    I did!
    You didn't!
    I'm telling you I did!
    You did not!!
    Oh, I'm sorry, just one moment. Is this a five minute argument or the full half hour?
    Oh, just the five minutes. :-)