May 15, 2005

--- Telecom (Telephone) Bill

Telephone Bill Posted by Hello

This is my last statement for an apartment I own in Recoleta. It is unedited except for removing the personal information and the phone number from it. The two main phone companies in Buenos Aires for residential and business service are Telecom and Telefonica. Both are priced similarly. Both companies are a nightmare dealing with if you are having a problem or trying to get something changed on your account. I will go into an experience I had below. First the important details of this bill.

The phone bill is billed monthly. You can see this one is 40.54 pesos (u$s 14) per month. My phone bills are usually exactly the same every month because I have what is called a "controlled line". I lease out my properties so it's important that I block my clients from making calls to cell phones and long-distance calls. We provide a cell phone for those type of calls. Only calls to local numbers are permitted with this kind of system. There is a pre-determined credit every month (usually around 30 pesos). Once that credit/time is used, the guests need to buy pre-paid calling calls to make calls but they can still receive calls unlimitedly.

Dealing with the phone companies is a frustrating process. When I first moved here, even though I had met some local friends that could do things for me, I purposely did everything myself so that I could learn how the system works here in Argentina. The system is broken. Just to make a simple change like getting a controlled line you would think you could request that over the phone. That would be logical. Right? Very few things are logical in Argentina. You must go to the Telecom office where you don't even talk to a representative. You go to their office and guess what? They send you to stand in line so you can use their phone to call in to their office and request the change.

YES, you heard that right. You can't call to request the change from your home/office but you must go to Telecom's office to get on a phone. Ridiculous but this is how many things are done here in Argentina.


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