1.22.2008

Must.Learn.German.Now.

Reason number one I need to learn the German language? A whopping 339 EUR bill from our cell phone provider, Vodafone. Even though Vodafone is an international company with offices in English-speaking countries such as Australia and England, I can’t get my rate plan or bill in the language I understand and must rely on in-store salespeople to explain things. Obviously, there has been a miscommunication.

For 80 EUR, I was told my plan included a flat rate for phone usage and unlimited Internet access, but this must not be the case. I’ve never had a bill this high before, and the scary part is I’m not exactly sure how I went over. Eeek!

If I convert this to U.S. dollars, the bill is even gloomier. Max and I just paid $500 for our phones and Internet. Given that, besides Max, there isn’t anyone for me to regularly call, my Internet usage, which admittedly is hours and hours on end, must surely be the culprit. So now I can’t help but wonder, based on the time it’s taken me to publish this post, how much my words are costing me.

9 comments:

running42k said...

would first time connection charges and installation be the reason for the difference between the 80 Euros and the 339 Euros?

LZ Blogger said...

Diane ~ I certainly hope that your internet activities are not the culprit here? Good luck on learning German... but this is a TRIAL BY FIRE if you ask me! ~ jb///

Jenn in Holland said...

Yikes is right! I can't imagine the shock of such a bill. Quick, put down the blog!

(nice to meet you, by the way!)

meno said...

Damn, that's a lot of money! I'd be in shock too.

Jennifer said...

I hope running42k up there is right...it's worth exploring anyway!

Yow-za!

The Daily Randi said...

Thank goodness you aren't learning German in some sort of On-Line Class!

xoxo,
TDR

Jen said...

Have I understand you right? You have a flat rate for a cell phone and a flat rate for the internet which should cost together 80 € per month?

That alone would be very much. We have a flatrate for a landline telephone (which don't include calls to cell phones which cost extra money; only calls to other landline phones in Germany are included) and a flat rate for the internet (6 Mbit/s) which cost together only circa 40 €.

There is probably a difference with a cell phone but it shouldn't be so big. The connection charges and installation is usually also not so expensive.

I think the most probable thing is that your phone flat rate doesn't include as usual not all kind of phone calls. Phone calls to other countries usually cost extra and are very expensive. And even more important most cell phone flat rates don't include calls and sms in other German mobile radio networks (Mobilfunknetze). There is for example a mobile phone flat rate from Vodafone on their internet homepage which don't include these. A phone call in another German Mobilfunknetz cost with such a flat rate 0,29 € per MINUTE and a sms in other Mobilfunknetze 0,19 € extra. So if you telephone with someone for a while who use a mobile phone which use for example the Mobilfunknetz from T-Mobile, O2 or E-plus you can get very fast very poor.

I don't know what flat rate you have exactly but it wouldn't surprise me if this would be the reason for you very high bill.

Jen said...

If you have somewhere in German the description of your phone and internet contract and especially its specific conditions I could translate them for you if you post them on your site. But you have to ignore all my English mistakes ;-)

egan said...

I thought about you and Max this weekend as we were in the hospital. I wondered how tough it would be to not speak the language in a hospital, to only get 50-75% of what's being said would be tough.

Have you considered using Skype?