A blog about all and nothing
In case you didn’t figure it out, I’m not German. Being an “Ausländer” has its ups and downs.
The life of an expat is most of the time interesting, challenging and rewarding (if it wasn’t, I personally don’t see the point in struggling to live in a foreign country, speaking a foreign language…). Nonetheless there are moments of frustration, when you are/ feel discriminated.
2 years ago I wanted to get a subscription to a mobile phone company. I never imagined it could be so difficult…
First company (I am not giving any names, but it is the biggest, most well know mobile phone company in Germany): Went there, signed the application, gave all the data they asked for. All nice and good. I had to wait 30 minutes for the confirmation. After this half an hour, the only answer I got was: Sorry, it seems we can’t accept you as a client! (wait, what? Why?…) Either you show us the proof that you own a car, that you have an electricity/ rent contract on your name, or that you’ve worked at least one year in Germany, or we can’t open your account…
Let’s make things clear: I don’t have a problem with rules. As long as everybody follows them! Sadly this was not the case. Days later I spoke with my friend, who managed to get a contract at the same super famous company. The big surprise was: SHE ONLY NEEDED TO SHOW HER PASSPORT! Really… The difference was: She is English, I am not.
2nd company – I ordered online, gave all the information they required. Hours later I received an email. Apparently my credit check came out negative (Bonitätsprüfung). How?! If anyone would have actually checked my account, would have seen that I have enough money to pay 30 EUR/month, that I monthly receive my salary.
3rd company. Well…3rd time is a charm! After 2 weeks I finally got to sign the contract.
You know… this might not be such a big deal, but it really bothered me at the time. It was not about my credit check, or the fact that I don’t have a thousand contracts in my name… it was about my nationality (I am pretty sure about this).
As I said, it is not about having rules, demanding specific data before accepting someone as your customer, it is about equality! You cannot (or should not!) apply rules just for certain categories!