Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Paying bills.

Before I start getting into the nitty-gritty of what's seriously wrong with Serbs themselves, I'll start with some trivial stories illustrating how day-to-day life in Serbia is full of stupid.

Serbia's financial system is in the dark ages.

I'm pushing middle-age and I have never, in my life, until I came to Belgrade, had to leave the house to pay any kind of bill.  Just log onto your online banking, pay your bills, when you're done, get off the toilet and get on with your day.  easy-peasy.

Before the internet, there was telephone banking.

I think, maybe, when I was in university, I was paying bills by check through the mail.

Never in my life, and I'm sure never in the life of pretty much anyone living in any civilized country, have I even had to imagine the notion of having to GO somewhere to pay a bill (we're talking telephone, electricity, internet, that kind of stuff).

In Serbia, you have to take the actual, physical bill (that you get in the mail - the kind that the postman delivers), you have to leave the house and go to the post office or bank.  You have to line up.  Then you have to be abused by the person working at the teller  (there will be more posts on this, I'm sure), you pay your will with cash (!) and then you go home.  That is, if you get a bill in the mail.  The internet companies are a bit more modern.  They email you the bill.  Then you must go to the book-store and buy a stack of blank invoices.  You must then transcribe the contents of the email onto the blank invoice (printing it out doesn't do) and then proceed with the above process.

If you forget to pay a bill one month, and you get and pay the bill the next month, you'll get your services cut off immediately.


That's right.

Because, when you get a bill, it's just for that month.  If you forgot to pay the last month, they don't tell you on your next bill.  You have to have the actual piece of paper that they had sent you the month before.

So, you just paid your bill and you find your services cut off.  What do you do?  Well, you have to go to the head office of the company who's bill you forgot to pay last month.  You must line up (of course).  You have to explain that you lost your bill and be abused by some idiot while they deign to print out another copy of your bill from the previous month.  Then you must find a post office, line up, pay for the bill and receive a receipt.  You then take that piece of paper, return to the office of the company where you had the duplicate bill printed, line up again, present your receipt to the rude worker at the teller, wait for a long time for them to do something on their computer from the 80s, and then be told that you'll have your service reconnected by the evening or the next morning.

Remember, Serbs.  In civilized countries, you do all this in a few minutes while you're squeezing out a turd on the shitter.

At first, I kind of thought it was an adventure.

Then it made me want to kill.

As of recently, I have staff to do this kind of thing.

Sill.  It kind of makes me want to kill a little, having to have a personal assistant in order to administer the most basic things you need to do in life.


  1. awesome dude.... BRAVOOOOOO!!!!!!


    lol, so serbian, also EXTRAAAAAAAAAAAA (the only word for cool,awesome,kick ass,killer, sweet, etc)

    Sidenote: When i first moved here and people kept saying Extra i thought they are talking about a newspaper. Also when it came to cars them saying "FULL EXTRA" I didn't know WTF it meant, then later i realized that meant fully loaded with all options

    anyway, let me stay on topic

    when it comes time to pay the bills today, i can pay em all online since procredit bank started offering this a few months ago..

    but, if they disconnect something (ie it often happens i fail to pay some bill cuz i lose it) then i do have to goto the main office of say telekom, and then they IZSTAMPA the ones i didnt pay and need to pay, then i gotta walk around 200m to the post office, pay it, and then walk back, show it STAMPED!! and then they are ok.

    OH HELL< i just remembered a cool old post i had on my blog.. all about STAMPS!!

    PA GDE JE PECAT (google it, funny as fuck on youtube)

    they want pecat here on everything, even electronic release forms generated by a computer in the sea port with containers... yup, so, what do u do when they ask for a pecat on something that doesn't have a pecat?

    you put your serbian hat on... AJD DA VIDIMO STA MOZEMO... O IMAM IDEJU!!! e, sta mislim ako IZSTAMPAMO pecat od interneta par puta, EXTRAAAAA IDEJA!!!!!!

    solution :D now an e-release form that has no stamp, has a stamp, problem solved :D SERBIAN WAY

  3. This is not true, either you were lied to or you are doing it on purpose. 1. Almost all banks offer fully functional e-banking. 2. None of services that you pay through monthly bills will be cut off if you miss one (actually, electricity was not cut for people who didnt pay for years literally; for mobile phone you will receive reminder sms etc).