How I bought a Brazilian SIM card and ended up in debt slavery

2 min

555 points

If you are not the happy owner of the Akhalay-Mahalay tariff, with unlimited Internet around the world, a local SIM card in Brazil is absolutely necessary for you. There are several reasons for this.

First, the language. 👅

Portuguese speakers can laugh in my face and move on to the next point. Everyone else – welcome to the dumb club! Forget English. It won’t save you. Hello to the online translator!

Secondly, Uber. 🚖

You can of course travel by metro and buses, but taxis are cheaper in most cases. And it’s always more convenient.

Third, GPS navigation and access to information in general. 🌐

(Check the schedule, weather forecast; find out what kind of gray-brown fruit you are going to eat in a fit of madness)

I think the issue of the importance of bying a local SIM card is clear. But!

Which Sim card to buy and how?

I don’t like special packages for tourists and try to act like a local. I bought in a tobacco shop a sim card for 25 reais, with 4G internet, I was glad that the Internet was in my pocket. But not for long.

Brazilian Sim card

Kind passer-by warned me: without the Brazilian analogue of Social Sequrity number (CPF) I cannot open my maps, as Columb didn’t discover India 😲

CPF can be obtained in advance from the Brazilian Embassy. It is free. But, as they say, a good thought comes after. Of course, I didn’t have CPF. The office of the operator giant TIM was ahead. But now you can issue Brazilian CPF online and here is the instruction!

Naturally, I was offered a tariff for tourists, for 115 reais. I stacked them with the 25 already spent, and a toad jumped on my chest. 🐸 I didn’t want to overpay for 2000 minutes of unnecessary conversations …

Then the manager beamed mysteriously. Through an online translator, she offered “almost the same, but at a super price.” And she brought the contract. In Portuguese.😁

From the joy that we finally understood each other, I signed. “Without reading.” 😆 And paid. Without asking. 😆 Paid 109 reais. Wow. Not the promised “super” at all.

Before leaving Brazil I asked to cancel the contract.

I was given a paper of canceling the transaction.

Imagine my surprise when, after 28 days, a new 109 reais was debited from me. For the next month of service. On a SIM card.

This was followed by boring and boring conversations with TIM, via FB, email, and my Brazilian friend. Calls and applications to the bank. The money was eventually returned, and the debits from the account stopped. 🙏

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555 points