Companies I Avoid in Chile


I don’t usually get on here to bitch, but I think of this as consumer advice. The short of it: avoid Entel, Movistar and Banco Santander. They all have poor reputations for a reason. Oh, and if you use a foreign debit card in a cash machine, they will all charge you between five and seven dollars EXCEPT Banco Estado. They don’t charge any fee at all. I think they should all be free, considering it is illegal to charge fees on Chilean bank cards at any ATMs nationwide.

Without going into too much detail, last year I had nearly three months of almost no cell phone service with Entel. I had to visit locations at least 19 times, write letters, try to talk to supervisors, send emails, wait in line, get ignored and finally file a formal complaint with the telecommunication regulatory agency. Did I mention that most people who were tasked with “helping” me at Entel had no idea what the H. E. double hockey sticks they were talking about? I had to get this resolved with them because this is the phone number everyone has for me, former and current clients, etc. In the end, they have been giving me a few dollars a month free as compensation. Woo-hoo!

I just lost my phone the other day, and the woman who answered my phone when I called it told me it was too much of a pain to drop my phone off at the corner gas station half a block away. Yeah. Real nice. So she took the cheap circa 1989 cell phone with her instead of leaving it where she found it. I called to block the number and Entel told me that I have a late payment charge on my rental phone (you know, the fee people pay monthly to buy something super fancy) and my account was also overdue. I explained quite clearly and succinctly that I bought this phone outright for 20 bucks and I’ve never had a contract. She kept insisting that I have a contract and then asked if she could speak with someone else who could understand her. Someone should invent a device to wring necks over the phone line. Virgin Mobile arrived here not too long ago, and you can now take your cell phone number with you to a new company. Prepaid, no-contract is my style. I’m just waiting for my new double chip phone to arrive to finally tell Entel they can kiss my pale backside.

Movistar. Ugh. I hate that company. Unfortunately at the precise coordinates where I live I cannot get any other company for internet service. They called to offer us cable the other day. I don’t give two hoots about TV but Marcela wanted the offer. After she convinced me, she called back to accept the triple pack plan, and curiously it was no longer on the table. That’s just the most recent annoyance with them. They provide consistent problems. I’m moving in a few months so they can also get in line for a pale-butt pucker-up.

Banco Santander. Double frickin’ ugh. They charge for absolutely everything. They charged me for a notary fee on a document THEY had to get signed and stamped when I opened my account. They charge from 6 to 20 dollars each and every month to simply have a line of credit. Checking accounts here include credit. It’s automatic, and total shite. My debit card, credit card and online pay card all had problems with them when I opened the account, requiring my presence at the bank in lines several more times. They didn’t even get my email address right. I tried to access my account online once, and got access to someone ELSE’s account! I couldn’t believe it. The only reason I have a damn checking account is because my landlord requires checks; won’t take a bank transfer. After I move I no longer need checks for anything. You guessed it. They will receive the pleasure as well. My ass is gonna get used to all this kissing.


10 responses »

    • Now that I finally got my number back, I can transfer it to another company. I’m gonna go with Virgin. They run atop the Movistar network, which is reliable throughout the nation. I’ve heard Claro has connection issues. Virgin has the best rates on data, too.

      • I ended up getting a SIM with Entel :\ My roommate and her friends all insisted that they have the best service (as in coverage) and I didn’t know enough to argue. It’s only 9 months, hopefully it won’t be too bad.

    • Heh, well I’m coming from 10 years on and off of TW’s terrible monopoly over southern California’s cable scene, so I’ve given far more money to far worse companies, I suppose…?

  1. Good ol’ Time Warner huh? Did you bring a smartphone with you, or are you using a cheapie? A friend recently took her broken iPhone in to Entel and they gave her a loaner phone and when she went back to swap them out they denied the loaned one came from them and refused to solve her problem. If you have a nice one, keep a good grip on it when you’re in sketchy ‘hoods 🙂

    • jaja, got it. I have a “smart” phone that’s about 4 years old: good enough to get wifi, hopefully not shiny enough to want to steal, but not a *huge* bummer if it does get stolen (other than I should download my photos from the crappy camera more frequently).

      (haaaaate TW. Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaate. They’re merging with Comcrap, did you hear? A BIGGER CABLE MONOPOLY, WHAT COULD POSSIBLY GO WRONG.)

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