How not to buy a mobile/cell/cep phone

We had been using the same trusty mobile phone since before we moved to Turkey. It used to be Ashley’s and we really can’t remember how long ago he bought it. At least seven years, we think. Anyway, for some time now it has been a bit fussy about charging and, a few weeks back, one of the buttons stopped working. We took it to a repair shop and they said something inside was broken and they couldn’t fix it (so they didn’t charge). Then, of course, that button started working again…

Mobile phones are expensive here in Turkey. We did a bit of research and decided we wanted a Nokia Asha 503 (there are lots of Nokia phones here, spare parts would not be a problem). Initial research led us to belive this would be around 600 lira. We got one in the Uk for £83 – around 300 lira. We thought it would be cheaper but we were wrong….

Not only was it no cheaper but it was also a lot of hassle. Because, first we went to the Vodafone shop in Selçuk to get our previous Turkish sim changed to a mini-sim… This was easily accomplished by putting it into a gadget that looks like a stapler and neatly punched the centre out of the sim. We then went to the tax office to pay 119 lira tax. There we met up with another couple engaged upon the same exercise. Together we returned to the Vodafone shop to be told that they couldn’t complete the registration – we had to go to Aydin or Izmir for that… So we went to Turkcell who told us we could get registered at the Turkcell shop in Kuşadası. Well, that is just a short hop on the dolmuş, so off we went….

After a couple of wrong turnings we found the big Turkcell shop. We queued. We were told we needed another paper, this one from the port. We got the man in the shop to write down the name of the paper we needed and that was a good thing as this name got us through security at the port and into the right office where our last exit and entry into Turkey were recorded and officially stamped (that cost nothing).

We returned to the Turkcell shop where we queued again and discovered there was a problem as the sim is registered in Ashley’s name and we registered the phone in Hilary’s name. This incurred an extra cost (40 lira for the transfer, 19 for a new, temporary sim) to transfer the sim into Hilary’s name.

So, counting the 20 lira it cost the two of us to get to Kuşadası and back, it cost 200 lira to register the phone. That brought the price to 500 lira – still cheaper than the 600 lira we thought it would be, though it did take most of a day to get it sorted out. Then Hilary just googled for Nokia 503 and found that we could have got one here for just under 400 lira…

Look, when this one gives up the ghost, we’re going to TechnoSa.

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6 responses to “How not to buy a mobile/cell/cep phone

  1. . . often better to ‘bite the bullet’ he said smugly! That said, ceps are one of the easiest sources of revenue for the robbers in Ankara.

    • You are not the only person to ‘tell us so’! We are also going to need to work out how to download a Turkish keyboard and language support…

  2. My ancient Nokia from the uk is about to die so thanks to this, I’ll not even think about buying a replacement outside Turkey.

  3. Hi, I have some questions to ask about retiring/living in Turkey, are you able to recommend one of the sites you have on your blog?

    • You could try any one of the ex pat fora. They all have their strong points and weak points. Most questions have already been answered, but they do have a search facility. I think most people on the fora do try to be helpful but some have very strong opinions…

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