Things can be simple when it comes to prepaid SIMs. You walk into a supermarket, get a SIM and 2 minutes later you are set. Not so with mobile operator '3' in Italy.
When I wanted to buy a prepaid SIM card from them this week they refused to sell me one. In the first store I went to at Roma Termini station, the shop assistant first doubted that it would work in my non Italian mobile phone. Once we cleared that they refused to accept my German identity card, which by the way is good enough for customs and for boarding airplanes as a valid identity. Hm, but not for buying a SIM card!? Ridiculous.
So in the afternoon, I went to another store in downtown Rome which was on my way, this time equipped with my passport. Just to make sure. Here, the same story again but I made it up to the Italian tax number, which they say is also required. I have one so I gave it to them. However, they insisted that they would only accept it on an official document. Again, no SIM card from me. Ridiculous.
I have to say I am baffled. I could have understood one shop assistant being a bit difficult, but two in two different stores!? Note that this is a only a '3 Italy' attitude. Some days ago I got a SIM card from mobile operator WIND, my id card was good enough and no Italian tax number was required. Same with Vodafone Italia just three months ago just around the corner from the 3 store and I was not the only foreigner buying a prepaid SIM card while being there. As a matter of fact, I had to take a number and stand in line. Guess where the money is going.
Anybody in '3 Italy' reading this blog? Hello! Wake-up! How many millions of visitors are coming to your country each year who could be your customers!? Hm, but maybe that's one of the reasons why your market share is below 10%...