What a Cluster…

So, under the heading of ‘What can go wrong, will go wrong’, who knew that my mobile carrier, T-Mobile, would be the biggest roadblock as I complete all the tasks I set up when I was in Valencia over the last two weeks.

When I was there, I opened a bank account so that I could pay people, rent an apartment, pay my PA, my lawyer, and set up utilities. While I was at the bank, I was sent a ‘short code’ to my phone to validate my account. For some reason, I didn’t receive it so I called T-Mobile from my bank in Valencia. The person I spoke to at T-Mobile told me that I couldn’t receive short codes while I was in Spain and would need to wait to get it, and validate my account, when I got back to the US. This seemed strange but I trusted them. It didn’t really matter because I could initiate the bank transfers from here.

Now I’m preparing to pay people. I still haven’t received the short code, so I’ve spent the last several days in contact with the bank and in contact with T-Mobile.  I just found out (T-Mobile owned up to it, at last) that I actually have to BE in Spain to receive the short code. I CAN NOT receive it in the US. So when I wasn’t receiving it when I was in Spain, that’s when T-Mobile should have been working on it. NOT when I got back to the US. I was there for 5 days after I phoned them from the bank.

So my trip to Valencia may have been for nothing, since I can’t validate my account, or any other bank transfers I might initiate – even if I could access online banking. I can’t pay for my apartment or anything else with the euros I have stored there. T-Mobile says they’re working on it. I’m not sure what that means. If I had known, I would have gotten a Spanish cell phone and Spanish # when I was there. It wouldn’t have been difficult.

I’m trying to remain positive, but this one has knocked me sideways. If I have to travel back to Valencia, it’s thousands of dollars, not to mention my time, for something I should not have to do – and through no fault of my own. Mobile phones have made life more connected and convenient for so many things. But that means that our mobile carriers hold a lot of cards in the new world. And they can cost us in unexpected ways that we can’t begin to anticipate.

3 thoughts on “What a Cluster…

  • Can the bank resend the code using an app? Everyone here uses WhatsApp. I use it to call the US and message my family free with wireless.
    Just a thought.
    Carol in Galicia


    • Thanks Carol- I use WhatsApp too. But the bank generates the code via Short Message. They can’t do it in WhatsApp or email. I asked. It’s so crazy that this is the stumbling block. I’m searching for other work around to getting that code. That is my mission today.


  • Update – found out that T-Mobile was not up on how it all works. Apparently, they can’t receive short codes from a foreign bank at all – Ever! I may have to fly back to Spain to resolve it and gain access to my money. Yay! T-Mobile screwed up big time and Christmas this year won’t be the same. 😩


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