Obtaining a SIM card

With the usual difficulties, I recently obtained a postpaid, (ie with a contracted service) SIM card for use in a cellphone router. What struck me as curious was the actions of the guy who delivered it. I first had to sign a receipt, fair enough. Then I had to produce my cedula, which he duly photographed. Then he took another pic of me holding up the package containing the chip.

This all seemed a bit excessive, even for Chile, but everything has its reasons. I later realized that all this tramitaje is to prevent its use for criminal activities. After all, stolen phones and their numbers are quickly blacklisted, and the prepaid chip service is quite expensive if used regularly. So a “legitimate” chip is a desirable object. And of course the size makes chips easy to smuggle into jails.

Chile all ways surprising.

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If the courier was contracted out and not an employee of the cell company, this is actually the new normal for delivery of online bought products.

Too many buyers have later claimed they did not get the product despite it being signed for by conserge or someone alleged to be the buyer and then received a refund (where an unscrupulous buyer gets the product for free). I know a SIM is different and can be deactivated but for almost all products, this is the new normal to protect the delivery service and the vendor.

I usually haven’t had to show my ID for deliveries, but I have been asked to hold it up for a picture and provide a signature plus RUT. We have security here and if they sign for a package for us, they are asked to do the same.

Same here, picture thing is getting standard for all types of deliveries, and makes sense, albeit slightly intrusive. To be fair, online deliveries has dramatically improved in the last 3 years. Impressive level of improvement in Chile. Used to be very hit and miss. Now it’s been a while since I had an issue.

I use MercadoLibre quite a lot, and they just ask verbally for my RUT. Maybe that’s due to living in a smaller place, and being known to many of the delivery agents. Still, the extra precautions are probably necessary.

It would not surprise me if this sort of thing were to become a new normal, and we here in the regions often don’t suffer the madness of such dubious normalcy of the RM for months or years. But in all the deliveries I have accepted in the past year or so, none has involved my being in a photo. In fact, no one at Correos asks for my cedula when I pick up a package and not even the boludos from DHL ask to see that cedula (as with Feargle I just write it down for them without showing it). The only place that wants to see that document is at Chilexpress. Of course, things may change (and I ordered a bunch of nice stuff from kitchencenter.cl for some excellent prices during sales/ofertas in past months ).

Something else I recently noticed is that for higher-value deliveries, I guess over $100.000, MercadoLibre now asks for this:

Just had a DHL delivery today.

The boludo courier wouldn’t drive up the short road to my house. I had to walk down to where he was cowering. Lazy bastard.

Didn’t ask for any ID. Didn’t ask for a look at a carnet. Just asked for the RUT and it could have been invented number for all he knew.

Different strokes for different regions, I suppose.

Now I am thinking overkill is better. We placed an order for some beers from Kross. The delivery company is showing it was received. It wasn’t. I checked with security and they say nothing was received. Anyways, the “proof” of the delivery, which was sent to me was just a photo of a piece of the label with my address that could have been taken at any point of the delivery process. There is no RUT, name or photo of the person who received it. I am in gringa reclamona mode now, fighting with them about this.

Re: the routers:

At this time, are they required to sell SIM-unlocked routers (like they must sell unlocked, at least for Chile, cell phones)?

Earlier, when this regulation was introduced, they all (entel, claro, movistar, etc.) had a web page (online form) to unlock any phone by IMEI, but they didn’t provide the unlock code for modems/routers.

Now look, the same thingy (ZTE MF920U) they now sell at:

movistar 20 mil

wom 40 mil

entel 50 mil

I asked a guy at a WOM outlet locally, he said “unlocked” but i don’t beleive any answers from sales persons (until confirmed at least 100 times) :slight_smile:

Good news. Another condominio was recently built down the road from us. My delivery was left with the security people there. Fortunately, the people there didn’t say, great, free beer and take it. It’s weird they accepted it. The label showed the street number of our condominio and the number at the entrance is quite large. Plus, my name is unusual, so you would think the guard would have noticed that. Anyways, the delivery guy picked the boxes up from the other condominio and brought them to us.


I think they must do as my routers are second-hand. One has an Entel Logo on its admin page and the other one says it was a WOM. And I use them both with Movistar SIMS…


New / $19.990 / Free delivery (they listed $3.000 delivery a couple of days ago, but now indeed free)

Ordered it yesterday, arrived at 12 PM today, Movistar logo, unlocked as is, works with Entel.

Plus, a prepaid chip taped to the box incl. some free traffic (3GB) for 30 days.

Not particularly interested in using routers for internet use, however these Huawei models provide a handy POT interface to get cellphone calls into our pbx. Met with incomprehension when I attempted to explain my requirements to various salespeople, all they seem to understand is selling phones and Gigas.

It turned out that the phone number assigned by Movistar was secondhand, and the previous user had run up some unpaid bills.
After a few days, we started to get calls from debt collection agency bots, and spam as well.
Rather than contacting Movistar Customer DisService to try to change the number, I now send inbound calls to a voice menu (an IVR) requiring the caller to press a specific key to complete the call. That seems to have quietened things down a lot as the bots in use here are pretty dumb.