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Student, teacher, raconteur, and Man About Town, I write about education, technology and Korea

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Monday
Oct222012

Prepaid Phones in Korea...#AlmostFAIL

The sheer enormity of my Galaxy Note II compared to every other phone in the world, throws up some unique issues.

One of them is its portability. While its face is Corning Gorilla Glass and its back is durable (and replaceable) plastic, when I have it in my pants pocket I am very wary of it - especially when sitting in a chair with arms, like the bus and indeed it does weigh one's pants down.

Since the beginning of autumn ("Fall" for the American reader) I have worn a blazer to work. And while having the Note II in my inside breast pocket seems a logical option, so weighted down is the side it is in, the blazer doesn't sit properly.

Such are the issues of a reasonably well cortured young man as myself.

So I have taken to throwing (not literally) the Note II in my briefcase and pocketing my Nexus S with a prepaid SIM in it.

Handy for sure for making a quick call or performing treage on my inbox while I leave the heavy lifting (like this post) to the Note II.

Handy that is, until your prepaid account runs out if money.

So I'm out here in Incheon and I know my balance will expire sometime this week. It's a KT prepaid account so I have no joy in finding a KT store to do the top-up (the suggestion of the KT rep at the call centre). The myriad of independent phone shops pose a problem, none of them deal with KT. (Despite big KT signs out front). One guy took my ₩10000 and said he'd do it in an hour. One guy flipped out when I pulled out the Note II to get the number for my prepaid phone and started asking for my ID. 'Cos I look like a gangster with multiple phones....

The KT call centre rep noted that there was no way to call an automated service and find my balance. Adding to the problem, and that I should call and talk to a real person if I wanted to know.

A real person!

(Although I do get a text messgae with the remaining balance after making a call. Not great when I can't make a call in the first place.)

The guy on the phone was reasonably helpful - so Kudos to KT, but why can't I just walk into Family Mart et al and buy a voucher, call the automated service tap in a code and be done with it?

Will get around to "topping up" my account tomorrow. For the meantime I will have to put up with my jacket sitting funny.

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