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I'm British in Poland and I think that it's time to go back to the UK!

dnz 17 | 710
22 Jul 2008 #1
Right! I have decided to now go back to the UK, It seems impossible to obtain any services from Polish banks, Telephone companies and Insurance companies which makes life here nearly impossible. I have full registration with voia voda and the city hall, earn the equivalent of 15,000 pln a month and am unable to rent a new apartment, Obtain a contract phone, Credit card, Insure my car or in fact do anything that people need as part of every day life due to being a foreigner. It has been made blatantly obvious that these people are unable to help or in fact unwilling to help due to being English. I have now come to the conclusion that the best thing to do is return to the UK in order to be able to live a "normal" life and for my business to succeed. We are in the European union and I have lived here for over a year and I think it is disgusting the way people from outside Poland are treated and I believe that a similar disregard and lack of respect for people from outside the UK should be implemented to people trying to obtain these simple services in the UK. I have Polish friends in the UK who after 3 months have bought a car on HP, Got a contract mobile and been able to insure this said car with no problems whatsoever. Poland seems to be stuck in the dark ages regarding services of this nature and really needs to come up to speed with the concept of customer service and indeed an unbiased service regardless of the nationality of the applicant. Poles have been made to feel welcome in the UK with signage everywhere in Polish and the same should apply to anyone moving to Poland.

Sort it out!
22 Jul 2008 #2
Poland seems to be stuck in the dark ages regarding services of this nature

absolutely agree. I see that things haven't changed that much.

I hope you will reconsider since there was a reason why you went to Poland.

good luck
OP dnz 17 | 710
22 Jul 2008 #3
I came here to try and build my business but this is seemingly impossible to do from Poland at the moment. I need to move to a bigger apartment but can't due to being British and not having a Polish ID card.

Seems a shame to have to go back to the foggy, damp island north of france but I don't fancy being a bez domny in Poland :(

If anyone has any ideas on how I can get this pesal thing or at least rent a house/apartment and obtain any sort of financial services they would be much appreciated :D
tornado2007 11 | 2,270
22 Jul 2008 #4
Sort it out!

you know where its at mate, come back to the UK, the place you love the best. When you get here you'll ask yourself, 'why did i ever leave' :) welcome home :):):)

I hope you will reconsider since there was a reason why you went to Poland.

what on earth could that have been, i mean to go through all that trouble it must have been something pretty big.


Del boy 20 | 254
22 Jul 2008 #5
Poland seems to be stuck in the dark ages regarding services

Agree completely I hate that ex communist rules and so good few hundred thousands poles in UK and Ireland. Until that will change there is no way to come back to Russian imposed past Orwell economy and culture. This Poland is not that one what we are looking for ( before ’39 )
tornado2007 11 | 2,270
22 Jul 2008 #6
This Poland is not that one what we are looking for ( before ’39 )

your right there mate, however all the Poles that want change and are willing to do something about it are instead running away to places like the UK and the US!!!!. HOw about staying at home and fightinng for what you want????

The Poles that can change Poland are those in the more recent generations, at the same time its those same Poles that are coming to the UK, Ireland and the US. I see a vicious circle starting
OP dnz 17 | 710
22 Jul 2008 #7
It seems true, anyone that seems open minded or good a a particular trade seems to have left Poland leaving mostly people who are reluctant to change their habits and point of view to one more in line with the current situation. Seems a shame really.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,369
22 Jul 2008 #8
Go to the SLD website and leave a message explaining your problem.
OP dnz 17 | 710
22 Jul 2008 #9
SLD? Do you have a link? and what is it?

Sorry :(
Del boy 20 | 254
22 Jul 2008 #10
o to the SLD website and leave a message explaining your problem.

are you trying to be sarcastic Breslau ?
22 Jul 2008 #11

thank you:)
dnz - hold your horses with the decision for now. I know what you are talking about. I moved back to Poland and I left even though I grew up there. I can only imagine how hard it is to somebody who is not familiar with the culture. I really admire people from abroad who want to make Poland their home.

There must be a solution in your situation. You can still run bussiness in Poland and have connections with the UK.

There are some people on this board who have a similar experiance and I am sure somebody will come up with an advice.

I don't understand why you cannot rent an apartment.

I hope you haven't made the decision yet.

You need to sit down and put down pro and cons on the paper and take it from there.
I don't know how strong you are but if you are against the wall it is s trial time.
Avalon 4 | 1,067
23 Jul 2008 #12
dnz......I have been here for 6 years now and I do not understand why you are having these problems. As regards the "pesel number", go back to the office where you registered your home address, once you have been in Poland for 3 months you are automatically given a "pesel number" although they do not notify you of this, you are "supposed to know"!!!!. When dealing with car insurance, the bank etc, take a Polish speaker with you. I would like to refer you to the EU website and ask you to look up the regulations for "Unfair contracts", the short gist is, that any contract you sign that is written in Polish is not valid and does not apply to you legally. Telephone contracts, rental agreement for a flat, applying for any type of credit, is supposed to involve you being given a translation in your native tongue and you are supposed to be given 24 hours to read this before you sign it. In the UK, these forms are in Polish as you state and the UK complies with European Law whereas in Poland, the people working in the official offices cannot be bothered to learn these regulations as they have only had 4 years of membership to catch up!!!!!. If you read up on your "rights" and confront these people, they usually become more helpful. Read the back of your "residents card", it states quite clearly in Polish, that, you are to be "treated exactly the same legally and have the same rights as a Polish national". Good luck.
Griff 17 | 67
23 Jul 2008 #13

I am having the same problems as you mate, and have already ranted on about this on a different subject page. Why can poland not understand the obligations of being in the EU. The stupid thing is, it really doesn't have to be so complicated. The simple way around it i think would be to issue I.D cards to internationals once they have been in Poland 3 months. With all the same info a pole has. Make it bright orange for all i care, this system stinks and I can't believe this. Are poland so scared of non-poles living in their country?
benszymanski 8 | 465
23 Jul 2008 #14
I understand everyone's frustrations. That is the reason why I started my blog - to provide the info I wish I had had when I first came to Poland nearly 2 years ago.

The Polish bureacracy and lack of help for foreigners is a pain, but probably the only down-side I have to living here compared to many up-sides, so when I get frustrated with it I just have to remember that overall the trade-off is worth it.

I would advise any non-Pole living here to try and learn Polish as fast as possible because it really makes dealing with all this easier when you don't have to bring someone with you or help you all the time.

I know it doesn't help much here and now, but bear in mind that Poland is only just getting back on it's feet after 80 years of pretty much getting screwed over by other countries and not only do the rules need more time to change but also the mentality...
Wroclaw Boy
23 Jul 2008 #15
Griff and dnz if you care to check some of my history you will see that i have been tearing my hair out over similar issues as to what you have both raised here. When I first came to Poland an associate told me it takes a year atleast to adjust, im thinking nah i dont believe that i know best etc.. After six months I was convinced that he was right. We entrapeneurs have a very hard deal with all kinds of setbacks, mainly due to bad advice, legislation and terrible behind the desk service.

My advice is to be patient and dont expect things to happen quickly, there is always another route. If that fails (when in Rome) lie your ass off, they all do it anyway.

In addition I have chilled out over the past six months... I expect things to go wrong and am pleasantly surprised when they do not. As a result living in Poland is now much more tolerable.
Avalon 4 | 1,067
23 Jul 2008 #16
benszymanski.......I totally agree with what you have said with one exception. Being able to speak Polish will not help, the people working in the local/national authourities offices do not have a clue what they are doing. My polish friends have the same problems. You can go to four different offices and get four different answers to the same question. How many times have you asked what paperwork is needed only to return to the office and be asked for another piece of information that you were never informed of. I thought that after 4 years of membership in the EU, they would learn to be more efficient here, but nothing has changed, everything is 10 times harder than it needs to be. That said, I love living here.
Griff 17 | 67
23 Jul 2008 #17
Don't Worry Be Happy!

At the end of the day, we are here. It's a big pain to go all the way back. And the UK is not so great.

Everytime something goes wrong, go to your local and have a cheap pivo. I'm sure by the time you see the bottom of your glass you won't care as much.

I know I rant as much as anyone but there are positives. I am like wroclaw now, I expect things to go wrong and when they don't i am pleasantly surprises. (Im still waiting for that feeling lol)
Magdalena 3 | 1,837
23 Jul 2008 #18
how I can get this pesal thing

If you don't even have PESEL, I am not surprised you cannot get things off the ground. To compare - imagine a Polish person in the UK who never applies for NIN, does not have "proof of address" (if you live in a houseshare this is not easy to obtain!) and then tries to get a job, open a bank account, or whatever. Getting a mobile on contract? I am self-employed and have tried. Nope, my credit rating is not up to par (I checked myself up with Experian and there is NOTHING remotely bad on my record with them!). I find British customer service, via the unavoidable helplines and call centres, absolutely nightmarish. The person on the other side asks a list of security questions, and then turns out to be clueless, and promises to call me back, and never does. I know that Polish officials are not always the most helpful, but at least they are actually physically there, every day, and I can keep attacking them until I get what I want ;-)

It is impossible to negotiate with a disembodied voice, and the next time you call, you will get a different "advisor" anyway.
I wish you luck with your PESEL and stuff, hopefully this is a glitch you will overcome :-)
SeanBM 35 | 5,793
23 Jul 2008 #19
Hello dnz

If anyone has any ideas on how I can get this pesal thing or at least rent a house/apartment

I do not understand why you can not get an apartment or a house?. Renting a place is done through private people. Of course it depends, in Krakow the students take all available places and the best time to get a place is mid summer.

Of course I agree with what you are saying but I have lived further east in another "EU" country and it was a million times worse (if you can believe that) so for me coming to Poland was like a breath of fresh air, returning to the "west" and everything was in colour, I had to leave the other county or else I would have gone bananas, I hated it but in fairness to you, you do not sound like you hate it here (excluding the buearocracy).

I have not got a Pesel Number, my passport number always works. Why do you need a PESEL number?

earn the equivalent of 15,000 pln

If you do not mind me asking, what do you work at to get that wage? and are there any jobs going?

The Poles that can change Poland are those in the more recent generations, at the same time its those same Poles that are coming to the UK, Ireland and the US.

For real change, I think, that these people will see what is happening in other countries come back to Poland, expect the same, not get it and change it and probably make a killing (big money) changing it.
vndunne 43 | 279
23 Jul 2008 #20
hi. Very sorry to hear about your troubles over here.
However, i would like to say that i have been living here for 2 years and have managed to rent an apartment, set up a business, get a NIP, buy an apartment, get cable and internet in etc. I do not have a pesel yet(currently organising it) and have been working of my passport to date without much problems.

Not everything has been easy and most defintely, poland and its goverment departmetns need to realise that they are part of the EU.
benszymanski 8 | 465
23 Jul 2008 #21
Like Wrocław Boy, I have gone through the tearing-my-hair-out phase and am now in the expect-it-to-be-a-nightmare-but-be-pleased-if-it-isn't phase. It's much easier on the nerves this way.

Only yesterday I wasted two hours getting a copy of my daughter's birth certificate (because everyone here wants to keep your original) and wondered what the point of it all was. But I just accept it now as a fact of life and didn't let it annoy me.

@ Avalon

Yes you are right, but at least when you waste your morning being given the wrong information, you don't waste your wife's morning too, so speaking Polish helps...
23 Jul 2008 #22
learning Polish helps to overcome some of the red tape. So perhaps you should invest in some Polish lessons.
OP dnz 17 | 710
23 Jul 2008 #23
Thanks for the advice people I think I will just ride it out until some solutions come up, I will go back to the urzad miasta today and ask for my pesal number and see how far I get...

With regards to renting an apartment I have approached several real estate agents I have found on Gratka and they have clearly stated that I cannot rent a property due to not having a Pesel?

Everything seems so difficult, I might fly back to the UK for a few days in order to convince me to stay in Poland, I love it here really but things are just really difficult :)

Thanks for your advice I will take everything into account and try to win! :D

earn the equivalent of 15,000 pln

If you do not mind me asking, what do you work at to get that wage? and are there any jobs going?

I run a recruitment company and give seminars to companies on, sales, marketing etc,
Will be looking for some English speaking sales people within the next few months...
vndunne 43 | 279
23 Jul 2008 #24
The estate agent is wrong or just clearly being awkward. i have been able to rent out an apartment with the number from my passport. And everything else for that matter.

HHmm, let me know when you are looking for english speakers.
Wroclaw 44 | 5,369
23 Jul 2008 #25
are you trying to be sarcastic Breslau ?

No, I'm not. There is supposed to be a minister who was specifically put in place to help out with these types of problems. Somewhere in Warsaw there is an office.
Avalon 4 | 1,067
23 Jul 2008 #26
Yes Wroclaw, there may be an office, they may even answer the phone, but, I can guarantee that they do not have that information or they are waiting for the "new" government to give "clarification" on whatever question you ask.
23 Jul 2008 #27

checked out your blog nice one mate and well done on the info .. :)
Wroclaw Boy
23 Jul 2008 #28
Heres a good one: My wife nailed my passport recently by putting it through a four hour wash on max temerature. I drove all the way to the Warsaw consulate to apply for a new one,paid the 500 PLN replacement fee and arranged for the passport to be mailed back via Poctex. The above went smoothly!!

The passport was sent by Poctex and the driver turned up at some uneartly hour in the morning and as our post box is around 100 m's from the house we didn't catch him. So we visited the local post office with the slip of paper to collect my passport, im thinking this will be difficult. I pass over the Poctex slip of paper without saying a word and hand over my driving license as ID. The clerk went and got my parcel, she then informed me that a driving license was unacceptable and requested a pesel, i informed her that I dont have a pesel, she asked for my passport I said the passport is in that package...a stand off occured. I called in the big guns in the shape of my wife and she threw some Polish words of wisdom in the direction of the clerk. By this time I was becoming furious as I was due on holiday shortly and I really needed to get hold of my passport.

After demanding to speak to the manager and explaining our hopeless situation she finally decided to accept my drivers license as sufficient ID and that was that.

I hate the post offices here.
23 Jul 2008 #29
that's just bad luck!
VaFunkoolo 6 | 654
23 Jul 2008 #30
Which fukin idiot was trying to tell me Poland is a 1st world country?

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