Cyprus Mail

Online social insurance payments definitely not ‘fast’ and ‘simple’

letters 1

Dear Sir,


The motto of the recently introduced system of online contribution payments to the social insurance service is ‘Fast, Simple, Safe’. I cannot vouch for the system’s safety, as I have yet to be successful in making a contribution, but fast and simple? I’ve been struggling for several weeks to understand its complexity, and simple? I’d sooner grapple with differential calculus! There was a time when it was fast and simple: one queued at the social insurance office and paid in cash at any one of the four cash points…. providing the teller had finished her coffee. I believe it was also safe, in the twelve years I have been performing this ritual, not once has a cent been misappropriated. The online system which has replaced this simple procedure is Byzantine in its complexity. I have spent fruitless hours at my computer struggling with usernames, codes, passwords and poorly translated application forms. I have written a letter to the office requesting assistance (still unanswered after three weeks), I have now made three personal appeals at the Larnaca office; at the most recent I tried to make a cash payment to reduce the mounting arrears of my account, but this was firmly refused by the single teller on duty. She politely informed me that cash payments could no longer be made; online payments were where the future lay. With unfailing patience she then tried to explain the system to me. She gave me four A4 sheets of instructions to study at home, one containing an explanation of the ‘simple’ procedure, which listed a total of seven steps! As I tottered out, the normally deserted area contained a queue of about seven or eight people. I wondered if they too were waiting their turn to be enlightened about the fast, simple, and safe online system?

There are a number of pensioners in my village employing overseas workers as carers, all requiring monthly payments to the social insurance service. How do they cope I wonder? How many of them even have computers?!


Yours sincerely,

Michael Duddridge,

Maroni Village

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