Original Title: Wherefore a Guarantor?
Moderator’s note: This thread has been locked, and is made up several old discussions merged together. The new thread on this subject can be found here.
I would like to know the legality of asking foreign residents for a Taiwanese guarantor in areas where a Taiwanese resident would not be required to have one. I have had a long-running battle with Taiwan Fixed Line Network (part of Taiwan Da-Ge-Da) about this, as they require a Taiwan guarantor for ADSL as well as Cellular service. Their new policy regarding cellular service doesn’t affect those who registered with their ARC’s before this policy went into effect, so my
da-ge-da account isn’t affected.
However I strongly object to the premise that a foreign resident is somehow less reliable than a local one. Their reasoning was that foreigners could leave Taiwan at any time; therefore they were likely to skip out on the bill. Even a rich expatriate country manager of a multi-national company, living in a mansion in Yangmingshan, and pulling in an astronomical income would still require a local guarantor, even if that guarantor were the part-time 18 yr old “Xiao Mei” doing reception at his/her office in the morning. It is not about income, nor about residency, but about discrimination, at least in my books.
When I questioned this, the woman in customer service, a manager by the name of Cheng (Zheng) told me that it was the Filipinos and Thais that were unreliable, not people “like you”. (Her words!) I asked her if I could quote her, and she of course got nervous and backed down. I asked her if there were many OCWs applying for ADSL service, and she said she didn’t have the exact figures. I asked her if Taiwanese weren’t also allowed to leave the country, and didn’t some Taiwanese citizens become a credit risk when they left Taiwan to move to China? She admitted that this was a problem also, but that they could not require all Taiwanese to have third-party guarantors, only foreigners.
Anyway, she promised to look into the matter, and lo and behold, three months and a hundred phone calls later, I received a form that allowed me to use direct withdrawal from my bank account as security. I don’t know why they view that as being secure, because I could always clean out my bank account if I didn’t want them to touch it. (Interestingly enough, I did not have to use my ARC when I opened my account years ago.) She told me that all foreigners would be told of this option, as I had pressed her to change the policy not only for my case, but for all foreigners.
A month after that I helped a friend apply for ADSL service, and the staff in the office had never heard of this policy - they insisted that my friend get a guarantor, as that was the company policy.
Whether or not the management at Taiwan Fixed Line was trying to pull a fast one, or if they were just not disseminating their new policy to the branches, I guess I’ll never know.
I would like to know what other people’s experience with battling the “Taiwan Guarantor” syndrome is. I had to make multiple phone calls at FNAC, before they would let me participate in their customer credit “pay in installments” program. Some credit card companies (American Express, for one) welcome me with open arms, others won’t even return my phone calls when they find out I am a foreigner. I am also interested in the legality of this. I do not believe Canada or the US allows companies to discriminate against stable, working, tax-paying residents, just because they are not voting citizens.