Dear Premiere Putin
I am writing because I have reached an Impasse that has implications for both Anglo-Russian Relations and Russian GDP, an Impasse that is as ridiculous as it is damaging.
Recently I started working for a Russian Pay To Click Company that pays you to view Advertisements online for the generous Fee of 5 Rubles each. After a while you accrue quite a healthy Balance - which I then tried to withdraw via Western Union. The Website tells me that to do this I either need 40 Referrals or can buy some at their Exchange - after which they process your Withdrawal. This I tried to do - and it was here I found a Glitch that seemed insignificant - but actually isn't.
To buy these Referrals I had to make a modest Payment to a Vendor via a Company called Qiwi Bank. A Payment less than £10 in United Kingdom Money - but might as well be Millions for the difficulty in sending it. I was given a 10 Digit Account Number - but my High Street Bank in Britain requires SWIFT, IBAN and BIC Codes to do this. Qiwi - or at least this example of it - don't give you any of these so I can't make a Payment doing this - which would probably cost more to send than the Money being sent anyway.
I did some Internet Research and found that Neteller had the Qiwi Logo on their Website. "No problem" thought I as I have an Account with them and asked their difficult to find Email Support if they could send the Money on my behalf. No they can't apparently, but they can receive it. Hmm, so how about Paypal? I mean, everyone uses it don't they. Chinese Ebay Vendors do and I have bought items from them - using Paypal - and the Money is transferred from GBP to Yuan with no Fee and, sure enough, something arrives in the Mail within a few Weeks. This is despite partial Restrictions on the Internet for Political Reasons and Customs and Excise. Can't do it via that either.
Qiwi issue a prepaid Visa Card - but my Visa Debit Card can't communicate with theirs to do this, so Visa have a card System that is fractured depending on who issued it to you. Qiwi don't have an Office in London - but they have their Machines in the USA - while there doesn't seem to be an English Language Speaker on their Website or Telephone Support. I even asked Russian Friends of mine if they knew someone who could do it on my behalf and I would reimburse them when I received my first payment - with a celebratory Baltica Beer or two.
I tried opening an Account with them - and they do have a +44 Option on their Website - but verification SMS takes so long to arrive - if it does at all - that this is nonviable. Even if I did the online Payment System has an unalterable +7 Prefix so you need a Russian Mobile Number to do this.
I eventually asked the Employers Website Admin if they would subtract the 631 Rubles from my Account to buy these Referrals which means it is paid and they know it has been done without even having to verify it. They have yet to reply to that, although I can't see why they won't - it won't cost them anything and helps them promote their Business abroad.
Why is all this Nickle and Dime Stuff so serious? People might ask. On the surface it might seem trivial, but when 26% of Russians have Qiwi Accounts they use a Finance System that can't seem to receive international Payments from anywhere else in the world. What does that mean for both them and Russian GDP? Qiwi don't seem to have any Structure to facilitate this so it compromises their Account Holders and Russian GDP considerably. It also has a negative Effect - as I am now discovering - on People trying to deal with Russian Business and Employment.
So, for the sake of less than £10 we have all reached an Impasse that could otherwise be very easily resolved.
Yours most sincerely