Free Prince

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About Free Prince

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  • Location Berlin
  • Nationality British
  1. How to leave private health insurance and join GKV

    My bad, I should have specified that residence rights shouldn't be an issue as, in addition to British citizenship, I hold a passport of another EU country and that is the nationality that Germany recognises in my case. Thanks, @john g. your answers are very helpful even with all those IFs. Do I still need to check for BaFin compliance if I don't need to apply for a residency permit?   Living abroad: quite likely somewhere in South America. It could be Guadeloupe (still part of the European Union) or something like Ecuador (definitely not EU). If I got you right, some options are: - Return to Gerrmany as an employee, I could get into GKV without proof of previous public insurance from another EU country. - Return to Gerrmany as a non-employee, I could apply for voluntary GKV as long as I previously were in another EU country's public health insurance for 12+ months. So what if I were coming back from a non-EU country/country where I had private insurance and were to remain a non-employee, would the only option be PKV? Or, if after all, I end up not doing the trip abroad, would it be possible to change from foreign private insurance to voluntary GKV?
  2. How to leave private health insurance and join GKV

    Is it possible to join GKV after having been previously insured by foreign private insurance and would there be any back payments to make?   I have been living in Germany for some time with no PKV or GKV insurance as I was initially covered by my health insurance in the UK (NHS). HMRC has issued me with an A1 European document which covered me in Germany for a year. I was allowed for one further year of cover, but have not since received proof of the extension - HMRC takes ages to process these documents, and now that Brexit is about to get real I might not ever receive the backdated document.   Looking at my plans: I might stay in Germany for 2-3 years, then travel for a year before returning to stay for good.   So I was thinking to get covered by AXA a foreign private health insurance (I am employed by a UK based company with no ties in Germany).  On my return to Germany, I'd like to join with GKV as I have done my maths and believe this would be the best option for my long term plans.   To summarise my history/plans: 1 year with a European A1 document Possible gap without any health insurance 2-3 years with AXA global insurance 9-12 months living abroad Return to Germany for good and apply for GKV   Would I be able to join GKV after having been covered by a private expat insurance? Would they request back payments for the period I had without health insurance and/or the period with the private expat insurance?   If it makes a difference, I could deregister my presence in Germany during the period that I travel.
  3. Here is an update to my story. After writing a letter to O2 explaining the problems and asking for an asap cancellation, they have been kind to confirm early termination of the contract without any additional charges. Regardless of this, I have requested a connection with Vodafone as it uses a different technology and there are no conflicts with the DSL phone line. I am now surfing at a whopping 250Mbit/s Thank you, everyone, for all the tips!
  4. I lived for over 20 years in a large detached house surrounded by the idyllic countryside. I've moved to a flat at the age of 24, and three years ago to my 1st flat here in Berlin. I've never had any problems with any of the neighbours and actually had a good relationship with most of them. Some people lack respect, common sense and ability to live in a society (see the perpetrator of my bike's damages), but I find it hard to believe that this is linked with having little or no experience with living in a block of flats. Perhaps, there is some bias in your data sample and you happened to have mainly noticed the "downgraders" who caused trouble and not the more well-mannered ones?
  5. In the UK pretty much every flat has such a door I've often been caught by the thought of someone lifting up the letterbox flap and peeking inside into my flat or even worse throwing in a firecracker. Anyway, I also think that @catjones' idea is the best one. If the letter were to land also in the culprit's mailbox... oh well, at least they know that we don't let ourselves get discouraged and we are taking precautions - everything while still maintaining a high degree of social demeanour. 
  6. Yours is a good point, I doubt it but it should not be excluded. We are in DG and have three more floors underneath us. I am very confident that our 1.5yr old is really quiet and her tiny feet are not able to make enough noise that it would be heard through the floors. The flat is really modern and well insulated, it's also on two separate floors and the kid is mainly on the top floor so underneath the kid's floors there's us again
  7. I know, I don't give much importance to splashes. It could have been unrelated and likely a kid. Probably it didn't happen from a window as it's clearly from a side and no signs of splashes in the upper part of the Fahrradanhänger.
  8.   Not a barrier, but still a 1.5m heigh gate is quite a deterrent especially if you have no huge gain in entering. I can confirm that the gate is locked at ALL times. Probably most occupants have keys to it, but not all (at the beginning we were not given the keys, we requested them after a few days). I guess former tenants will have to give back the keys and it's not one of those keys that can be copied without authorisation. Delivery people do not need - and I guess do not have - access to the courtyard. Entrance to the courtyard is only for the playground and the bike parking.
  9. Okay, seriously - I have looked up, and there are vibration sensor alarm devices for bikes. I just hope it doesn't set off even with a slight breeze of wind. It definitely would if a cat jumped on it. But hey! at least neighbours would find out that my property is alarmed.
  10. Forgot to add another option: - Hide in the bushes waiting to catch the culprit red-handed This is not just causing economic damage - that's the least - above all, it's making me feel nervous and anxious about going out, greeting neighbours when I cross them and not feeling at peace living here.
  11. Last month we moved into a new flat in a tranquil residential area in Pankow (Berlin) but got startled when someone has started targeting our child's Fahrradhanger which we are leaving in the private courtyard.   On two separate occasions, someone has slit the rain cover with something sharp causing cuts to the shelter that are over 30cm long and, more disturbingly, the sharp object damaged the actual cover that's part of the structure of the Fahrradhanger. On another occasion, someone has splashed some sort of sticky brownish liquid (coca cola?) over the shelter.   We haven't got the faintest idea of who it might have been or why we have been targeted as we are new here and have not had any conflicts (nor any social exchange, sadly) with any of the neighbours. We are a friendly bunch, haven't made any loud noise or caused any trouble. The only thing that I can suppose is that we might have inadvertently taken up someone's usual parking space, although there is more than a copious abundance of free parking space in the courtyard. Well, I can also assume that it's a neighbour as the courtyard is closed from the street by a high gate.   Unfortunately, we have no real option to leave the bikes and the Fahrradhanger anywhere safer:  Using the Keller would make our daily life almost impossible: there are several fire doors (5) some of which locked by key (2) and a few steps that need to be overcome in order to access this space. And even then, the Fahrradhanger does not pass through our Keller's door and needs its wheels taken off.  In the garages, there is a Fahrrad room, but it's packed full, and the Fahrradhanger wouldn't fit in - at least not causing trouble to all of this room's users. We have no option to bring it up to the flat as it wouldn't fit in the lift.  We cannot leave it the downstairs lobby as it's not allowed.   So I think it leaves us only with two options: Leave it in the Keller (which means ending up being unable to use it if not only on special occasions) Leave it in the bike stands in the courtyard with the risk that it keeps getting damaged.   We use the bikes and the Fahrradhanger almost every day and don't know what to do anymore. For now, it's been put away in the Keller, and we are simply not using it for fear that it will keep getting damaged till a point where it becomes unusable.   Any suggestions on what can we do? Report to police: I doubt it will ever lead to anything Report to Hausmeister: same as above Place a friendly letter in everyone's letterbox asking to get in touch if we are causing any problems rather than having a barbaric behaviour Give up and stop using the Fahrradhanger   Maybe we should just try all the possible options, and worst-case give up using it. It's probably the price one has to pay for living in a big city and in an anonymous housing complex.
  12.   I was really sceptical of this, but I've managed to try out a socket in another room, and... I am not getting 5 Mbit/s. What an improvement! (ironic) Anyway, 1 Mbit/s is already something. Thank you for the tip. I guess I will just give up and keep this speed for the next three months when my contract will terminate and I will be able to move to cable technology. It looks like Vodafone is the only provider available in this area for Kabel.
  13. I see where you're coming from there. O2 also has a cheaper tariff for 25 MBit/s, why can they not at least switch me that one knowing that the technical infrastructure does not even support speeds close to that?
  14. It comes out as 6 MBit/s. I'll try with another phone socket and update here later.
  15. I've recently moved into a new flat in Berlin literally 500 meters away from my old flat, and my internet connection has incredibly slow speeds.   I've kept O2 as my existing internet provider as the contract is not yet over. The process to move the line was done through O2's website, and their system confirmed that the DSL service would be available at my new address and that they estimated that the speed provided would have stayed unvaried.   What I am paying for is 50 Mbps in download and 10 Mbps in upload, and this is what I was getting in my previous flat. What I am now getting in my new flat is anything between 0.5 Mbps and 2 Mbps in download and roughly 0.7 Mbps in upload.   I have tried contacting O2, went through all sorts of technical tests, and the result is that this issue is caused by the distance from the telephone exchange and it cannot be improved.    Now, this is what annoys me the most: I have had to pay 50 Euros for the line to be moved to the new address In light of the awful service provided, I have asked if the contract could be cancelled prior to the contract's end date, but I've been told that I need to do so by sending a letter and will still need to pay for the next three months I work from home, and these speeds are an absurdly no-go!   Is it possible that O2 is just chancing it, trying to make me pay for something that they are unable to offer? Or do they really have a legal basis for sticking to this lengthy contractual term?