Monday, March 16, 2009

Bank Misery, Part III *UPDATED*

Armed with a check for umpteen dollars, on fine day I trudged over to the part of my new branch that handles foreign currency. Because this branch has two storefronts, on opposite sides of Sheinkin Street: one for shekels, and one for foreign currency. With two different security guards, of course. This one was nice in a different way: he wouldn't let me bring my dog inside, but he offered to hold and play with her, and he claimed to be a great dog lover. The dog approved. Inside, I had a long conversation with Eliezer, who chastised me for not doing a wire transfer because he had to charge me a certain percentage of the check amount, but otherwise was delighted to accept the money, telling me, and his neighboring clerk, what a nice woman the recommending neighbor was. He then informed me that the money would be ready for conversion into shekels in ten days, and advised me to come back when I wanted to do the conversion, thus confirming my suspicion that these clerks are paid by the visit: they always want you to come back for some reason to complete the transaction you thought would take only one stop.

Ten days later, armed with a list of standing orders from my about-to-be-former bank, I stopped in to see Sharon, only to learn that she was away for a week, on her honeymoon. Very nice. Crossing the street to Foreign Currency, it seems their morning had just ended. Had to return the next day earlier to accomplish that transaction. If you're counting, we're up to visit #4, and things are moving along at a deliberate pace.

A week later, visit #5, I took the list to the newlywed Sharon and as of now, I'm still waiting to hear what's happened with moving the standing orders *[See Update below]. Oh, and I still don't have a cash card, because moving that one requires dealing with Isracard, and their phone number had me on hold beyond my tolerable waiting time. I'm wondering whether it would be faster to walk over to Isracard building, which I can see from my window? The reason I want to move that one, rather than get a new card, is to keep the same PIN number and the standing orders that are billed automatically to that card.

Is this as tiresome as it seems?

Just had a call from Yelena. Someone new is on my case!
Yelena: Do you want to transfer any standing orders to your new account?
Me: Yes.
Y: Which ones?
Me: All of them.
Y: Bring me a list.
Me: I already gave a list to Sharon.
Yelena: Oh, then I'll ask Sharon for it. Bye Bye.
Me: Bye.

This is not an impressive display of institutional efficiency, but at least now I know that they have my correct phone number. I probably should have just gone in with a duplicate list for Yelena. Will try that next.


Gila said...

It sounds awful. Hope the next visit is successful.

ontheface said...

Today I spent an hour at Cellcom. Which is why I feel your pain acutely.


Savtadotty said...

Gila, I'm resigned to the fact that no visit is totally successful, but each one inches toward my goal. See below.

Lisa, Pain? I've become inured to it, like the battered consumer that I am.

Mongrel said...

This afternoon fished a blue envelope out of the mailbox, blue is the colour of the National Tax bureau, takes some energy to open these, .............. thank God they only did confirm the other bank's number!!!

You misinterpret your visits to the bank as being the reason for the clerks to score money, negative, they only want to have the use over your cash, the least they are waiting for are your visits.
Every time you go there, even if you have to waite unreasonable long, your blood is boiling, smile
(very important) and be overly patient and polite.

It are the 10 days between dollars and shekels what it's all about, the time between cheques they stall, to have use of your money.
There are companies/people who are in need to get a loan for a few days, it is being financed by you,
free of course.

The pity for a lot of you is to live in a kind of isolated country, there not to be an agressive consumers organisation to make a fist against this injustice.
Never have been a fan of being part of the EC, but we do have somebody like Neelie Kroes to be the European Commisionar For Competition, a very good institution.
Too we do have a govermental institution to protect us from monopoly forming companys.
Third there are a lot of organisations which also do take care of different consumers problems.

You all together do have a problem
being pushed around or not being taken serious.

Somehow did envision something more bright with this being a Promised Land.




Tamar Orvell said...

I once had enough of an unnamed Israeli bank and gladly changed PIN number and updated vendors whose auto-debits I had to redirect to a new account in another bank. Some situations (and only you know whether this is one) merit doing nonsensical tasks just to be rid of even greater nonsense.

I do feel your pain.

Savtadotty said...

Mongrel: You misinterpret your visits to the bank as being the reason for the clerks to score money, negative, they only want to have the use over your cash, the least they are waiting for are your visits.

It's true, bank clerks aren't exactly paid by the visit, but they don't get to use my money themselves, so i suspect they are just ensuring job security: no customers, no need for tellers!

Tamar: If I don't manage to get past the phone-on-hold game at Isracard, I may have to do what you did. After the holidays...