giovedì 12 giugno 2008

O-Key D'Oh-Key

Following on from all of my banking woes, I finally took action and filed a claim for 260 euros which I have been overcharged over the course of the past year. Having made an official complaint to the bank manager, and written a letter to the claims department, I then relaxed, under the impression that I would have NO MORE PROBLEMS.
Oops. I forgot that the cardinal rule in Italy is never to relax.
Having lost my wallet, and therefore all of my credit cards in a rather embarrassing incident, which you can read about further down the page, I was assured by Banca Intesa that my brand new bancomat (debit card) and accompanying PIN code would both be with me in 10 working days. This seemed like a lot at the time, but hey – we all know that Italy is an inefficient country, so you just have to take a deep breath and move on. However, bring Banca Intesa-Sanpaolo into the situation and all bets are off.
On the eleventh working day, I went to check my online account and was informed by a pop-up message that the “O-Key” code generator is now mandatory, and that without it I would not be able to log on. In order to get hold of the O-Key, I would need to go to my branch (bear in mind every trip means a missed lunch break and 10 points on my blood pressure), so I thought I would kill two birds with one stone and get my O-Key and brand spanking new bancomat at the same time.
35 minutes after arriving, I get to the counter and the woman informs me that for the O-Key I have to go upstairs and stand in a different line. OK, fine – deep breath. So I ask for my bancomat. Miraculously it has arrived. The woman takes at least 15 minutes to issue it to me, as they have apparently just had a new system installed and are having a few problems – deep breath. I ask about my PIN. She asks her colleague. The colleague asks another colleague, and a fourth completes the circle, informing me that I should use my old PIN as the card is a replacement, not a new issue. It seems strange to me so I question it and the woman’s response is “You are a bit too precise. You’re starting to confuse me. Use your old pin,” DEEP BREATH.
I go upstairs and wait in line to see my old buddy Massimo (the guy who effectively owes me 260 euros). At my turn, I tell him I need my O-Key, and he looks startled. He calls the manager over. She looks at me with a pitying look, and they put their heads together. No, not that way… Ummmm….. Er….. Non ho capito….. Try this….. OK, try that….. Try putting the tax code in again…… What about….. “Sorry, we can’t issue you with the key because we don’t understand how the new system works” is Massimo’s conclusion. I complain that this is not acceptable, he starts to yell and I have to tell him to stop shouting at me. The manager scuttles away with her tail between her legs. I leave the bank, minus O-Key, plus 25 blood pressure points, and go drink a prosecco with my colleagues, who have ordered, waited, eaten, drank coffee and smoked a cigarette each in the time that I have spent at the bank.
I’m not finished.
I get to the cash point after work, following my gut instinct that I would be a fool to go straight to the supermarket with no cash, on the promise that my pin would work, and guess what….. it doesn’t.
Twelfth working day of cash-flow crisis, and I head back to the bank (I swear that sooner or later they’re gonna lock me between the 2 security doors and leave me there….) and very calmly explain that my old pin didn’t work, so could I have a new one please. Much head shaking and conferring later, and their conclusion is “the new pin must be in the post, and there’s nothing we can do if it gets lost by the Post Office”.
It’s now working day 14 ( almost 3 calendar weeks), and I am still without a pin to go with my card. In the meantime, my English credit cards made their way from London to my parents’ house in Felixstowe, sat there for 3 days, and then travelled the 1000 miles to Milan, arriving at my office 3 days later. I’m off to the bank in about 10 minutes. I may be a while….

5 commenti:

Romerican ha detto...

ARGH, I feel your pain and actually felt my blood pressure rising as I read that post. I use San Paolo Bank, which has no merged with Banca Intesa and that fucking o-key device is the BIGGEST joke ever. I mean, whenever I travel anywhere, I have to take it with me in the event that I need to do online banking (which I often do). Yes, it's small enough but if you happen to forget it or worse, if it breaks- NO online banking for you. So much for making our lives simpler, huh?
You should consider calling the main branch of your bank and filing a formal complaint because those people are beyond incompetent.
Good luck!

Kataroma ha detto...

Ugh -I really feel your pain. I also bank with San Paolo who are actually better than my husband's bank (forgot their name). But ugh - the endless going back there, the stupid rules which they don't even understand themselves. Just ugh.

Dame Aurélie ha detto...

How strange (not!), I'm dealing with the same sort of crap, apart from the 260€ story...
Opened a bank account weeks ago, am being paid on that one but can't access my money because the bloody card is "somewhere" in thr mail!!!!
Lovely.

Thx for you message (reply to muy last one), the "spring" is hell indeed, worse than in Belgium, I've never seen so much rain!
How's the new house?

cheers!

Emmina ha detto...

Romerican,
I have now put in an official complaint, but what with the 'changeover' and the new system, they're quite a long way behind in processing it. I'll keep you posted!

Kataroma,
It's always disappointing when you get bad service - Intesa Sanpaolo seem to be the current worst though as a result of their merger, which means none of the staff now understand their own jobs!

Dame Aurèlie,
The new house is good thanks. I'll be posting about it later on!!

Italy expat ha detto...

Enjoying your blog, This post echoes my own on the subject of what you miss living here on www.italyexpat.blogspot.com
I know the fed up with Milan feeling so well having worked in banks for 5 years here. Enjoy your move and new village. Maybe we can guest post.Ill do north you do south Im in Como.