Sunday, 31 May 2009

Guess, how hard is it to withdraw £500?

On the 28th May, days before we left to Rome, my husband was trying to withdraw some ££ to be exchanged to Euro. So there he walk to the town centre with my son, and found the first ATM machine available.

Without any suspicion or whatsoever he used that to take 400 GBP, knowing that our credit limit is 500 GBP. But the machine throw an error and leave him with no receipt or any means of proof.
Again without suspicion, he tried a different machine, this time he was trying to take another 400 GBP, but the machine complained that he had passed his daily credit limit. Soon he figure out that he can only take 100 GBP (which come out okay, thank you) because the previous faulty ATM has flagged that he took the first 400GBP!

My husband obviously freaked out that he just lost 400 GBP.

So the next thing, he was on the phone calling me.

I was in the office when the whole thing happen.
So, I took the initiative to call the bank helpline since my husband were in a crowded place and very difficult to make a long call.

The phone on the other side rang... I spoke to the operator... bla bla bla.... get transfered to other departement... answering machine, press one... yada....yada, and then another waiting tone, and then I was asked my address and card number, and there is a waiting tone again... at the end of it, finally an operator who can helped me!

So she said "Mrs so and so.... I apologise for this kind of incident. Fortunately, this case is normal and your money usually will be refunded in 24 hour. And should it is not refunded within a day, we will request a investigation of the case which can take as long as 6 weeks."

And she asked why I wanted to take such a large sum of money, and I said I were to travel to Europe in 2 days time. And she was offering to buy the currency online, it will still be delivered on time if I place the order within 20 minutes (it was 11.40 a.m, any order before 12 o'clock mid-day will be delivered the next working day), which is a great idea.

"Click" so I hang up the phone.

Right, so she reassure me anything will be fine.
But, wait a minute, I still need to get some Euro!
But we have no cash at all, how to get Euro then?

I talk to my husband again (on the phone), and we decided to try to buy currency online. FYI, you can buy currency online with you debit/credit car and delivered to your door the next working day as long as your order arrive before 12 midday the day before.

So, with the intention of buying those Euro from my bank, I log on to my bank internet banking and try to find the link whereby I can purchase those currency. After about 10 minute entering all necessary info, bang... the website stuck when it try to get my address.

Apparently, my postcode wasn't recognise.

Knowing I only have another 15-20 minutes to make the purchase, frantically I tried to buy from another website. Oh yes, Tesco. Just like Walmart in States, or Mustafa in Singapore, they sell anything..... except for gun and ammunition (which Walmart sells!).
So I back to ground zero and start entering all the info again.

Guess what, on the last page, I hit the submit button.

And here it goes : "We are sorry, but we are unable to proceed with your purchase. Please contact our helpline number quoting reference .

By this moment I already wanted to give up.
I have about 15 more minute to 12 mid-day, so without any undue hesitation I let my reflex dial the number.

No one appear to pick up the phone for the first 3-4 minute. That time I was thinking thismust be the longest 3 minute in my life.
And suddenly I heard the ringtone is changed to some classical song... and in 1-2 minutes it change to automatic answering machine like : "if you want.... bla bla... press one". And then followed by a long winded advertisement try to sell something I don't need.

Finally, 5 minute before 12, I found myself talking to a real person! Gosh, it feels like forever. She had no record of my transaction, so I end up have to read up all the info on the phone.
At the end of the phone call, I just make sure, that I will receive the money on Friday before 1 p.m. She said YES!

And I suddenly feel all my muscle relaxed, my hand stop trembling and my brain stop aching, I am so relieved! I think that's the best and most relieving answer I heard all day!

Moral of the story : "never delay what you can do today, that's include taking some cash".


Char said...

banks seem to make everything a pain. sorry.

Stardust said...


I'm sure that this is the only hiccup you have for this trip, so make up for it by having a great time! =D

Liss said...

These things always happen when you need money too. I once filled my car up with petrol and the service station stuffed up the transaction it was only for $50 but I only had $70 in my account until pay day. When the put the transaction through again it was declined as they money had come out of my account but cant take 5 day to get refunded. At times like these credit cards are very handy.

Ayie said...

i just hate it when such things happen