Author Topic: Bank Rant  (Read 1682 times)

saijoe

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Bank Rant
« on: February 17, 2017, 09:57:01 AM »
This week I have spent hours trying to get an incoming International Wire Transfer into a US bank.  This started in September of 2016 when my luggage was lost in Germany during a business trip (worthy of another rant, but I got past it).  But after slogging through a lot of paperwork, German Wings airline agreed to pay me 350 euro.  They just needed some bank information.

Step 1 - I went to my local credit union to gather the bank information for an International Wire Transfer.  They gave me some numbers, but I was skeptical.  The SWIFT Code the gave me was very texty (i.e. Blah Blah Credit Union).  I asked if they were sure.  They basically said, "that's what this form says". 

Step 1a - About a month after I sent the information, I get an email from German Wings saying that your transfer failed, check with your bank.  Well it turns out that the CU uses a third party bigger bank and that tracing is difficult.

Step 2 - I decide that it might be best to cut bait and use Ally Bank.  I have a decent sized emergency fund there and I figure, it's a national bank and this should just be easier.  Ally has instructions online and on the instructions you can see that they use a third party bank too, JP Morgan Chase.  But the instructions look pretty clear with placeholders for my Ally account information which I fill in verbatim.  I send this to German Wings.

Step 2a - About a month later (note that I followed up with German Wings several times), I get an email saying that the transfer failed, check with your bank.

Step 2b - I call Ally and they tell me that they don't have any visibility into why the transfer failed because Chase handles the transfer.  They told me I had to contact Chase.  Now mind you, I don't have a bank account with Chase and I knew what was going to happen.  I had zero information about the transfer details and they told me to have Ally do a "Wire Inquiry" to Chase.

Step 2c - I called Ally again.  Told them that Chase said that Ally should submit a "Wire Inquiry" to them.  The Ally guy says that the Wire Department handles that, but the Wire Department doesn't speak with customers.  So after several hold periods, they said "we need more information about the failed transfer, bank information, date of the attempt, reference numbers, etc. 

Step 2d -  So I emailed German Wings and to my surprise, I got a response the next day.  The response had about 16 lines of data.  There were numbers, some English text and some German text.  But there was nothing that I, a layman, could parse out and know that it was what they needed.  So I called Ally again.

Step 2e - So, I have what I think is valuable information for tracing what went wrong with the transfer and I call Ally.  I really try to get them to give me an email address, but for whatever reason they can't.  They then tell me that I need to contact the sending bank.  In this text that I have, I can't make out a bank name.  Then I get pissy and say I need this escalated.  The guy contacts the Wire Department and says that they'll take a look at the email text and then proceeded to give me a physical mailing address.  Now I'm so mad that I'm shaking.  Again, I say this has to be escalated and he puts me on hold again and comes back and says that this indeed has been escalated to an "executive something or other" and they'd be in touch with me in 2-3 business days.  I say ok, I've already blown a pretty hefty portion of my workday.

Step 3 - I notice German Wings takes PayPal as payment, so I ask them if they could transfer this to me via PayPal.  They promptly replied that they couldn't.

Takeaways - To me, most of the folks at Ally were nice.  But they expended so much effort in not helping and I know that their "rules" were a major reason.  They can't let me talk to the wire department.  They can't give out an email address.  My uneducated guess is that the bureaucracy of banking regulations make this so.

Late last year, my nieces husband sent me money from Dubai via PayPal and it could not have been easier.  In today's world where you can deposit a check by taking a picture of it, these things should be far easier.  How can an internet company handle financial things better than banks?   

Car Jack

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Re: Bank Rant
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2017, 12:39:58 PM »
Personally, I would have looked into opening bonuses at commercial banks (Citi, Chase, WF, BoA), opened with the requisite deposit and then had the airline wire to them.  Wait the required period to keep the bonus, close the account, win.


saijoe

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Re: Bank Rant
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2017, 12:50:36 PM »
Oh hindsight.  I guess it's still a possibility, but I'm entrenched in the fight now.