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Sunday, November 11

Bank Card

Since moving to Germany, we’ve learned having cash on hand is very important. Life Lesson #7. Most German establishments (restaurants and small, private shops) only accept cash. This means we’ve had to carry wads of cash at all times for purchases. However for backup for that unusual purchase of a TV or sofa, we keep a debit card in tow. Yes, I am giving you permission to mug me now that you know this.

We got the Deustche Bank debit cards within the first couple months of arriving. I’ve used it few times; I am not often shopping for a TV or Sofa. Recently at a store, I ran out of that wad of cash and needed to make a purchase on the card and it didn’t work. The card machine gave me an error saying the card was unreadable. Thankfully the husband was with me and he paid.

Then while purchasing warm clothes for the winter that’s arriving really soon, I tried to use the card again. Again it was unreadable.

Twice was enough.

Twice was enough. I took the card to the bank to have it checked. At the main information counter, I explained my situation and that the card was not working. The “teller” says he’ll order a new one. I ask before he orders a new one, could he find out the problem? He shrugged. This is what irritates me about this country. Customer Service or lack thereof. It’s not nice to make comparisons when living in a different country but in this case I am forced to make a comparison. Something as simple as seeing if the magnetic stripe on the back can be repaired can be reassuring for the customer in America.

And furthermore, I had to pay 15 Euros for a new card. Here in lies a problem, if I have to pay for a new card, I would hope that the Bank ensures all other measures are taken before a new card is ordered. Or if it isn’t to the fault of the customer, (i.e. I didn’t lose it myself or cut it in half on purpose), order it for free for the customer. That may be too much to ask for but I am very irritated.

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