Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Can’t pay, Won’t pay

Spanish banks – don’t you just love ‘em? Well, the ratings agencies certainly don’t, and nor do international investors. And I certainly don’t, especially after seeing the latest set of charges to hit my account. Whether it be for payments, receipts, correspondence, maintenance or whatever, they’ll find an excuse to raid your account – which wouldn’t be so bad if they actually provided an efficient service.

Spanish banks

Returning from the UK, I discovered my annual car tax bill lying in the letter box. I dutifully trotted down to the local branch of my bank, La Caixa, to make the necessary payment. Having patiently queued for the clever machine that scans your bills and then debits your account accordingly, it was a case of the ‘computer says no’ and I was obliged to wait to speak to the bank clerk. Almost gleefully, he highlighted the small print on the invoice showing that I could only make payment at branches of Caja de Granada or Caja Rural de Granada. Silly me to think that one of the functions of a bank was to make payments for its customers.

Fortunately there is a branch of Caja de Granada just across the road so over I popped and joined the queue. The lady at the desk pointed dismissively toward the sign saying ‘Bill Payments between 0830 and 1030 hours only’ and then toward her watch showing 12 noon. Out I walked, tail between my legs.

Quietly fuming, I ambled back towards the car and by chance passed a branch of Caja Rural de Granada. I entered and yet again joined the queue, trying to ignore the (by now familiar) sign stating the hours for bill payments. I handed the invoice to the young assistant who immediately deferred to her supervisor. He looked me up and down, and then walked over.

‘Would you like to pay this now, sir?’ he asked. ‘Yes please’ I replied more out of politeness than expectation. ‘That’s fine.’ Somewhat taken aback, I handed over my credit card. ‘Sorry sir but you cannot pay by card.' ‘Why not? I could have sworn that I spotted the word Bank above your door.' ‘We only accept cards issued by our bank but there is, for your convenience, an ATM machine in the lobby. Please be aware, however, that your bank will charge your account for a cash withdrawal……’

1 comment:

  1. Start making a list - come the revolution, those whose inefficiency and arrogance is most irritating will get it first. If I HAD any money, I'd keep it under my mattress on principle. Axxx