Oh boy ! The craziness of my Spanish bank is endless ! Over the last nine months I have been passed around four different Customer Service branch women and probably two Complaints Department women. I have had more bank women in nine months than girlfriends over my entire life !
I will repeat what I wrote a few weeks ago just to refresh our memories.
“Oh yes, my Spanish bank has also entered the realms of stupidity. I have been emailing my Solbank since 2002 with no problems until I arrived in Austria in September 2017. I could do nothing in Spain as I did not have an Austrian address for them to send me correspondence. Once settled, I emailed my new address, sent proof of residency and asked for statements to be sent to me. After many requests and many replies I was told that they do not take instructions by email. Nothing from them for months until I received a Solbank letter. Yay ! A statement ? No ! Just a letter telling me that they are charging me €30 for being overdrawn. For heavens sake, they refused to send me statements, but had the audacity to send me that ! Natascha and I immediately topped up the account and I really laid into the bank and asked for paperwork to be sent to me to close my account. I have still heard nothing and they are still taking money from my account, I assume.”
The story continues.
I received two more letters. One was pages of charges and fees for 2018 and the other praised the wonders of GDPR. None of which helped me. A statement would have been nice.
Totally fed up, I wrote an email, a long email to Solbank complaints department. Within hours I got a reply. “Sorry, we don’t act on emails without an electronic signature” What !!! Ms Daydreamer then went back to filing her nails.
Both Natascha and I couldn’t believe how crazy things were becoming. Anyway, something amazing happened the following afternoon. We got a phone call from the bank instructing me to write a letter with both my Spanish and Austrian bank details and that I want to close my account. Natascha is brilliant at typing and soon knocked up the letter which I signed and Natascha mailed it the following morning.
About a week later I got an email from the bank saying that my signature did not match the signature I made when opening the account in 2002. Send a Certified copy of my passport. I used to have a lovely signature in 2002, but my shaking hands changed it to something like this.
I had signed countless pieces of paper and on the electronic signing machine at the bank. Not one signature was the same over the last few years. It seems that no one had checked my recent signatures, flagged my medical problem, or updated the database. AND what the heck has a certified passport got to do with anything. I told her that and she replied with
“Dear Mr.Whillier, I am sorry but in that case you can transfer your balance online or give a power of attorney to another person to close your account and transfering your money if you are not going to come back to Spain anymore . We can not accept a signed request with a signature we don´t have registered for security reasons . Yours sincerely”
They are beginning to make things up. They know I do not have an online bank with them and also I would need to be in Spain to activate a power of attorney. Both Natascha and I could not believe what was going on. Anyway, before I told them to stick the whole thing up their ATM sideways, Natascha made me see sense and we went to an Austrian Notary. He was very quick to certify my passport and I asked him to verify my wonky signature. I did that because I had a feeling that my signature would be next on the bank’s bucket list. Thank heavens that worked ! 3 days ago I got an email
“Dear Mr.Whillier, My colleague is dealing with it. I will let you know when the account is closed. Yours sincerely”
I have heard nothing since from her colleague. Probably going to ask me to certify my cats. Well, they need certifying, as you can see in the next item.
My cats are in the kichen. Up to something I expect.
It’s fun. One insane, certified, stressed out, careful owner. Ignore the fact that the account will never close and you will get no statements. Blind banking ! What a fun gift to give to your local politician or law maker.
Ralph xox ❤
Natascha photographed the cats and made the video.