Groundhog day

Last year when were in Australia we were devastated to see all our money drained out of our French bank account, but after overcoming some language difficulties we reported the problem, had our cards cancelled, and eventually had our money refunded. (We reckon our details were skimmed during the one and only time we used our French card when travelling through the U.S.)

Our new cards never arrived in the mail (neither in Australia nor in France) so at the first opportunity we enquired face to face at the bank in France. Sounds simple enough doesn’t it?

Unfortunately the local branch is not where our account was originally opened and, unlike Australia, you must deal directly with your own branch – they don’t seem to even know how to contact other branches, let alone have access to records. Rather archaic. Ours is a 40 minute drive away, they don’t speak English, and are only open in the mornings. Very limiting.

It took us many visits to the local branch before we finally collected our new card (notice the singular!) Each time we managed to get our message across and each time they phoned our branch and organised for our new cards to be sent out. Each time we were told ‘two weeks.’ But in 2 weeks, no luck, and we had to go through the whole process again! How can it be so difficult?

Luckily during the months this took to sort out, we relied on our chequebook, which is as good as cash in France because extremely stiff penalties apply for passing rubber cheques.

Moral of this story? Make sure you open your French bank account at the branch you intend to visit!


About frenchfry36

South African by birth, British by right, Australian by oath, French by choice.
This entry was posted in France, Living in France and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Groundhog day

  1. bagnidilucca says:

    We have nothing but praise for our Italian bank – except for the fees. It is nearby, but they speak English and done everything very efficiently. I once had trouble with my debit card and I walked into the bank and came out minutes later with a new card and a new pin. That would not happen in Australia. They pay our bills automatically for us and we can access information about the account from Australia.

  2. frenchfry36 says:

    We did pick the bank with the lowest fees, so perhaps it’s a case of “you get what you pay for” …all smooth sailing till something goes wrong! Mind you, if my French was better such things would be a lot easier to handle.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s