Monday, November 8, 2010

Online Banking.

Or the lack thereof.....

What I'm actually referring to,  is the lousy state of affairs here in Europe when it comes to websites in general.   I've had many a frustrating moment trying to order tickets online or match up verification codes to supposed "examples" given by those who think they are website designers.
Kind of like the way they "think"  they speak English.   They don't.

I'm not even going to get in to all the weird shit you have to do here to actually pay a bill on line.  That's a whole different rant.

Every month or so,  depending on how much travelling Travelling Companion does,  somebody has to pay her Amex bill. 
That somebody happens to be the one who speaks and understands the German language.

Yes,   maybe I'm going out on a limb here by boasting that it's not a language thing,   and that I can pretty much figure most everything out. 

Hey,  I was able to keep up with what was being said at the "tenants meeting"  a couple weeks ago,  and was certainly able to beak off at the landlords and have everyone in the room nod in agreement.   I was only slightly annoyed that the emissary from the Quick Green restaurant had a convincing grasp of the language as well,  albeit with a Chinese accent....

So fine.

I had bolstered my courage and decided that this was the month I was going to pay the bill on line,  and even though I had done this successfully in the past,   the numbers don't fit in the boxes,  and rather than put my fist through the computer screen here,  I'll need to once again head down to the bank.


Oh wait.   Can't go right now,  since the bank is CLOSED. 


Just looked at the clock and they're closed for lunch.

Which by the way,  is really frustrating the first time one makes that discovery,  but if you know they close for lunch,  then it's no biggie.   I'd actually sooner have them come to terms with the idea that their people need to "go for lunch"  and close the place,  rather than show up there at lunch time,  only to discover that the customers out number the bank employees by a factor of 20.      Sound familiar?
Anyone who has had the misfortune of running to the bank on your lunch break just about anywhere in North America knows full well what I'm talking about.

Here however is where the whole thing takes on a hugely different perspective.

Once upon a time when I went into the bank to pay something or other,  I was overwhelmed by the number of customers waiting to be served.   In any bank in the "Americas"  (I'm including Puerto Rico here)  that would mean wishing you had brought a chair.   The thing is,   since everyone still goes to the bank to pay their bills,  (which brings us right back to the whole lack of proper internet banking thing...)  bank employees were actually getting up from their desks and coming out to take people back to be looked after. 


I know I'm in a foreign land,  but for a moment there I wasn't sure I was on the same planet. 

I had never seen that before. 

In my entire life.

I'm not kidding.

In our fine upstanding bank back in Burlington,  two thirds of the lobby area is surrounded by offices,  to which the doors are virtually always closed. 
There are people in there.
Chances are extremely high that they are bank employees,  some of whom may very well have experience as bank tellers.  
They don't come out.
The customers stand there growing roots.
To be avoided at all costs.

 The only saving grace is that some smart person designed their on line banking website so it's easier to use....
So,  is that like they are admitting that they suck?

 I'll let you figure that one out.

By now the bank is open.

 Gotta go.


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Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.