I arrived in Koh Samui on Friday. Last night, I went to the ATM and the machine swallowed my bank card. So this morning I went into the shop the ATM was inside and asked who to contact. They pointed me towards a kiosk down the street, who in turn pointed me towards a bank further down the road, which I couldn't find. It turns out I was screwed anyways because all banks have a policy of destroying cards if they swallow them.
So I phoned up the Nationwide bank about it. There was an international number you can call which reverses the charges. I spoke to a man about it and he said he couldn't help but that he would transfer me to Nationwide (mmm, that's who I thought I was phoning!).
The lady at Nationwide put a stop on my card and and said a replacement would be sent out within 7-10 days. I explained that I was in Thailand and asked if they could send it here by courier but they can't. In order to do that I need to put in a change of address form to an address in thailand and then change it back when I get back home. The lady was polite but she seemed extremely unconcerned about my predicament.
Thankfully I have another bank account card with me though I hate to think the situation I would be in if I didn't. I can understand the security measures take but they really couldn't care less if you are left high and dry in a situation like this.
So I logged into my account online to move all my money to my account at another bank. You would think this would be straight forward but no, another security measure means I can't even do that. You see, in order to transfer my cash I need to put my bank card into a security card reader they send out.
There is a few problems with this :
- I don't know if they have ever sent me one out and if they have, I certainly can't remember where it is.
- If I did know where it is, I still wouldn't take it with me when I travel.
- Most importantly, I don't have a damn bank card to put in the card reader so how the hell can I get the authorisation code!!!
When you click on the help page their solution they give you is to send out another card reader. I would have called back but the original call wiped out all my credit on my phone. So much for reversing the charges!
So my parents have put money into my other account and I when my card is delivered they can withdraw the cash and put it back into their accounts.
Just goes to show how much hassle can be caused by something so insignifcant as a bank machine swallowing your card. And it's a good reminder why I always take a backup bank card and credit card and keep them seperately in my bag. Because if you lose your card, you're on your own. Don't expect the bank to have any sympathy.
My other money saga continued today. Pokerstars, who I have been promoting for 5-6 years, have been completely unable to send my affiliate commissions to my neteller account. Basically, every month they send any affiliate commissions I earn to my player account. I can then withdraw that to my neteller account and then from there, I can withdraw it to my bank account.
However, I have been unable to cashout to neteller and their reasons for this have changed depending on what member of the security team replied to me. First I was told it was because I was withdrawing to the wrong account. This was because pokerstars, for some reason, decided to add my email as the account to withdraw too. They eventually removed the wrong email from my account, after 4 or 5 days. I tried to withdraw again but that was unsuccessful.
Today I got told that :
We have recently made some changes to the way player transactions arestored on our system. Although we keep a record of all transactions, any transaction older than 6 months is now archived in a separate database. This means that your cashout options will be based on the last 6 months of deposits history only. If your desired payment method is no longer available in your cashier screen (provided its a payment method that can be used for cashing out) you will need to make a new purchase in order to be able to cash out through it again.
At this point I had to explain that I am not a player, I am an affiliate. So I will not be depositing anytime soon. This happened a few years ago as well and I had to deposit and then withdraw it. It really is a stupid system. Why do they insist on putting my money in my player account. At the very least they should let affiliates withdraw without having to deposit or offer us an option to withdraw directly to neteller. It's been 7 days since I started having problems with this. Who knows when it will be resolved.
Support for affiliates was great at the start with pokerstars but as they grew, the standard of support dropped and dropped. To the point where they were taking more than a week to reply to basic queries.
I can understand security measures that banks take but they can be frusrating in certain situations. Thankfully, in this situation, I had a spare backup card which I stored in my bag. Annoyingly, my other account charges me 1 pounds 50 every time I withdraw money, something which Nationwide doesn't do. But what can you do?
It's not a lot of money but it's the principle. I just don't like being charged to lift my own money, regardless of where I am in the world.