Living in Interesting Times

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Making a change

I just had to post after something unprecedented happened to me today.

I had a good experience at the bank!

I know! It has never actually happened to me in Israel before. When I first arrived I joined a local bank based mainly on the fact that most of my friends chose the same one. It all seemed simple enough, but I was in for a shock. Little did I realise that my bank (lets call them 'The Workers' Bank’) would make it their mission to be as uncooperative as possible, charge me as much as possible and make my cry every time I went into the branch.

For years (all of which time, I should point out, I was working and earning a salary) they refused me an overdraft - never mind that the entire country lives in the red. I wasn't permitted any cushion whatsoever. My account manager helpfully told me I could have an overdraft if I would put down a 10,000 shekel deposit. If I had 10,000 nis I would hardly need an overdraft! They also inexplicably refused to give me a proper credit card - every 18 year-old-soldier gets one, but I am not considered credit worthy enough. All this despite the fact that I was consistently in the black.

After three years and a half years I had enough and took the radical step of closing my bank and opening a new one. Now I have opened a new account at a new bank (lets call them the National Bank). Today I went in (after just two and half months) to ask for a credit card. No problem. A few buttons pushed and I was told it would be in next week. The account manager was helpful and friendly. (We discussed Harry Potter as she is in the middle of latest book.) It is a whole new world.

I just felt the need to share - although this is probably of very little interest to anyone but myself. My message is this. If your bank (or any other provider for that matter) is horrible and unhelpful - change! Don't feel like you are stuck where you are, or it isn't worth the hassle, or they are probably all the same anyway. That is how people get away with delivering bad service. As immigrants we easily put off from doing things we would quickly do in our native country. I would never have put up with such bad service for so long before moving to Israel.

I am glad I finally found the time, effort and confidence to make the change. Now I only need to apply this to other parts of my life.

8 Comments:

  • I joined the "National" cos they were blue, like the bank in England I was with. Idiotic Logic= worse mistake of my Aliya thus far.

    Not to put you off or anything- I think you are only entitled to one nightmare bank experience, and it sounds like you had yours already...

    By Blogger tafka PP, at 5:26 PM  

  • Alive,

    Go girl! Challenge the evil culture of anti-service in our homeland! Just got off from a conversation with mobile phone company - let us call them "Orange". Felt a great urge to scream.

    Parrot - surely there is no other way of choosing a bank than colour? Is there?

    Anyway, Alive - I applaud your courage!

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