So I have an account to pay in the Antipathies. This should be simple in the days of internet banking, transfers, mobile phones, laptops, wi-fi, shouldn’t it? Say “Yes” say “Yes, of course” – Wrong!
My current eNZed bank account has one monthly automatic debit to pay for the ‘garage full’ of stuff I have not seen in over 5 years and the bank deducts fees but that’s about it – so no need to check very often. When I received an email reminding me I was overdue to make a payment for something I thought, OK, better check the state of my financial affairs and pay it.
Step 1 – Search Google to get the correct web page in NZ for my bank as most NZ banks are owned by overseas banks and Australian websites for banks of the same name are not the place to look. I know this from previous experience.
Step 2 – Find log-in page and try to remember customer number and password… try to remember customer number and password … try to remember customer number and password… they said never write these down to keep them secure so they are very secure! However my brain works in strange ways and the number seems right so I enter it. Now for the password. This is different from the password I use for other things – It takes 3 attempts and numerous time-outs before I finally get both right. Yea! I’m in! Can check the balance – it is not enough 😦 so…
Step 3 – Log into another website to check some emergency funds that that I can draw on. Yes, there will be enough.
Step 4 – Download appropriate forms for these emergency funds at local internet cafe as I don’t have a printer.
Step 5 – Complete said forms, sign and take photo with camera, upload to laptop, save file as PDF and send off to company with instructions to transfer funds to my bank account.
Step 6 – Requested email of confirmation never arrives, so log back into bank when I wake at 5am local time to check bank account balance. I enter correct customer ID and password but it now asks me to answer an online security question. It was so long ago I set up these questions I am not sure of the correct answer – fail the first two times. Website tells me I have 2 more attempts before it will lock me out. Pressure is on! I choose to go to the next question – answer correct, then another question, answer correct. I am able to check balance and funds are there! Yea!!!
Step 7 – I go to security questions and change the first question so that I will remember if and when I get asked again.
Step 8 – Follow the steps to make one time payment to clear the current debt. Get part way through when the bank website comes up with – “You cannot complete this request because you do not have a registered mobile phone number”….
Step 9 – Check to see how I can register a mobile phone number – offers a number of options, most of which require me to go into a Branch and one that says I can call from overseas at my expense. Log out of bank website to think.
Step 10 – Decide to go to phone shop to buy extra credit on my mobile phone. Scratch card and enter number and receive txt to say I have more money on my phone than I have had in months. Yea!!!
Step 11 – Check phone company website for best deals to make international phone calls. Normal deal costs 5Le per minute but find deal for 1.5Le call fee plus 2Le per minute.
Step 12 – Call mobile phone company to register but automated customer service is at first talking in Arabic and I have to call twice to hear the mumble at the end that says “for English press #2.” Follow the process and register my phone number for the deal.
Step 13 – I again check my bank account – I remember the correct numbers and password easily now. Log out.
Step 14 – Call the International number for the bank in New Zealand between 7am and 11pm NZ time – I am calling at about 7am local time. I listen the automated answer service and after about 5 options finally hear the number to talk to a “Customer services Representative press 0” – Melvin speaking – in a kiwi accent! (as opposed to undecipherable Indian)
Step 15 – I tell Melvin I am calling from Egypt and I would like to register my mobile number so I can make an internet funds transfer. Melvin is very nice and helpful and asks me for my NZ mobile number. I have not lived in NZ for 5 years, I do not have a NZ mobile number, I want to register my Egyptian number. Melvin tells me I cannot register an overseas phone number. “But” I say to Melvin “That is not clear from the website. You mean I cannot register my overseas mobile number? Are you sure?” Melvin is sure….Silence.
Step 16 – Melvin says he can help me do it though. First I will have to answer some security questions – my customer ID number, which I now know by heart, my full name, my address (which is actually my sister’s who has now moved to Australia but I am not about to tell Melvin that – make a mental note to change it somehow although I have requested no physical mail to be sent).
Step 17 – While on the phone, he asks me to log on to the bank website and he will approve the payment as I do it. Website takes “forever” to load and I get really nervous that my credit will run out. Melvin gives me a number that I can call where I do not have to pay anything but I opt to continue as long as possible because he is helpful and I do not want to have to repeat the process with someone new. Step 18 – Log on to email account to make sure I have correct bank details for direct payment as I was not expecting to need them on hand while talking to the bank. Takes “forever” to open email account and with so many nerves by now I find it difficult to locate the exact email.
Step 18 – FINALLY I have both websites open at the correct pages and I enter all the details! Payment made! Thank you Melvin. As I am rating his performance my credit runs out….10/10
Step 19 – Send email to company that required the payment to say I have sent funds.
Step 20 – Wait for their reply. Fingers. legs and eyes crossed that I sent it to the correct account….
Now that was easy, wasn’t it!