I’m behind on posting this week…mostly because of experiencing more red tape on the Rich Coast. My week started off on Monday with the internet dying. Eventually it came back on but while it was out, I remembered I still didn’t have an account number to pay the bill on my new phone/internet service and since they don’t send bills or any type of notification of when the bill is due, I decided to call ICE to get the account number so I could try to pay it through online banking (and find out when it was due).
The services are in my landlord’s name since I still don’t have my residency and they require a cedula (like a social security number) for any post-paid services. So I called, gave the representative the cedula number and asked for the new account number that was just opened last month. He then asked me for the phone number for the account which I told him I didn’t know. I then asked…can’t you just look up the account with the cedula? He put me on hold and came back, saying that he didn’t know which of the three accounts it was. I again explained it was the account opened in June (the other accounts were opened several years ago). He put me on hold again and when he returned, told me that the bill wasn’t due yet and he wasn’t sure when it was due. I then asked again…can I have the account number so I can pay the bill when it becomes due?
No, was his response. Argh. Now what? He told me that I needed the phone number in order for him to give me the account number. Seriously? I mean, really. After much more back and forth, I finally found the paperwork from the installation and gave him the phone number. Which he then proceeded to tell me – Yes, that’s the number.
The account number is the phone number. He couldn’t have just told me that from the beginning and I could have hung up on my cell phone and called my cell from the landline to get the caller ID? I don’t understand why everything has to be so difficult when really, it’s so very simple.
So then I went to the bank to try to open an account for my business (which I started this process in March 2013 so 16 months of trying to open an account). I thought I had all the paperwork I needed. Of course, as usual, I didn’t. And to make matters worse, the representative I was dealing with was a total jerk. Basically, what it came down to was two things: (1) one of the notarized documents was more than 3 months old and (2) my passport visa was expired. I told him I was in “tramite” but he didn’t care.
I contacted my attorney about the passport visa and he told me the bank was wrong and sent me a memo from the Immigration Department that was issued to all banks last year, stating that foreigners with applications for residency are allowed to open accounts without a valid passport visa.
Then I spent another $30 to get new notarized documents. And on Friday I returned to the bank and unfortunately had to deal with the same jerky representative. Who, even after reviewing the memo from Immigration, told me that he still would not accept the passport.
I had had enough at that point and insisted on speaking with the General Manager for the bank. Of course, when I presented him with the paperwork, he told me the same thing.
Enter my kick-ass attorney. Who got on the phone with the GM and basically schooled him in what the laws were for banks and immigration.
And 5 1/2 hours later, I walked out of the freezing cold bank (in which my allergies kicked in once again since I’m seriously allergic to the cold) with an account for my business and my clients can now pay me via bank transfer rather than via check. Which thankfully means I no longer have to make deposits with a teller and become frustrated when I pick #48 and they’re only on #28.