Busy, busy, busy.

I’ve not had much time recently to be able to update some of my tings on the internets. So here we go with a little post.

I’ve recently had a look at my banks, I do really like N26, don’t get me wrong it’s never given me any issues. But at the moment with a little job change, I’m able to save a bit of money and the savings options aren’t available in France with them.

That makes things a bit complicated, I’ve had a look around with my options, I do hold a Livret A but since I don’t have a mega amount of money and the interest rate is a bit meh, it makes not a lot of use. There is an investment account with my French bank, but that requires me to go in to the branch every time I want to add money, which I ain’t got time for that.

But a while back I looked in to opening an account with Bunq, so I finished up the process and had a bit of a poke around. Which was a pretty good idea, since their savings options seem a bit more better and with the automatic rounding of transactions to put the change in the savings account is pretty spot on.

I’m not entirely sure that I’ll swap over immediately, but the next few months I’ll be at least giving it a try and seeing how I get on and if the savings rate vs monthly charge is worth it.

That’s about it for the moment, so there you go, I did a thing.

unsplash-logoJohnson Wang

A great start to the year

The usual new year fun of walking home as, although the RATP likes to shout that everything is free and easy to get home, it very much isn’t.

Not a single bus or métro runs near my house from the 1er, so lolz.

But to add on to this, my phone decided that life was too hard and completely died, meaning I’m slowly being locked out of accounts and unable to do anything at all.  Plus I’m completely uncontactable outside of my house, and for Whatsapp, just not at all contactable anywhere.  Happy days.

The irony is that I can’t even buy a new phone on a contract, since my banking app is tied to that piece of shit, it won’t allow me to authorise the transation.

So fuck you 2018, you’re already being a pain in the ass.

France, still very French.

People are all like « hey how’s Paris? » and by people I mean pretty much nobody.  For that reason I’m just going to tell you whether you like it or not.

I’ve been here now for two months and does the time fly when you’re working nights.  Like today for example I didn’t wake up until 20h, this is the equivalent to waking up at 11h on a weekend for most normal people.  It’s also a massive headache when you need to do laundry and your building restricts the times you can use your washing machine.

Most people think this is archaic, but it’s standard practice in every building I’ve been to in Paris.  Therefore I accept this as a social norm and the funky three day old underwear I am wearing right now.  Because I just can’t wash fuck all when I walk in at 3h.

The job is going well, still moving upwards two months in and I can’t complain (other than not seeing daylight for two months and having to pull a 28 hour day to be able to use my time on my day off).  I’ve had good things happen and moderately annoying things but all in all it’s well rounded enough to avoid the Pôle Emploi.

I’ve also had no end of bank drama, how anybody has the time or patience to open a bank account around here is beyond me.  They ask for what seems to be innocent enough things like an EDF bill, landline bill and proof of occupancy such as an attestation d’hébergement.  But what they forget to tell you is EDF tends to bill YEARLY and therefore 90% of EDF bills are absolutely useless not being issued in the last three months and if the fixed line bill doesn’t have enough information on it or usage, then they’re not interested and you’re back to digging the deep pile of paperwork you have collected during your stay in la république française.

I got past that problem (eventually), but I didn’t notice they put my name on the address.  Normally this is not a problem, but here, if you’re name isn’t on the mailbox, you’re not getting mail.  They dropped of the « chez… » part of the address which means I get my post via another person who is listed on the mailbox.  How quaint.

Once I discovered this I made the change and asked for my codes to be resent, which they did nicely.  But they forgot to inform me it takes the bank a couple days to actually change the address (although this is done there and then on the system).  My codes came and were sent right back by La Poste as my name wasn’t on the mailbox.

I went in yesterday and to my amazement I received what could only be called an apology by the bank, it didn’t include the word désolé, but it was close enough by French banking terms.  Now I’ve got to add another week to the three I’ve been waiting to be able to use my Carte Bleue.

However, with a mere sight of fore planning I asked for a cheque book.  In France as bouncing a cheque can get you in to actual legal issues with that in mind, you can understand why people can use cheques pretty much anywhere.  Cheques are in fact the only free method of payment here, considering you have to pay for your bank card, transfers, etc.

It’s even more handy to have as my card only has a 500€ spend limit a week and a 400€ withdrawal limit.  Gone are the days when that was my daily allowance.  The bank have let me know I can increase these later, but only around the 6 month mark they’ll consider looking at it.

After the pickpocket incident I can assure you this, the Police Nationale are about as helpful as a kick to the teeth, which again by the standards around me would seem overly helpful (because why do you need so many teeth?).

It might sound like I am writing this infuriated at the system and near breaking point (I’ve not even gone to the préfecture de police for my permis de conduiture yet or the marie for my carte de séjour) but it’s just a bit of adjustment that need to take place.  Nowhere is ever the same as the place before it and with the French bureaucratic system each person will give you a different list of things and level of assistance than the one previous.

But for today I will try and go up to Porte Dorée or anything to get out of the house.  Until then I’m wating for Franprix to open, which can be any time from their advertised 8h30 to midi.

Customer Service works (mostly).

Yesterday I raised a complaint with my bank over a direct debit cancellation that went quite wrong.

I called them up and said « this is the final payment, I need to cancel the direct debit for future payments ». Unfortunately it was cancelled there and then and the payment that appeared to have cleared was clawed back.

I got a shitty text message from the company the following day and a twelve quid charge to top it all off. I had to pay them by card and quite frankly their lack of waving in that fee wasn’t going to get my custom back ever.

Granted it wasn’t their fault, but the woman was a total bitch. That’s how you lose a customer, without a word of complaint.

I went back to my bank and explained the situation, they initially said they’d look in to it but when I got the call back it was pretty apparent they hadn’t bothered properly looking in to it.

What made that even worse is one of the managers who clearly fobbed me off as a moaner just sent as little possible detail to the guy who had to call me back.

This of course got a rather long and very concise complaint come through, about what would be realistically expected and how I felt that a company I trust with my money, I can no longer trust as they handled a genuine problem as unfairly as they possibly could have. To the point that their reason to reject my initial claim for the twelve quid charge was three words from the end of the call confirming the action and completely ignoring the twenty some odd minute conversation before hand.

They called me last night but I missed the call and they called early this morning but I was in bed. I managed to speak with them this afternoon and it was clear that not only had they looked in to everything further but also apologised for the break down in communication.

They also promised to return the charge I paid and in the last few minutes I got this sent through:-

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