You just don't trust your money with people this incompetent…
Your credit card has expired because...
I'd been a customer for over three years. I joined nordea when I first came to Norway because it was the closest bank to where we first lived and my wife already had an account with them. So that's how it stayed...
Until my credit card expired.
I knew it was going to expire but everyone kept telling me "don't worry. they'll send you a new one in the mail." Of course nothing ever arrived in the mail, my credit card expired and I was left out in the cold.
So I went to the bank (the central branch), took a ticket and sat in line.
One hour later my number was called!!
I explained my situation to the clerk to his surprise. Once he checked up on my account i heard "ahhh, your personal number has changed, we need you to open a new account with us."
Your personal number is your central identification number in norway, kinda like a tax file number, or drivers license number, but you use it for absolutely everything. The first six digits are your birth date, but immigrants, until they obtain residency, have the first digit swapped with a "6". I'd gotten my residency just months after getting my first account and had long forgotten about it.
Now, since I had a new personal number, the bank considered me a different person and I had to sit there for another hour filling out every form again to start a brand new account! Boy was I pissed! But it got worse.
When we were almost finished, the friendly clerk says "now we need your photo to put on the card". Obviously the photo from previous card couldn't be used as it belonged to someone different
The clerk then added "and we (the central nordea office of norway) don't have a camera so you need to go out and get a photo done and bring it back".
Right, good one mate. Having no choice out I go to find a photo booth. When I get back, roughly 3.10pm, the bank has closed. In disbelief I ask the guard if he will let me in so I can deliver this stupid fucking photo of myself. He shakes his head. I very carefully explain my situation, show him the photos, and beg some more. He lets me in. I think this was the first good thing that happened to me that day.
I hand the photos in, and a week later I get my card and I got a warm fire to sit in front of again. Happy days. I was hoping not to have to go back in a hurry…
I'm sorry that's a different department
A few weeks later my mortgage payment in Australia bounced. My fault, just not careful enough management of funds between accounts, made worse by having to use my australian credit card in the above fiasco. I logged into nordea internet banking to transfer some money down under. I couldn't log in. Username/password not accepted. I'm sure I had the combination correct, but I anyhow went to the "Forgot your password" page and click the button promising to send me my password again, and settled in to wait a few days.
When the envelope arrives, instead of containing my password (for anyone to read) I get a letter explaining that since I'm a new
person with a new
account I need to read and sign all the internet banking conditions again and send it back to them.
I'm really pissed now. I'm starting to suspect that nordea are the guys sitting on the not-so-spoken-about marijuana stash supplying all of scandinavia, and that the employees are helping themselves to it on the sly. dirty bastards.
So i sign the form, whack in into the return envelope, and place it near the front door meaning to post it the next day. My fault, my wife picks it up and throws it in the trash.
So the next monday I go into the central branch, ever so reluctantly, again. I take my ticket and wait. This time I was smart, I brought my laptop so I could keep working. After just a little under an hour my number is called.
I sit down in front of the clerk and proceed to explain my situation. She replies that I must use the internet banking page to get my password. I re-explain that I need to sign the form first. Same answer again. I re-re-explain. Same answer again. I ask to speak to the manager. The manager is not so friendly but further down darwin's evolutionary chain. She understands my predicament, rings the internet banking department, explains to them my problem, then hangs up the phone, turns to me and says "they are sending you the form again".
I don't loose my cool very often but this one did it for sure. At this moment my brain definitely wasn't shorting out on the blood supply.
"Lady, do you think I came in, waited an hour, had to repeatedly explain myself, so that I could tell you to send me a form, and then to go home, wait for it, sign it, and then post it back to you? Could you please print this form out for me so I can sign it right here right now and this blasted mess can be finished with (and my mortgage payments put back on track)? This is your central branch, don't tell me your don't have the form here, or that you can't print it out for me here and now."
To what I get "Sorry, internet banking is a separate department
. We don't have their forms, all that can be done has been done."
I stormed out. Dirty motherf&?#%@s. My money they had. My friggin money they charged me to use. Now they wouldn't even let me get access to my money because of a lack of customer service and a change in my personal number.
Who the hell did they think they were, ever so important, that I was wrong in this situation and that they didn't have to lift a single finger more than neccessary to help me get my money out of my daily account.
I was ready to change my bank. At the end of the day, if I'm going to fork out my money on something I need a basic level of customer service, and I also need to feel confident that a bank holding my money is competent in doing their job.
Out with Nordea, In with SkandiaBanken
I almost joined StoreBrand because of a tv advertisement that they were running that had a touching message and my dissatisfaction with nordea. It's the one with the guy standing on a helicopter landing pad on the top of a skyscraper. And I usually don't give ads any attention at all.
But after asking around (special thanks Turid and Gunleik) SkandiaBanken
was recommended. It's an internet only bank. No transaction fees and very good international transfer rates. I checked up with them first to make sure their website would work with Opera or Firefox, on linux, because I believe in Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Software, and Freedom in general, and I don't make compromises on this. Since they officially supported Opera I joined up.
My first impressions:
The website is incredbily clean and efficient. The simplicity of the design works throughout all of the website, making the user interface very simple yet effective and quick. I was pleasantly surprised. Websites don't often get this good. Ontop of this all the little things that websites so often have problems with, eg the back button, reloads, none are these are a problem at all. Their level of security
is fantastic, they have their own CA (Certificate Authority) and require you to download a personal certificate to identify yourself. These guys know what they are doing in the world of the internet, none of this silly pin code generator shit you have to carry around with you everywhere you go!
Manage your bank account:
The tools and calculators available to use once logged in is brillant. You can analyse where your money is going on. You can set up saving plans. You can download your transaction history in a number of formats to use with excel, gnucash, MYOB, or whatever. None of these things Nordea had.
The difference in bank fees looks outstanding. My initial guess is that, with SkandiaBanken, I could be saving myself upto 300Kr per month in bank fees!
I get back to you on this one in a few months with the proof…
And, so-u-know, SkandiaBanken works with Firefox on linux without any hickups :-)