Alone Like a Rolling Stone

Who has such partners, needs no more enemies

There's always something, and this story already has a certain lead time. But because I wanted to wait and see how it would develop, I hadn't mentioned it until now. We have arranged our finances so far that we have selected several banks of our confidence, in order to remain flexible. At these banks, we then opened an account and each applied for a credit card, which with no income, was already the first challenge. The existing banks, i.e. our house banks, have proven to be reliable partners to this day. However, the account maintenance fees are also correspondingly high. Like many sailors or also non-sailors, one falls back nowadays, more and more on direct banks. Advantages are the non-existent account maintenance fees and worldwide access via the Internet. At least from our side, we consider these banks as our partners, who support us in our circumnavigation, in which we can pay worldwide with credit cards or access our cash at ATMs. In the meantime, these direct banks are really hitting their customers in the pocket. The free account, as it is called from the advertisement, exists thus at most still in Europe, at the latest on the Canary Islands is thereby conclusion. On average, the costs are just as high with foreign use, cash fees and third-party bank fees as with the house bank. We have accepted this, although always with a certain displeasure, because we were finally promised something different, but if a credit card does not work, there was always a backup.

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What we think about it

In January of this year, we receive mail from ING Bank. They had found some account movements in Panama that raised questions. Since the cash at ATMs, for foreign credit cards is very limited, we have gotten used to pay in the supermarket with credit card. We use cash only at the market or when we buy a little something. So the amounts are between 30€ and 150€. In the letter, we were asked a lot of questions that we should answer by the end of January. Among other things, whether we had a residence in Panama or how long we intend to stay in this country. Somewhat surprised, we answered all the questions in time, with the indication that if there are still questions, we would be happy to provide information.

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Always good to have a lifeboat

The next letter from ING Bank was then the termination, which is quite legitimate under the terms and conditions, and can be done by both sides, with a notice period of two months. There was no justification for this from the bank. Also we gave no reason. Since shortly after the account opening, account fees were introduced, if no regular receipts on the account is ascertainable, we set up a standing order, which kept the account always in cover. After asking for what reason the cancellation, we got no answer. The next letter was, we should indicate to which accounts the balances should be booked or transferred. We answered this as well and indicated one of our house banks. In the meantime, we stopped the standing order and also stopped using the credit cards. Two days before the termination date, we received another letter expressing our pleasure to have opened a new account with ING Bank. As you can certainly understand, if you are not now employed at ING Bank, we could not get out of the amazement. We also immediately complained, but all this was of no use, the old accounts were closed, the order to transfer the accounts including the deposit was ignored and the balance was credited to the new accounts at ING Bank. Three days later, we received a new notice, telling us to specify the accounts to which the funds should be transferred. In the meantime we are on the Pacific Ocean and have no internet connection. Arrived on the Gambiers, we fill out the forms again with a 2G connection and send them with much effort to the bank. The cancellation date is confirmed and we wait for the things to come. Since we cancelled the standing order for regular payments on the first cancellation date, the bank naturally debits the account management fees for an account that I did not even open. I no longer have access to the securities account, neither to the old nor to the new one, since I issued the transfer order. So I have not been able to access the securities account since January. The termination date was yesterday. Today we get a letter from ING Bank that the cover amount on our account is too low and we are urged to restore it. We continue to be anxious.

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Nevertheless, the coffee still tastes us

But first, let's deal with my health. The arm is still hurting because, as was clear from the beginning, I can't keep it still. Our neighbor boat, which we met for the first time in Vista Mar and which arrived on the Gambiers last week, has some problems on board. I fix his charger and disassemble his outboard. In the night the arm starts to hurt and kills my sleep. Gaby has after 23 years then also no more pity and thus I try me thus at the ING bank to abreact and hope that your partners, also in difficult situations, partners remain. Wish you always fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.