So I just had the most frustrating experience with Discovery/FNB
Sup mense. So I had this bad experience with Discovery/FNB that I just have to share, and this is as good a place as any because with 62 000 subs, I have a disproportionately large avenue to voice my frustrations, and hopefully damage their business, because I really am that petty. It all started this morning. I'd had a killer sesh at Virgin Active and I went to Spar to go get some water and gum or something. I reached for any card in my wallet, and out popped my discovery card. I got it about 6 months ago when I needed to boost my credit rating a bit, and it's one of those pre-funded credit cards. I put the card in, the chip gets in smoothly, and I key in my pin. Then came those words, the words you fear every time you swipe with a card which is dangerously low. "Sorry sir, it says Declined". How could this be? I have a deduction which goes off on the first of every month from my main account into this account and I hadn't used this card since April. So it should have all that money, right? Wrong. I call FNB, they tell me that apparently my account has gone into overdraft and they need me to pay that overdraft fee or else. I phoned my main bank, which tells me that there was no deduction from Discovery this month for my credit card. I phone my bank back, and the man on the line tells me that because the 1st of May was a public holiday, they made no deductions, and then they couldn't the day after either because they had technical difficulties. But I still need to pay the overdraft fees. When I pressed him about this he says "Why can't you just pay the money?". Now admittedly, it really isn't that much money. I just got this card to boost my credit score and thus my monthly deduction isn't huge and my overdraft fee isn't in and of itself worth concerning myself over. My issue is with the sheer level of incompetence and attitude that I've had to deal with. Firstly from the bank itself. How do you forget to deduct money, not notify me that there has been no deduction this month, and then the first I hear about it is with an SMS threatening my account (and therefore credit) status if I don't pay my overdraft. Also, you can't just ask me why dont I just pay the money. That is an incredibly insensitive question. Literally have no idea how badly an unbudgeted for expense can affect the average South African. Just doos behaviour all the way through.
I have to travel overseas and need to pay for things like accommodation, car rental, conference fees, etc. My bank, FNB, says that according to the rules of the Reserve Bank of South Africa, I cannot perform any foreign exchange transactions. I have a 3 year visitor's visa, not a work permit, and that makes me ineligible for foreign exchange services as well as a credit card. This is very restrictive and I need to find another bank. Does anyone have any experience with HSBC? Can I open an account online without visiting a branch in person? Will FNB allow me to transfer money from my FNB bank account to my HSBC account? Can I then use the HSBC account for forex? Will HSBC give me a credit card? I have credit cards from outside SA but I cannot pay the bill from my current earnings because I am not allowed to do a wire transfeforex.
Advice/information on transferring savings overseas and closing bank account
I am moving overseas and need to transfer my savings out of my FNB account. I want to do this after I have moved, since I want to keep my South African bank account active for some months, so that I can get my various security deposits back, and have an account connected to my debit and credit cards that I want to keep using until I get a new bank account. I have a few questions about this:
I am thinking doing this through Forex after I get a new bank account overseas. Will this be simple? They ask for supporting documents to justify the transfer when one applies for a Forex transfer - what should I have to provide, in my case?
Will Forex be cheap? I could only find rates from 2012, it says the commission is 0.5% for outward swift, but there seems to be a cap of R 660. Does this mean that they will not charge more than R 660 in fees, regardless of the amount?
Is it possible to close a bank account remotely from abroad, without walking into a branch?
Is there any way to know when the rand will get stronger again? Then I can wait and transfer the money at an opportune time.
I know I could ask the bank all these questions, but I have had pretty frustrating experiences with FNB over the last few years, so I want to ask reddit first and get some crowdsourced information/experiences in case I get conflicting/inconsistent answers from the bank. Thanks!
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