Yet another banking saga
So I decided to set up an "e-account" through Popular. I used a friend's address, which isn't a lie since I may end up crashing there if I can't get my stupid stuff worked out to move into the dorm. I entered my address here as the mailing address. Well, my security question was my mother's maiden name. And when the card came, the paperwork was all in Spanish, and my card said Stephanie (last name) (mom's maiden name). Also, the card wasn't a Visa debit as I'd requested--only a regular ATM card. So I called the 800 number that was on the tiny little blurb in English on the card paperwork. I waited on hold for 45 minutes for a representative to fix it. Finally she answered, and I explained the problem. She quite honestly didn't speak enough English to understand the problem. So I thought, no problem, didn't spend all that time working as a translator for nothing, and I explained to her in Spanish. She said that I had to go into a branch to request that they change the name on the account. With--get this--proof of my "name change." I said, my name hasn't changed. Your company listed it incorrectly. Plus I requested a Visa debit. She said, well, I can send you the new card, but you have to go into a branch first and request the name change. I asked her how I was supposed to do that when I am currently in NORTH CAROLINA. She said, I can't change the name unless you go into a branch. So finally, I just told her that I wanted to speak with her supervisor. She put me on hold for another 20 minutes, while she was supposedly getting the supervisor to the phone. That never happened. Finally, the same rep came back to the phone and said that just this once, her supervisor said that they could change the name as a courtesy to me. A courtesy? They were the ones who screwed it up! But supposedly my Visa card with my real name is in the mail. I just hope it gets here before I leave. This so doesn't bode well...
Just to clarify for ya that in Puerto Rico your legal name would be first name - middle - paternal last name (a.k.a. the last name from your father) - maternal last name (a.k.a. your mother's maiden name) and it would appear like that on pretty much everything from IDs to bank accounts. I know you're moving to the VI and not PR (which is why Popular should've done that), but I'm just explaining why that happened.
Sorry you had such a bad time, Steph. I've dealt with FirstBank VI's home office in San Juan several times, both on the phone and via e-mail. I guess I was lucky. The service was always pleasant, professional, and in English. (My Georgian is better than my Spanish.) Hope you get your card.
I had a few bucks left over once and bought some shares of banco popular. So far they've decreased in value almost 50%
On another note, we went into First Bank to get some traveler's checks for my son, since they wouldn't do a wire transfer for him since he doesn't have an account there and I didn't have enough in my account to cover him. He had cash for the traveler's checks, but they wouldn't issue them to him! My Lord, even cash isn't good enough here! Banks here are in it for the money first, last, and foremost, and definitely NOT here for the customers.
Antiqueone, just curious -- they wouldn't let you deposit the cash in your account and then give you the travelers' checks?
Stephanie, you have just had your first lesson on why we have to do almost everything in the USVI in person and not online! kimmykun is absolutely right; they set you up correctly -- for Puerto Rico. If it were me, I would cut my losses, close that account, and start fresh when I arrived on island. It will probably give you nothing but headaches if you keep it.
Banco Popular sucks anyway! They are cautious these days with converting cash to anything as they were fined 22 million dollars a few years back for money laundering for some South American drug dealer.
i just opened an account with banco popular also, but did it in person on st croix, so that has worked out alright. they told me i could do online banking the next day, but ended up taking several days. what they didn't tell me which would have been so simple to mention, is that you have to use your atm card 3 times before the password gets connected with your account, and you need to give them the password to your atm card to set up the online banking.
the visa card came very quickly, like 3 days after opening account, so that was impressive. box of checks came in 4 or 5 days, which also seemed fast.
one more unique thing about BP. I have used their service for over 8 years now. I know how poor the service is at any branch in STT. It takes them forever to get anything done and there are never enough tellers. I use their internet banking a lot. I transfer money from my savings to checking all he time. And I have overdraft protection. Every now and then I overdraw my checking. I CAN NOT TRANSFER MONEY FROM MY SAVINGS ACCOUNT TO THE OVERDRAFT ACCOUNT UNLESS I AM AT A BRANCH. EVEN IF IT IS A FEW CENTS!
how stupid is this!
Well, obviously it would have been my correct name if I'd been A. in PR and B. actually FROM PR. As I explained, I worked for years as a translator. Also, my ex-husband is Honduran. So yeah, I do have a slight familiarity with Hispanic culture.
When you get a driver's license in Puerto Rico, they list your legal name on your license as first, last, mother's maiden -- no matter where you're from. Interesting that the banking system does the same thing automatically.
I feel your pain. However, you did give them a VI address (many, many Puerto Ricans in the VI), they ARE a Puerto Rican Bank. When they asked for your mother's maiden name, did they say it was for security reasons? You can just think of this as the first of many "duh?" moments. It seems that policy always takes precedence over common sense when dealing with banks and government offices, (or Kmart, for that matter).:-)
Well, my corrected card reached today. It was right, at least, so I called the number to activate it. It said, as a reminder, you have to go into a branch to set your PIN to begin using the card. AAAaaargh!
You got your corrected card in less than 5 days over the holidays? Impressive.