Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Do you ever feel you should have been born with an independent income, sufficient not to have to battle it out with anonymous, disinterested institutions? Actually the problems I have been having would probably have been the same.

For months I have been handicapped because Paypal decided the credit card I had used ok for years was not ok anymore. When I tried to make a payment Paypal would tell me that my credit card had refused the payment and to get in contact with them. My credit card company would tell me that they had authorised payment every time and would even give me the authorisation codes. There seemed to be no getting anywhere. I spent 30 euros on phone calls to Paypal in some call centre in Ireland only to get operatives who could only answer questions from a set script and supervisors who refused to let me get a word in edge ways as they insisted on telling me the problem was with my credit card. Eventually my credit card company suggested cancelling my card and issuing a new one. This we did but it didn't work either.

In desperation (there are so many things you can't do without a Paypal account!) I decided to open a French Paypal account. Today I duly went along to my bank to ask them for a debit card on my account. No problem there except that in France you pay for them.

It is a bit of a culture shock after the UK were I never paid bank charges unless I was overdrawn and there is no annual charge on my credit card.

In France I pay 65 euros a year for the privilege of having a bank account and another 33 euros to have a debit card. I also recently discovered that the mysterious 11 euros deducted from my account was because I started paying my insurance by Direct Debit! So far then I am paying 109 euros a year for the right to spend my own money. Oh and did I mention that unauthorised overdraft in France is a criminal offence?

So grrr


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