Customer experiences with Postbank

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Thought I would share my experience with postbank. I moved to Germany about 3 months ago. In my second week here I went with a colleague to a Postbank branch in Halle to open an account. I still speak very little german, but thought that once an account was opened I would have little reason to do any banking in person.

During the process of entering my details into their computer system something went wrong and the clerk apparently had to switch to paper forms to complete the process of creating a new account. That was the first indication of a less than perfect system.

 

My new bank card arrived just over a week later. Curiously, no PIN, online banking password, nor my requested credit card followed. After waiting a week I contacted Postbank and learned that the envelope containing my PIN and online banking information were returned to the bank as undeliverable. This was partly my fault as my name was clearly displayed on the letter box of the guesthouse where I then resided.

However, I was told that a credit card had not been issued. Apparently not enough information had been obtained from me, so the application was ignored.

A request was made by the clerk I originally dealt with to re-issue my PIN number and reprocess the application for a credit card. Apparently she mailed that request to Postbank's head office. I received nothing for two weeks then contacted here again. After many phone calls and help from my German-speaking colleagues I learned that the letter she had sent had never been received by Postbank's head office. It really started to concern me that Postbank had such trouble with communication. After several weeks of waiting and occasionally calling Postbank to enquire about the progress of this debacle, I arranged a second appointment during with the clerk recorded my complaints and she faxed them with a request to refund all fees to the Postbank head office. I told that I should wait for another two weeks for something to arrive in the mail, but if it doesn't arrive I should call them. Not surprisingly, after two weeks and another round of phone calls there is still no resolution. I received a replacement EC card during the week, but the PIN has not yet arrived. Today I tried to withdraw cash from a Postbank ATM using my old card and to my horror, it refused to give me cash or to return my card. The card, it seems, had been deactivated before I could use the new one.

 

So after a dozen phone calls, 2 appointments and 10 weeks I still don't have access to basic banking services. It is true that I can do most transactions in person at the bank, but that is inconvenient and difficult for me when not one staff member (I am told) speaks English.

 

Needless to say I will close my accounts with Postbank as soon as I can my account with another bank is ready to use.

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Welcome to Germany.

 

Postbank takes a while to process things ... and just for your info, the card and pin are NEVER sent together. They are always separated by about a week. Perhaps you should be a bit more careful about providing the correct address (or properly displaying your name where you live) and stuff-ups like that won't happen.

 

Calling for a boycott of postbank services is a bit steep, if you ask me. Oh and just a reminder - you are in Germany. People speak GERMAN here. Don't expect any other bank to offer more English services than Postbank. :rolleyes:

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I'm with Postbank, mostly because it's not costing me anything. As a result, I expect very little in the way of customer service, which is about what you can expect from any bank here, regardless of what you pay per month.

 

You may have better luck with some other bank here, but it'll cost you, and also depend on the day of the week, how much you smile at the person behind the counter, and the star-sign of whoever processes your application.

 

Good luck.

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When I signed up with the local Sparkasse, I found the employees helpful and pleasant. But it still took four weeks to get the EC card - and that was a transaction where nothing was going wrong! One thing I have learned about Germany, is NEVER expect anything to happen quickly. Not bank accounts, not furniture deliveries or anything. My take on it (and I know the other TTers will disagree, but here goes anyway...) is that Germany is a very security oriented culture, where people move less frequently and change jobs less often, so nothing is set up to be done quickly or at the last minute. They just don't live like that. The bummer is when something needs to happen urgently. It's either not going to happen or it's going to cost you an arm and a leg.

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Milton- you make me laugh. Kinda true though.

 

I've banked with Postbank for over 5 years now. I find there services very fair and reasonable since there is no monthly fee. I've never had a huge problem with them. Yes, sometimes things move slowly but if you keep records, names, etc and follow up on things- it will work out. (But that's with anything in Germany, right!?) I love Postbank's online banking and find their call service to be good as well. If you do ask, there is usually someone who can speak English in the call centre.

 

Good luck & don't switch banks now- all other banks will go through the same procedure and time in getting you a card and PINs.

 

And welcome to Germany. The land of annoying frustrations for auslanders whom don't speak German. :)

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And welcome to Germany. The land of annoying frustrations for auslanders whom don't speak German.

Quite right. Foreigners in the UK, US, Australia and New Zealand who don't speak English have no problems whatsoever in getting anything done. In those countries people bend over backwards to help those unable to communicate in the national language and banks shell out for translators so that Johnny Foreigner with his low-deposit, low-volume account that earns the bank around $6/year can feel comfortable.

 

And "WHOM don't speak English"? WTF? That's worse than the "myself" bullshit. Learn to use your fucking mother tongue correctly.

 

woof.

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@rvg: We chose Postbank only because the other banks HVB and Dresdner both refused to serve us unless we make an appointment with them, which was at least one week's wait while we saw a whole group of staff just standing around the counter with nothing to do! WTF! Along the same street, we came to Postbank and thought most likely the same "no appointment, no service" but we decided to walk in anyway. The guy there pulled out 2 chairs for us, tried his best English and we got an account opened that day. ATM card was received so was PIN. No problem. I guess we have different experience.

 

Question to others with Postbank: What kind of account do you have that it is free? We have to pay something like 5 Euro a month!

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Question to others with Postbank: What kind of account do you have that it is free? We have to pay something like 5 Euro a month!

Check the Postbank homepage, it's right there staring at you. I mailed a letter two weeks ago, and the clerk also asked me if I'd already heard about the free account. Then he forced a brochure at me, which I proceeded to dump into the next available wastepaper basket...

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Check the Postbank homepage, it's right there staring at you.

Thanks for pointing that out to me!!

 

@Allershausen: Thanks for the link.

 

I knew that Postbank has a Girokonto which states that "ab einem monatlichen bargeldlosen Geldeingang von 1.250 € (Gehalt, Mieteinnahmen, Rente, etc.)" i.e. if you have a regular monthly income of €1250 which is difficult for me as I'm not paid in Germany. My question was directed more to MattT and Strawberrystar who have been with Postbank for a whiles. Just want to know if they have another type of account that is free at Postbank.

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Yep, that's the one. Sorry, maybe I should have qualified "free".

 

Of course, I'm not getting any interest on whatever's in that account, but note that there's no minimum monthly balance, so there's nothing to stop me (regularly and automatically, even) moving savings into a Sparbuch or similar.

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Of course, I'm not getting any interest on whatever's in that account,

Really, because according to that link I posted you should be getting 4,5% on your money. I must say that it seems too good to be true, but I haven't really read it through. These things tend to have hidden conditions in them!

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It's one of those overcomplicated marketing gimmicks: To get it, you need to open two accounts: A current account and a moneymarket account. The 4.5 % are only on the moneymarket account, they are capped (i.e. subject to a maximum deposit), and anyway only valid for 6 months...

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Ah, ok. Then what you need is an account like the ING -DiBa Extra konto, which allows you to transfer money from your normal giro konto with any bank and back again at the drop of a hat. I've got one of these and it works really well.

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I say use Citibank. You only need to maintain a minimum of 2500 Euro in a month, you earn 4.5% interest, AND the best is, transfer to any Citibank in the world for free! Apparently also withdraw money from anywhere in the world for free. I've only done the transfer to a Citibank outside Germany and I can testify that it's free! :)

 

Well, we have the Postbank only because we needed a bank account so that we can have an Alice DSL at that time so we'll close Postbank soon! :)

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You get 4.5 % interest on your Citibank current account? Really?

I get 3.25 % (which isn't bad either...), and that's also what their website says. Can you share more details? :unsure:

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@tom_a: Yes. 4.5%. I did read :lol: my contract when I signed up. Sorry, I won't scan and post it here for you to read ;)

 

Remember to ask the bank for a "tax-relief" if you have an interest earning bank account.

 

Edit: And when you go to Citibank Online Banking, you can choose in English too!

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Must be a top-secret offering, because it's neither on the Citibank website, nor was I able to find it via Google... :blink:

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