What is?

What is, abominable, alarming, appalling, atrocious, deplorable, depressing, dire, disgusting, distressing, dreadful, fearful, frightful, ghastly, grody, gross*, gruesome, grungy, harrowing, hideous, horrendous, horrible, horrific, horrifying, nasty, offensive, raunchy, repulsive, shocking, stinking, synthetic, tough, ugly, unpleasant, unsightly and SHITE! What? NH BANK South Korea, Customer Service!

pinwindP****** in the wind is something I am used to in Korea but the puff from NH Bank  is gargantuan and propels customer service to a new level of extreme incompetence and the customer experience to the lowest measurable level of quality .

I’ve become one of those grumpy old men who hate the bank and suffer from Meldrewitis.  You don’t believe it? Well believe! The definition of service is “TO PROVIDE AID AND HELP”, something this archaic, socially impaired, debilitated and decaying institution can only aspire to. Merry Christmas and maybe you’ll get your money in the New Year.

When I was introduced to NH by my co-worker, she helped me set up an account; I was told it was the easiest to deal with as it was the local bank in Eomjeong.  Later, as problems arose and took forever to solve, “That’s NH Bank,” she said to me. “Whatever you do don’t get an account there. They treat foreigners badly.” So why did she take me there in the first place?

Problems began straight away. After receiving my first pay check, I trekked down the street to our local bank branch office with a Korean co-worker, passport, residency card, school contract etc. in hand, needing to transfer money from my Korean bank account to my UK bank account. When we got to the bank branch, I took a number and waited for 10-15 minutes before reaching the counter. Once at the counter, we were told that they wouldn’t transfer my money at that branch. Instead, they told us to visit another bank branch 16km away in Chungju.

We caught the bus and headed to the next bank branch, where we queued again before being told we were in the wrong queue, the queue we needed was around the corner to the right.  My co-worker confirmed that there were no signs indicating this. When we reached the end of the second queue however, we were told to go to another bank branch at City hall some 10/15 minutes walk away. After hiking up the hill to the third bank branch, we were told that it would cost around 20 English Pounds to send the money but it was cheaper on-line. Unfortunately the woman who did transfers was not in work so I could come back on Monday (today was Friday) as they did not open on Saturdays. I was advised that if we went back to the previous bank they could set up my online account and it was easy to transfer that way.  We trundled down the hill to the previous branch, joined the queue and gleefully set up an online account.  At this juncture note, I now had a password for my bank book, a password for my debit card and another password for online banking (all different of course).  I also had to carry a card with codes on that I would need to complete my online transfer.

Smiling with satisfaction I arrived at work on Monday to discover that one can only complete transaction using an old version of Internet Explorer, NH do not support Chrome, Firefox, Safari or any other ubiquitous web browser. I the discovered that the “code card” they had given me was out of date. You guessed it I could not get a new code card from the local branch I would have to go into central Chungju (16km) and to the branch where the online account was created.  Some three days later I finally managed to transfer money to my English account though my co-worker had to use the Korean part of my online account to do it as neither she nor I could work out the English section. Obviously this means she was privy to all my personal transactions.

A week later we returned to central Chungju for “training” on how to use the Englishy section, it went well and my second transfer went like clock-work. 8 months on and 5 transfers later, I wired 1,300,000 w to the UK. Seven days later I received a call from NH to say I had to go to the Chungju City Hall branch as there was a problem.  Luckily I had a day off for the presidential election.  After a calming sauna I trundled up to NH City hall, I explained I’d received a call from them about a problem with my transfer, they took my documents and I was asked to sign a form. 45 minutes later I was shown a paper which said that I had 400,000 w in my account and the 1,300,000 could not be sent…… wait for it…… but they had already sent it.  Can I pay money into my account to cover the transaction or should they cancel it? Cancel it I said, I don’t have the 1,300,000 w.  They said OK this will cost you 8,000 w even though they had cocked up!

It transpires my 1,300,000 w had been taken from my account and was in cyberspace and that they were really sorry but it would be transferred back, it would take two days.  My sister then kindly paid my mortgage as it was late. I promised to transfer the money to the UK two days later.  Two days later no money, I’m then told to pay another 8,000 w to get the money back from cyberspace.  Mr. FOBY was a diamond here taking over all the telephone conversations and arranging (after they’d insisted I had to re-visit the branch) for me to fax a signed signature to them so they would re-instate my money.  That was last Thursday, today Monday still no money and a bank holiday tomorrow!!!!!!!!

I know this diatribe is serious but if anyone comes to live and work in Korea and you are asked or directed to NH Bank please say no!

I promise any readers that I will never again sully the pages of this blog with any mention of NH Bank.

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