Has anyone had a run in with the banks ?
When I moved house I changed agencies (from one branch of Credit Agricole to another).
Due to a misunderstanding about the actual date of the changeover it seems that I still had two cheques pending on the old account which by then had all the funds transferred to the new account. You can guess the rest. Now I am banned from writing cheques for five years or so. No big deal you may say, but it was not my fault and I want to get the bastards back. Any ideas ?
Has anyone had a run in with the banks ?
Surely there’s an ombudsman somewhere in the French banking system?
Whatever you can do might depend on who has banned you from writing cheques. If its CA you might find a sympathetic listener, but if it was Bank of France then probably no chance
No letter(s) of warning? Were the creditors paid as soon as you were told? I am very surprised you were banned without the usual, relatively lengthy, due process being gone through.
Yes a bit strange there. Normally you get warning of being banned by the BOF and have a leeway to make things right asap. It dosn’t happen immediately the moment your account is used to write a chèque without the funds in it and then the bank would intervene first asking you to go in and sort it out. I transferred my CA account to the branch locally here from my old commune last year, I was given two months use of the old account and then it would close and anything left, transferred to the branch here automatically.
Try this crew Geoff…
You may or may not get a resolution, but you can be content that is has cost you nothing to cause CA hassle and cost them a lot to defend their position
Sorry @vero , but I’m not, I’m only surprised that things haven’t changed. Or maybe I’m not.
In the dying night of 1999 we had a grande tempete here which caused massive devastation. We were lucky, our damage was light compared to others but our village was cut off from the outside world for many days, weeks even. When I finally could get as far as the builders’ merchants I wrote a cheque for some materials.
The next thing I knew was a letter from CA saying that they had bounced the cheque and that I must surrender my cheque book for 10 years and that I had been reported to the Banque de France.
No amount of protests that I had been unable to pay money in because of of all the power being out to their computers and the little matter that our branch at least was on strike anyway. A couple weeks later they said that I could tell the merchant that they could re-present the cheque for payment and nothing more was said, no apology or explanation whatever.
It wasn’t just that, there was more to come before I kicked them into touch completely. So no, I am not surprised and I do hope that @geoff_faulkner manages to sort it out without further problems and then my advice would be to get rid of CA for good.
I think with CA, as they seem to be a federation rather than a single company with unified procedures, it’s always useful to know which geographical “Caisse” of the Credit Agricole is being dealt with.
French banks For forty years I have considered them overdressed, overpaid wasters. They really believe they are doing YOU a favour by letting you bank with them. I’m coming to the same conclusion about French insurance companies. This isn’t an anti France rant, it’s anti smug, lazy financial services rant.
I haven’t ever heard anything good about the CA, but that really is OTT.
I agree, and as newcomers, we had only arrived permanently in the September although had had the account for around 7 years since buying, it terrified the life out of us. We knew we were in the right but were at a loss to know what to do about it. Luckily somebody in the bank came to their senses and no more was said.
I must be in a minority here because for 32 years banking with them I have never had any problems apart from the wino cashier who hated everyone and everyone hatedhim but if you stood upto him, you had no problems. When OH died and I had to go in and sign papers and transfer the joint accounts into my name, they gave me €100 as a sign of their condolence and I have never had one single problem apart from getting my card swallowed inside the bank but it was a technical glitch. Here now at the new branch, they have been extremely helpful and even rang me to see how I was after I had to cancel a meeting to sign some papers due to a covid scare. Its a bank that pays dividends to it’s societaires, in my case hardly anything but no, after lots of aggro with CMB and Caisse d’Epagne with other accounts, I know where I will stay with.
We bank with CA in Normandy.
A couple of years ago, we had a problem where funds were slow in being transferred, and two chèques we wrote were not covered.
We got a polite, but firm letter from the bank, asking us to rectify the situation. No real problem cheques honored and funds arrived the next day.
Agreed, same thing for CA here in Lot et Garonne. The letter was pretty aggressive and I panicked a bit and spoke to my French teacher who phoned the bank and read them the riot act for being so aggressive to a newcomer to France and what sort of impression did that give (it was great fun listening). They backed down very quickly and it was sorted.
It is well known, and has been emphasised before on here, that most if not all French banks are not national institutions, but regional, and there are vast differences between the services provided and their attitude towards customers.
The alarming case I mentioned above was compounded later with a misrepresentation that almost amounted to fraud and an outrageous 30% charge to cash a German euro cheque. The fraud was when we opened a savings account (LEP) on a promise that funds would not be debited when transferred from England to it and debits already charged for a previous transfer would be refunded. When I tried to complain to the representative who sold us this nonsense I was told by the manager that she wasn’t there even though I could clearly see her behind him in the office.
Maybe we struck unlucky, we certainly did with the manager, who despite knowing us well for 20 years would still not acknowledge a ‘bonjour’ in the street if we passed him.
We had the same experience years ago with Credit Agricole in Ferney Voltaire. No understanding at all about problems that can arise when you are obliged to use cheque books and the delays in people cashing them. Banned from writing cheques but I cannot remember for how long. Closed the account and will never bank with them again. We’re now with La Poste - so far so good. All that being said the Banks here are antiquated, it must be the only country using cheques.
A lot of artisans prefer cheques and in a lot of cases will withold working untilpayment is in their accounts. Cheques are used if you want to buy something over the weekly limit of your bank debit card too and the obligatory two pieces of ID to cover them. I had to pay for my flat pack kitchen via cheque as the amount was too high for a card, same with all the artisans and for their materials who worked on my house. Elderly people who do not like automated systems prefer them also. Horses for courses.
But it is very handy having cheques as well as other means of payment.
Yep… the mobile shops which visit our village… they get paid by cheque… apart from the occasional visitor who might offer them cash…
Us too, but there is one big difference, La Poste is national.