Shinhan bank needs a little dose of reality thrown at them…

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…at least here in Busan.

I went to get some cash out of my bank account from Shinhan bank today. It’s one of the better Korean banks with services or literature in English. After opening my bank account with Hana before the new regulations for foreigners which makes it a bit more difficult for foreigners to get cards like ATM cards for 6 months, I finally got a second bank account with Shinhan because I thought I could start to do some online banking with them. Well, to my misfortune, they set the regulations in place & I’m ticking away the time it takes to get my access to my account online & my ATM card.

My friend also works for the company up north in Seoul.

However, today, I got one of the worst doses of service while here in Korea from a bank. I take my number as usual and wait. It wasn’t long before I finally was called up, but when I get to the teller, the guy is a tool. He barely smiles and asks what I want in a rude way. I tell him back in a somewhat cold way and just say give me some cash. Well, he doesn’t know me and so he basically just tells me after figuring out what I want to fill out the withdrawal slip. After I ask him if “that’s all he needs”, he starts processing the request. He starts to grab the 10,000 won bills and I asked him to give me 500,000 and so I thought to myself…this is going to be quite a wad. So, I ask him to give me 100,000 won checks which is the only way to get denominations above 10,000 won at this time (sometime in the next year supposedly, they’ll be making 50,000 and 100,000 won bills — about time!!!). He tells me, “…but you asked for ‘Hyun-geum'” (which is cash). I say yes, “…but can you just give me part checks and part cash?” He tells me it will be 100 won for each check. I am floored and say just give me the dang cash.

I check with my Korean friend later in the day and she says that seems wrong. And honestly, I’ve never been asked to pay extra for checks. I think this guy just wanted to make my life more difficult and be an ass about things. It may be true and if it is, I am going to lead the charge and the protest against banking with this company EVEN if they had websites in English. It’s just wrong.

I walked out of there thinking I have to do something for stupid acts like this which are TRULY against the consumer. Some days I really think that Corporations really do get away with murder and rape just because there’s no one with the same power who can fight back. Let’s think of you going against Microsoft by yourself? You can’t… You would need a lawyer and a bunch of people backing you…because they would have millions of dollars for any lawsuit or disagreement you had against them. It’s just wrong…simply wrong.


Filed under Business practices, Financial, Korea life, Opinions, Random thoughts, Stupid

3 responses to “Shinhan bank needs a little dose of reality thrown at them…

  1. This is typical of Korea. Protesting won’t help much. The thing is, he didn’t like you and when a Korean doesn’t like you, they will think of some nit picky rule that normally wouldn’t apply for the purpose of irritating you. If you ask the bank, they will probably produce some obscure rule that they charge 100 won for a check. They might ignore this rule for other people, but since the guy didn’t like you, he decided to implement it.

    I personally, would have probably paid the 100 won since that is a small amount of money to pay for the convenience of not having to carry a big wad. But I am probably more of a conformist than you.

  2. It is probably not him wanting to make your life more difficult as much as making his own life easier. Easier to count cash than to process a bunch of cheques.

    The one that cheeses me off is the myth — perpetuated by cell phone shop owners — that foreigners cannot have accounts under their own name. One guy was on the verge of refusing to change my account over from my last phone, on its last legs, and my new one. I had to explain to him that, yes, foreigners can have a phone account with SK if they pay a ridiculously big deposit and sign some papers at the regional main office. He only believed me when he found my account under my name, and even then he was wide-eyed. And just the other day, another foreigner was complaining about the stupid cell phone laws, and how she’s not allowed to get her own phone account.

    It’s organization. It’s all about proper organization and system. Which hasn’t quite caught on, it seems.

  3. There is a way you can get a cell phone in your account assuming you have a Korean friend willing to help you. The reason you need a Korean friend is that you need to put it on a credit card. Since most foreigners don’t have a Korean credit card they will need someone (probably your employer) to put it on their credit card. You would then of course, be paying your Korean friend to cover the credit card bill.

    Then after some time (probably 6 months to a year) you can then take the phone off of the credit card and then have them automatically take the money out of your bank account. When this happens, you will effectively have your own cell phone under your own account.

    I know this because this is what I did. I have my own cell phone under my name. The company I use is KT. However, having a friend who happens to work for KT helped a lot. I know that initially I had to put it in on my friend’s credit card giving him somewhere around 50,000 to 100,000 won to cover any expense. However, I think the rules were a bit more lax at the time and I was able to get KT to automatically take it out of my bank account after only 2 or 3 months.

    I really like this arrangement because I don’t have to worry about putting money on my phone. I just use it and pay the monthly bill.

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