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Thread: The joys of Aruba banking

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    The joys of Aruba banking

    Hi all,

    We received notification from ArubaBank that the debit card we have been using for the past 15 years was being phased out and replaced with a new card that could be used internationally. This sounded fine, UNTIL......

    We went to the bank as requested to get the cards application paperwork done.

    We left the bank and on the way home stopped to pick up some groceries. The transaction was denied.

    I then drove to an ATM at the bank and attempted a withdrawal, only to have the machine issue a statement that read " This card has been reported stolen or lost. We are retaining the card." So the machine ate the card. It was on a Thursday.

    I called the bank who advised me that they had canceled the card because they were going to issue new ones in the coming week.. That is really convenient. I explained we used the card frequently as we are on the island for 6 months at a time.

    After some back and forth calls, they agreed we would get our cards the next day.

    I called the bank and our manager later the next day. No one called back.

    I finally got to someone at the call center who had or managers personal cell number. She arranged for him to call us. It was now 4:15 pm Friday and the bank had closed until 8:00 am Monday. This set me off. The manager called and said he had the cards and to go to the branch and he would meet me there to hand me the cards for my wife and I.

    Problem solved I thought.

    We got the cards. On the way home, we stopped to buy groceries as we were told the cards were active and fine to use.

    At the store, the terminal gave an "Invalid Transaction" message for both cards.

    Back home to contact the call center. They told me to go back to the branch and use the ATM at the branch.

    After another trip back to the bank, my wife's card worked but mine did not.

    Back home. Another phone call to the call center. After many accusations of using a wrong PIN number, trying to access wrong account, that the merchant had screwed up the card, there was a pregnant pause until the person came back on the line and sheepishly told me the bank had linked my card to someone else's account. No, it cant be fixed over the phone....wait until Monday and the branch can fix it.

    OK. I was resigned for this but not what has happened.

    We went online and there are charges, even though the cards didn't work.

    These new cards are different from the old Platinum card we had. They have 2 methods of charge...Regular Maestro debit and a MasterCard debit from the account. It turns out that the merchant who attempted to charge the not working cards tried both Maestro and MC. Even though we were unable to purchase due to the card error, we have been charged for the transaction amount. In addition, the bank places a hold on funds to a certain amount when the MC charge is used. These holsd amounts are in addition to the purchase amount.

    Today after 2 days of dealing with them to get this corrected, we have been told by our manager that there is a process and it takes 4 weeks to investigate and refund.

    I love that Arubabank slogan "ARUBABANK....UNDERSTANDS"

    So if you are with ArubaBank and forced to get one of thesenew cards ( because they changed their system), be warned that some things with the card are not clear.

    Its always an adventure one way or another in Aruba.

    John
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Sue M.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by aquaman View Post
    Hi all,

    We received notification from ArubaBank that the debit card we have been using for the past 15 years was being phased out and replaced with a new card that could be used internationally. This sounded fine, UNTIL......

    We went to the bank as requested to get the cards application paperwork done.

    We left the bank and on the way home stopped to pick up some groceries. The transaction was denied.

    I then drove to an ATM at the bank and attempted a withdrawal, only to have the machine issue a statement that read " This card has been reported stolen or lost. We are retaining the card." So the machine ate the card. It was on a Thursday.

    I called the bank who advised me that they had canceled the card because they were going to issue new ones in the coming week.. That is really convenient. I explained we used the card frequently as we are on the island for 6 months at a time.

    After some back and forth calls, they agreed we would get our cards the next day.

    I called the bank and our manager later the next day. No one called back.

    I finally got to someone at the call center who had or managers personal cell number. She arranged for him to call us. It was now 4:15 pm Friday and the bank had closed until 8:00 am Monday. This set me off. The manager called and said he had the cards and to go to the branch and he would meet me there to hand me the cards for my wife and I.

    Problem solved I thought.

    We got the cards. On the way home, we stopped to buy groceries as we were told the cards were active and fine to use.

    At the store, the terminal gave an "Invalid Transaction" message for both cards.

    Back home to contact the call center. They told me to go back to the branch and use the ATM at the branch.

    After another trip back to the bank, my wife's card worked but mine did not.

    Back home. Another phone call to the call center. After many accusations of using a wrong PIN number, trying to access wrong account, that the merchant had screwed up the card, there was a pregnant pause until the person came back on the line and sheepishly told me the bank had linked my card to someone else's account. No, it cant be fixed over the phone....wait until Monday and the branch can fix it.

    OK. I was resigned for this but not what has happened.

    We went online and there are charges, even though the cards didn't work.

    These new cards are different from the old Platinum card we had. They have 2 methods of charge...Regular Maestro debit and a MasterCard debit from the account. It turns out that the merchant who attempted to charge the not working cards tried both Maestro and MC. Even though we were unable to purchase due to the card error, we have been charged for the transaction amount. In addition, the bank places a hold on funds to a certain amount when the MC charge is used. These holsd amounts are in addition to the purchase amount.

    Today after 2 days of dealing with them to get this corrected, we have been told by our manager that there is a process and it takes 4 weeks to investigate and refund.

    I love that Arubabank slogan "ARUBABANK....UNDERSTANDS"

    So if you are with ArubaBank and forced to get one of thesenew cards ( because they changed their system), be warned that some things with the card are not clear.

    Its always an adventure one way or another in Aruba.

    John
    This is really unacceptable. I hope this gets rectified very soon.Th3 Aruba banks seems very difficult to deal with.
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  3. #3
    Senior Member robin's Avatar
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    Unbelievable, unacceptable, frustrating and a real pain.

    We are on the island for half as much time as you are and opted not to open an account in Aruba. We use our US credit card for purchases. We use one of credit cards to get either florins for things we need florins for such as car registration, insurance, car wash, my class, etc. or US funds as needed. The credit card we use to get cash(US or florins) does not charge us a fee.




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  4. #4
    Senior Member schexc's Avatar
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    Really makes us have an appreciation for our decision to not open a bank account on the island.




    OUR COUPLE'S RETREAT. THE PEARL CONDO HOTEL EAGLE BEACH. CONDO ACCOMMODATES TWO ADULTS. YOU MUST REQUEST UNIT #8. https://photos.app.goo.gl/lRquP1F4VtxyZhR42 RENTING DIRECTLY http://www.thepearlaruba.com/. SEND PM BEFORE BOOKING FOR REFERRAL.
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  5. #5
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    Yes bank accounts on the island, they charge you to deposit money into your own account but they don't charge to withdraw......
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