Written on: 04/03/2008
They are happy to leave you stranded when their communications with foreign ATMs go down.
Purchased 3 cards over a period of 9 months. The two in use had worked well until 10 days ago, then ATMs in Moscow came back saying they could not communicate with the bank. Despite knowing they had a problem, they tried to cover up - this was exposed by my bank manager who had access to information I couldn't get. My son was stranded in Moscow with no money - couldn't buy food or the basics for personal hygiene. He is 16 and made history 18 months ago when accepted into the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. For 72 hours I was in communication with the bank but they offered no solution. My son was without money. I then had to fly to MOSCOW ON A MERCY MISSION TO TAKE CASH. I had to go overnight Friday and lose sleep as I am a teacher and that was the only time possible to take money out. I did it on the cheap as the money to go out had to come out of his training fund. We are not well off and all the money for my son's training comes from sponsorship. The bank know this but refuse to compensate me for the cost of getting cash to my son when they wouldn't do anything to get the cash to him. Their cards still don't work and they basically don't know how to solve the problems - reading between all the lines, their have been international changes with the ATMs that they didn't keep up with.
The problems are affecting many countries - so much for a safe alternative to cash/travellers cheques.