Friday, April 23, 2021

patience and service

Color me astounded.

I have been having a minor wrestling match with Banamex since last month. Not a full-blown lucha libre spectacle complete with identity-disguising masks. More like an arm-wrestling bout at the local botanero.

I received a letter last month informing me that because I had no activity in my checking account with Banamex for the past three years, my bank account was frozen. The announcement held out the prospect that merely withdrawing pesos or making a deposit would have a Lazarus Effect on the account (moving to mexico -- banks).

Like most easy promises, that one turned out to be not quite true. Instead, I had to talk with Sergio, the always-helpful customer representative at our local Banamex branch, who copied my bank card, immigration card, and passport, and filled out a series of documents requiring the signature of the bank manager.

I thought my account had been thawed -- if that is the opposite of a frozen bank account. But, when I returned two weeks later to deposit funds, the teller told me I needed to talk with Sergio, who dutifully went through all of the same steps one more time (moving to mexico -- banks part 2).

At the end of the process, he told me he would send the set of documents and copies to headquarters to determine if my account could be re-opened. When I asked whether the amount of money I had deposited with Banamex would still be in the account, he could not offer any reassurance.

Because I had not yet heard any word from Banamex on the account, I decided to stop at Banamex for another conversation with Sergio. Normally, going to Banamex on a Friday is the ultimate exercise in patience. But not this Friday. I was ushered to Sergio's window with no one in front of me.

I handed him my bank and immigration cards. He asked for my passport, but, of course, I had irrationally not brought it. Nothing can be done at the bank without one.

He clicked away on his computer and told me he could not tell me if my account was unfrozen because I did not have my passport, but if I went to one of the ATMs and conducted an account balance request, I might be pleased.

I did. And I was. My account is now open -- and, better yet, all of my money is there.

After reading several horror stories on Facebook about people who have encountered similar problems, I am pleasantly surprised at how quickly this little episode has come to a fairy tale ending. Or similar to a fairy tale. After all, I do not know how much "ever after" I have to live happily.

But today was certainly a good start.      

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