Saturday, August 18, 2007

Give me the money back!

Some weeks ago I went with some friends to the beach and we went by car. As we cannot go to the beach with the car we have to park it in a parking lot. After two hours of traffic jams we managed to find a place and come to the beach to enjoy. After all fun and joy we return to the parking lot to take the car and come back home.

So, after queuing a quarter of an hour to pay, I decided to do so with my credit card, just to make it fast. And indeed it was faster than we had imagined: the machine took the card and put it out in nothing of time. But the parking was paid. We were happy.

A time after, checking my financial situation, I checked my credit card balance too: Surprise! the parking had been charged twice. So, I started with all the bureaucratic circuit to claim my money back.

First I called the credit card bank. They asked me to contact the company that charged twice and ask them gently to reimburse the money incorrectly charged. If after this inquire I didn't have a satisfactory reply, we could start a formal reimbursement claim.

Second, I tried to find out which company is managing the parking lot, or at least the automatic payment machines. I googled, and googled and didn't find anything. So, as a intermediate step, I decided to make a complaint to the municipality, asking for the information I was looking for.

Some days past and no response. Some further googling and no luck, no way to get in touch with the parking company. Therefore, I asked to proceed with the reimbursement complain from the bank. They sent me by post the forms to fill in and initiate the complaint.

The days I got such forms, I got a response from the municipality:

Dear Mr. Villegas,

You posted a message at about paying for parking in the corner of the Zwolsestraat and Harstenhoekweg. The pay & display machines outdoors in this area don't accept payment by credit card. For this reason it is difficult to address your question properly.

This brings me to the following. An explanation might be that you parked your car in the indoor car park Parking Scheveningen Bad. You may find this facility on the Internet at: . The company operating this car park is:


I got a phone number to contact the company. So did I, and surprisingly I talk to a guy who was in charge of the reimbursement of all affected people by the machines. They were going to credit the money back in a couple of days, I just had to wait and the money had to get back.

And, guess what, the money got back. The credit the second (and wrong) charge and the procedure was in practice finished.

This is just an example of how the problems must be carried out.

* You have to be patient, very patient. It took me three weeks in total to get what I wanted to.

* In all moments, the involved people just tried to make me happy, especially the guy from the guilty company. No excuses, just recognized their error.

* The drawback: I spent some time searching, talking on the phone and stressing myself thinking about how stupid I was by using this automatic payment machines.

* It was only for 10€... but finally I got what it was the correct thing.


Gonzalo said...

* In all moments, the involved people just tried to make me happy, especially the guy from the guilty company. No excuses, just recognized their error.
I think...
I could be really happy if someday, someone will have that kind of attitude here.

* It was only for 10€... but finally I got what it was the correct.
just for a moment... remember that only 10€ means a lot of money in Salta ;)
And even if it was only for ar$0,01... it's your money!

Warning spanish speaker here hehehehe :P

José Villegas said...

Well done pescau! Don't feel ashame about how you write (or speak) English. Reading and reading again my posts, there are errors anyway... I guess English will improve by force :)

About your comment, for those who don't know how things are in Argentina: if a company make a mistake (even if you have to pay for it) you are guilty. Or if they recognize you are right, they will obliviously do nothing to solve the problem, unless you insistently complain until they finally do it.

Here there is a very strong bureaucracy (or whatever you want to call it) but with a bit of patience they will do things right. It would be great if they can do things a bit faster :) (human nature: complain about everything)

Rogelio said...

Well, congratulations!
Actually when you mentioned that your credit card was charged twice I just thought it was a matter of time (and patience, lot of patience). In a couple of times I have done the mistake of paying twice for my health insurance (without realizing it) and after one or two months suddenly I discover that the insurance company had made a deposit into my bank account returning the extrapayment.

Anonymous said...

Me parece increible todo lo que tuviste que hacer para recuperar tus €10 pero me parece lo correcto. Yo también adecuado en el mundo en el que me muevo gambién hago lo mismo.... hasta peleo por $ 0.10 en el super cuando marca un precio en góndola y otro en caja..... hay que cuidar el dinero ,no? GABY

Adrian said...

10€, das ist sehr teuer!!! :-P
10€!!! ESTAS LOCO!!! NO SON SOLO 10€, SON 10€!!!!
En fin, yo por eso no uso la tarjeta de credito con las maquinas, despues no tenes a quien golpear :p
Cuando vuelven los posts bilingües? O tri? (asi practicas tu holandes!)

José Villegas said...

Bueno, eso de golpear la máquina o el individuo marca la diferencia. El tema es que te enterás cuando te llega el resumen...

Pues dado que mi inglés no es taaan rebuscado se pueden leer mis posts... es que traducirlos al castellano me lleva otro tiempo, que hoy por hoy, es escaso :P

Adrian said...

Era chiste lo del idioma, no hay drama con leer en ingles, mientras no me pidas que los comentarios se hagan en la misma lengua...

Gonzalo said...

En realidad golpear la máquina puede tener sus ventajas: en principio no se defienden muajajaja