Peru: Week 4

Hello yet again everyone and welcome to the exciting 4th eddition of my blog. In this post I will share with you all a truly harrowing tale of my adventures with ATM machines and airplane tickets. The defining experiences of week four, and part of week five here for me have been a rather unfortunate series of problems regarding my finances. Mainly, the inability to acess them. This is a problem that many students have run into here. In hopes that you may avoid such problems, and that should they arise you will know what to do should you decide to study abroad (an interesting, if at times stressful experience), I will share with you these experiences. In a way, I like to think of myself as a pioneer of sorts, blazing a trail through trial and error, and sharing the knowledge that I have gleaned with future generations of IU students.

In order to properly preface my story, let us go back in time, for a moment, to July. It was in July, whilst getting my things in order, that I realized that should my bank, which will in this blog be referred to as esahC (but seriously, it was Chase...f***ing Chase),  would probably grow suspicious in a month or two when all of a sudden money was beginning to be withdrawn regularly from my account in Peru. Therefore, in order to avoid any problems, I called their customer service and informed them the dates of my trip, and that I would be using my account in Peru. They thanked me for my notice, and told me that my card would function properly during my trip. They were, however, mistaken.

After making my first witdrawl here in Lima, esahC promptley decided to shut down my account. Needless to say, being stuck in a foreign, developing country without acess to money was less than an ideal situation. Thus, my mother and I worked with their customer service branch for customers overseas, and the situation was quickly resolved. My problems, however, had only begun. You see, the next time I attempted to withdraw money from an ATM the machine told me that my order could not process and then, promptly deducted the amount I tried to withdraw from my account anyways. Upon learning this, I was understandably upset and called esahC yet again to try to resolve the problem. They told me that they would credit me what the machine had charged me, but assured me that the problem was with the machine, and not my account. I tried yet again the following day and encountered the same problem. And the following day, and the following day, and the following day. Each time I called esahC's customer service for help, and they were unable to resolve the problem. Eventually, they told me that I was basically on my own and that whatever wasn't working was not their problem. With rent due soon, and not being in the habit of carrying around hundreds of dollars/thousands of soles on my person, this would very soon prove to be quite a problem. I had begun talking with the local program coordinator in order to see if there was anything that she could do. The situation, was looking quite grim. By some miraculous chance, I accidentaly sent my debit card through the wash at the laundromat because I had forgotten it in my pants. After realizing my mistake I decided to try to make a withdrawl again on the off chance that damaging the card somehow fixed my account. Suprisingly, it did, and just in the nick of time. Therefore, my advice any future students who want to study abroad in Lima would be, if you have an account with esahC (remember, its Chase), cancel it right now and use another bank when you study abroad (i.e. not Chase).

I shall now leave you with a photograph representative of a typical esahC international customer service representative and their policy towards international students having problems acessing their account.

(Also, they are all toddlers, I forgot to mention that earlier)

Untill Next Time,

Christopher Moore

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