Questions of Cash: What a pain with Spain when I tried to get my Santander cash
Friday 08 November 2013
Q. I have a current account with Santander in Salamanca in Spain, where I taught English during 2010. I was unsure if I would return, so I kept the account open containing €1,600 (£1,43.50). I now know I will stay in England but I have been unable to transfer the money to an English account. I have online access to view my account, but it turns out this is insufficient to make a transfer of funds, for which I must prove my identity.
Each time I phone the English-speaking call centre in Spain I am told something different. It seems I must go to Salamanca branch to prove my identity and sign security forms, but I am unable to. I have written to the branch – in Spanish – to send me the forms to make the transfer but I have heard nothing.
I visited my local Santander branch in England and asked if I could open an account with them and have the balance transferred. They said the two banks are separate and they cannot help. Their advice was to take a holiday in Spain and get the money while there. I need the money for living expenses, not holidays! I cannot believe that in the digital age the only way for me to access my money is to visit Salamanca in person.
RP, West Yorkshire.
A. This has proven a surprisingly difficult challenge, but after several weeks and several false leads we eventually succeeded. Although Santander Bank in the UK is separate from Banco Santander in Spain we realised it would be much easier if the UK bank could provide introductions for us to resolve your problem. Introductions were made and initially it seemed that the matter would be easily resolved.
We were given the phone number of an English-speaking Superlinea service – 0034 91 273 7090 – which we were told would enable you to make the transfer after answering some standard security questions.
We were also told that your branch in Spain was "not aware" you were trying to make the transfer. However, when you made the call things did not work out as we expected.
Again it seemed you would have to provide proof of identity in person, involving a trip to Spain. We made fresh contact with Santander's head office in Spain, and it was then agreed you would email the Salamanca branch directly to state you instructed the branch to close the account and provide details of your account in the UK to receive the funds. You were permitted to prove your identity by attaching a scan of your passport, to enable the release of the funds.
That did not immediately work, as the branch apparently did not receive the scan. Eventually, however, everything worked smoothly and your account was credited with over £1,400.
The bank says that to avoid problems like this customers should make arrangements while still in the country for remote access to an account. Its spokeswoman explained: "It is normally a simple process to arrange phone and internet access. However, once a customer has left the country security procedures make this much more complex. Banco Santander has an English-speaking phone-banking line for customers in Spain, but a customer has to be previously registered for phone banking to use it."
Orange made me see red over my mobile
Q. I lost my iPhone in early February. I informed Orange and it blocked my account. I then signed with EE for an iPhone 5, but decided a few hours later to cancel the order.
It was too late to prevent the handset being despatched, so I had to refuse it on delivery. EE was to cancel my new contract and refund all charges when the handset was returned. Despite repeated requests EE never repaid the money and owes me £70.
I ordered a new iPhone 4s from Orange, but the SIM card did not work. A new SIM card was despatched, with a new PAC code for me to keep my phone number.
My new handset showed my old number on my handset, but a different number on recipients' handsets.
A few weeks later the voicemail stopped working. In September, when I was moving and needed to be in regular contact with my solicitor and estate agent, my phone stopped working altogether. My husband phoned my number and a stranger answered, saying she had just bought a phone and my number had been allocated to her! I phoned Orange and terminated my contract. It refused compensationand is still collecting money from my account.
A. Orange, part of EE, said: "We apologise sincerely that [the reader] did not receive the high standard of customer service that Orange strives for. We have offered [the reader] a gesture of goodwill, which she has accepted." Given the scale of your problems we hope it was reasonably substantial!
Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But we'll do our best to help if you have a financial dilemma. Email us at: email@example.com
Will your credit card rewards be scrapped following new EU rules on charges?
Bargain Hunter: First Utility's Cosy deal lets you heat your home from anywhere
What would happen if you put a statistician in a casino with £1m?
Simon Read: 'The fight must go on over equality on expat pensions'
More people are switching current accounts – but what do the figures mean?
- 1 Woman 'suffocates newborn baby in plastic bag and puts it in her desk minutes after giving birth'
- 2 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 3 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 4 Teaching profession headed for crisis as numbers continue to drop and working lives become 'unbearable'
- 5 Chinese student carries disabled friend to school every day for three years
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove
iJobs Money & Business
£24000 - £26000 per annum + benefits : Ashdown Group: A highly successful, glo...
£50000 - £55000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Business Analyst - Financial Service...
£18000 - £23000 per annum + OTE £45K: SThree: At SThree, we like to be differe...
£20000 - £25000 per annum + competitive: SThree: Did you know? SThree is the o...
Day In a Page
This six-bedroom home is set amongst three acres of grounds. Currently a large family home, Clift Hill has potential to make a B&B, subject to change of use permissions.
A former period coach house, Glebe Farm Stable is now a three-bedroom cottage with a double car barn, office, kennels and an outbuilding that's currently used as a gym.
Set sail for this four-bedroom farmhouse in Cowes. With five acres of land and an indoor pool, this home oozes character. There is even potential to let a one-bedroom annexe.
Surrounded by woodland, this five-bedroom manor house has plenty of outdoor storage space in the form of three converted loose boxes, two smaller outhouses and a woodstore.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with a double carport, useful workshop, garden and two walkways that offer views of the adjacent countryside.
With space for an equestrian business, a greenhouse for growing your own veg, a wine store and a gym; this five-bedroom home has all the ingredients for a country retreat.
This four-bedroom home has exposed brick chimneys and a vaulted ceiling in a breakfast room that's ideal for summer entertaining - the doors open to the patio and garden.
The decked roof terrace of this two-bedroom flat is perfect for summer drinks while large windows and ample storage space make for a light and spacious interior.
Surrounded by approximately 15 acres of grounds, this six-bedroom grade II-listed home has been extensively refurbished yet retains many period features.
This four-bedroom home comes with a two-bedroom cottage and commercial office, with planning to extend, in a stunning courtyard setting.
In a pretty Norfolk village, this four-bedroom family home is surrounded by landscaped gardens, with even a self-contained annex for guests.
A few miles from the seaside at Perranporth, this four-bedroom farmhouse sits amongst nine acres of idyllic grounds - including a lake and two barns used as holiday lets.
This five-bedroom home is arranged over three floors of a converted Victorian hospital, offering spectacular views of the Pentland Hills - only three miles from the city centre.
This four-bedroom detached home comes with grounds that span to approximately 2.5 acres, as well as two large patio areas and a double garage.
This four-bedroom cottage is a Grade II-listed town house, well-located for the thriving market town of Nailsworth.
A four-bedroom apartment on the ground floor of a stunning period property in North Yorkshire, with two kitchens and a large south-west facing garden.
This high-spec two-bedroom home is part of a smart collection of new flats at Beaufort Park and has a large decked balcony that's perfect for summer drinks.
Capitalise on the fabulous views of Trevone Bay by taking two homes and creating one spacious boutique B&B. Just a cliff-top walk from Padstow.
Overlooking a golf course, this six-bedroom Edwardian detached home spans four storeys and retains many period features including the original, operational servants' bells...
On the edge of the city, this six-bedroom home comes with an outdoor swimming pool and a large garage block that has annexe potential.
In a Grade II-listed manor just outside of Bath, this three-bedroom home is arranged on two floors with a skylight in a vaulted roof line.
Open the living room's bi-fold wooden doors to reveal a retro-style kitchen, and a conservatory leading to a paved garden at this three-bedroom home.
A Grade II-listed, four-bedroom home, in a charming Somerset village, with a two-storey studio that could be converted into a holiday cottage
A modern four-bedroom Victorian home, within walking distance to the high street
A luxury apartment in the Gothic mansion of Wyfold Court in Kingwood, offers six bedrooms spread over three floors and a turret
This school conversion, near Stockwell Tube, oozes New York loft style. The one-bedroom flat features double height ceilings and exposed brick work
This six-bedroom Georgian home is on three floors with open fireplaces, a two-oven Aga, an annexe, and cottage gardens with outbuildings and a car barn
High Crest House covers an impressive 9384sq ft, with almost three acres of grounds including a tennis court and summer house enclosed by electric gates
A six-bedroom farmhouse with separate accommodation in converted stables. Situated in the village of Church Aston, within walking distance to the market town
A two-bedroom flat with under-heated walnut floors and bespoke built-in storage. The Tube and Clapham Common are a short stroll away
A refurbished seven-bedroom townhouse with staff quarters, cinema room, superb gym, steam room and plunge pool
A minimnalist four-bedroom home designed to the highest spec, featuring glass walls and a kitchen space lit by a glass roof
Hibernate during winter and make your living during the summer at this busy guesthouse with panoramic sea views, in the village of Lynton
A four-bedroom penthouse next to the Tate with direct views of St Paul's from two floors of luxurious living space
A four-bedroom detached home surrounded by spacious gardens and woodland, close to New Pudsey
An 18th-century, three-bedroom home near Langstone Harbour built from ships beams with vaulted ceilings and wood burning stoves
A five-bedroom semi-detached home with a mix of period and modern features in a popular and convenient location
This five-bedroom red-brick beauty overlooks the village green and sits in just under two acres of land
A three-bedroom villa with self-contained flat, minutes from Lake Windermere
A five-bedroom Victorian home with four receptions, superb gardens and paddock in Pembury
An eight-bedroom house on the south side of the The Green with cinema, wine cellars and summer house
This 17th century beauty is full of rustic cosiness, while the detached home office means you can also run a business
Four exclusive apartments in a Grade II-listed former medical school with 2,275 sq ft of living space and 18ft ceilings
A five-bedroom terraced house on the popular Peterborough Estate, ideally located for both Eel Brook Common and South Park
A state-of-the-art farm-building conversion on the former Cliveden Estate, with 11,420sq ft of internal space, cinema and wine cellar
Windsor Castle overlooks this three-bedroom Victorian cottage located on one of Windsor's smartest roads
A boutique mews house, set around a central courtyard, with three bedrooms and a private roof terrace
A four-bedroom farm-conversion with three bathrooms and two reception rooms