Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

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Transferring money to Switzerland costs an arm and a leg!

So I ordered a month’s online subscription to La Quotidiana, right?

And I got my username and password nearly immediately after ordering it, while the invoice (in a curious mixture of Sursilvan and Rumantsch Grischun…) came about ten days into my subscription.

There was a German bank account and a Swiss bank account given on the invoice; the latter in both local and international forms, while the German one was (IIRC) only given in international form (IBAN and BIC), though extracting the national form should have been pretty straightforward from that since the account number and bank sort code are encoded in the IBAN.

I sent an email to the address given on the invoice, in my best Romansh, asking whether I could send the money in euros to the German bank account and if so, how much they would like to have in euros.

When I didn’t get a response after three or four days, I decided to send money to the Swiss account. It couldn’t cost that much, I thought, but little did I know.

Today, Stella told me my “pocket money” bank account was overdrawn, which surprised me, since I thought I had kept track of money pretty well this month—but when I looked at it, they had charged me €47.94! For sending CHF 13.00!

And I have no idea where all those charges went; the description of the charge included my postal address and so there wasn’t enough room for the entire description, so all I got was “BTR: CHF 13,00 KURS: 1,462900000 EUR 8,89 GEB: EUR 10,00 EUR 1,55 EU”, which I take to mean that the amount (BeTRag) was 13 francs, equivalent—at an exchange rate of 1.4629— to €8.89, to which were added fees (GEBühren) in the amount of €10 + €1.55 + unspecified additional for a total of €39.05 in fees. Furrfu!

And now I know why Stella’s father doesn’t send her money from Switzerland by bank transfer…. I guess that’s what Germans call “Lehrgeld”.

Seriously, though, if I do renew my subscription (I had planned to let it lapse for a while), I’ll ask first whether I can pay in euros, preferably even into a German bank account. (Though from the way I read my bank’s website, I think that a bank transfer to Switzerland would not have cost me anything provided I had an IBAN and a BIC—which I did—and I paid in euros.)


Tags: banks, money
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