Monday August 6, 2012 – Kinsale
I had a busy and somewhat annoying day Monday. I checked out my bank account on the internet and found there had been a charge against it for $50.06 from the Generator Hostel in London on August 6. I of course was in Kinsale , Ireland since July 30. In any case I called the Bank of America and after they gave me their speech about I would not be held responsible for any charges that I didn’t make, zero liability they called it, they took my info and asked me if I had ever stayed there. I told them NO , I had stayed in the Generator Hostel in Dublin for a bit but never in the one in London. That’s all the connection they wanted I guess because they said they couldn’t not honor the debit but I could get with the merchant for a refund if I wanted. I told them I never made the charge and didn’t want a refund but for them not to honor the charge since it still showed as pending and I did not make it.
That’s when the guy “talked with his supervisor” and then came back on the line and said they couldn’t not pay the charge and I would have to get with the merchant and all they could do was “follow procedure” and cancel out my debit card and give me another if I wanted. I told them of course that’s what I wanted as if I didn’t do that but kept the same card whoever did this unauthorized charge would certainly do it again. He acted surprised ( I guess because these guys are like most moneymongers clerks and always figure someone is trying to cheat someone) but said he would follow procedure.
I told him fine but I still want the unauthorized charge “not honored”. He said they had to honor it but I could call the claims department and talk to them about it. I have no doubt this is just a handoff and they are going to stonewall and do nothing else but stonewall as they had done before on that on other things.
So I contacted the Generator Hostel in London and sent them an email with a snip of the charge and when I called them back this morning (Tuesday) they said they had referred it to their accounts department and would let me know what they find out. So I guess I will let that play out before I waste time and cell phone time calling the BOA claims department who is just going to stonewall me anyway.
Before I called the Bank of America I took the precaution of going down to the local ATM for the Bank of Ireland and withdrawing €800 so I am in good shape till my new card arrives. I had them mail it to my address of record, so when it gets there they will have to mail it to my cousins house in Ballinasloe.
One thing is for sure. I am going to open another account and start using that for all lodging reservations, etc. I always pay my lodging in cash over here and so when I booked reservations for lodging and had to use my debit for that, this must be where the crookedness or mistake happened. From now on I will use my BOA card ONLY for Debit transactions. I am seriously considering when I get back to Ballinasloe that I will open a Bank of Ireland account or one at a bank that is more useful in Europe. I want a debit card that I can use in Europe without complications. I had assumed that the Bank of America had branches in Europe but this has proven not to be the case.
Or maybe I will open one here at the BOI in Kinsloe. This is definitely the place to holiday in Ireland. Flying into Cork airport would be no more expensive than flying into Dublin and taking the train or bus to Cork and then the bus to Kinsale. And much less hassle since you could rent a car at cork airport to get around.
In any case to explore southwest Ireland one needs a car and the best place to rent one is at the Cork Airport which is southwest of Cork, and so they wouldn’t get caught up in Cork traffic.
There are tons of gourmet restaurants (pricy) as well as others (less pricey but still pricey). Cork is a short drive or bus ride away at from Kinsale at about 18 miles (Cork Airport 13 miles). The scenery is awesome and if I had a car to explore the local area I have heard it is better still. I have been here since 30 July and walking around still haven’t seen everything. Of course in fairness it does rain a lot here as it does anywhere else in Ireland so some of those days I just relaxed or napped at the hostel or did homework on the next leg of my travels.
Still….If I were a tourist and wanted to enjoy the best Ireland had to offer my choice hands down would be Kinsale and the Southwest coast. Using Kinsale as a home base there are tons of stuff to do around town, and with a car rental the southwest coast can be done in day trips as well as Kinsale and the Ring of Kerry. Also Cork and Blarney Castle.
I was content with a hostel but there are tons of B&B’s here as well, and some good hotels in town.
So my plans are pretty much on hold since I am going to go into low spending mode for now till I get my new card and get it activated. Without a debit card I can’t rent a car so I will have to see on my exploring the rest of the southwest coast of Ireland. I could do it as much as I can by bus for now though.
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