Last week, before our road trip to Tequis, Nick tried to withdraw some money from the ATM. "Operación no está disponible. Intente más tarde (Operation not available. Try again later)." Más tarde (later) we tried again, to no avail. Obviously, we weren't going to get any money out for the weekend, but we had around 200 pesos ($20) and our credit card to get us through. Fine, lessons learned: 1) always keep a stash of cash at home because ANYTHING can happen here and 2) don't wait until Fridays to withdraw money.
The weekend passed, and on Monday, we gave a call to customer service because we were not only having problems withdrawing money, but our online banking hadn't been working for nearly two weeks. Customer service, too, was having some computer issues and asked me to call back "más tarde". Several calls later, I find out our account's been CLOSED and am directed to my branch to find out why.
Más tarde the next day, Nick and I trek far over to our branch. **Note to all newcomers: open your account where you will live or where you will think you will conduct most of your banking** We stand in line, wait about 30 minutes (for the bank, that's amazing!), and find out that the government closed our account because we had a US address registered as our main address. HUH? Where'd the money go?!? He says, "Come back más tarde with the appropriate documents to reopen your account and everything will be fine."
A few days later, when Nick and I both have a good half day to devote to this endeavor, we trek over once again to our branch. Documents in hand, we are about to step in to the branch, excited to see a really short line, and we are stopped. The guard says, "The systems are down, regrese más tarde." MÁS TARDE ME BACK MY MONEY, HSBC!!!
30 minutes más tarde, we return and find things up and running. Without making this story too much longer, I'll just say that another Friday's gone by and we still don't have our account reopened. When we both find a full day to devote to the matter (because I don't think half a day cuts it anymore with getting things accomplished at the bank), we are going to march in there, get it done, or else we're taking our money out and shoving it under the mattress!