This month I paid rent for the first time. I had to do it early because I was going out of town. What I discovered: I should have started the process earlier.
I went to the bank where I had opened an account to pick up my new ATM card and pay rent. I was successful in getting the ATM card. Rent, not so much.
I told the woman I wanted to transfer money from my account to the account of my landlord. She looked concerned and then explained that because of processing fees, this would cost me an extra 25 euros. I should take the money and go to their bank and ask to have it deposited there.
All for saving 25 euros I decided to do that, but couldn’t at that point because I was meeting a new friend for coffee. A post-coffee trip wouldn’t leave me much time, but how long could this take?
Coffee took longer than I thought so I hurried over to the bank of my landlord and discovered that the branch did not accept cash. Fearing I wouldn’t be able to pay the rent by passing off cash to my landlord’s bank and running short on time I went to a branch of my bank and explained what I wanted. They advised me the same way the other branch had, but I said I wanted to do it anyway. When I got to the counter where such transfers are made, however, it was 5 minutes to 5pm, when the bank closed, so she suggested I go to the branch that was 2 blocks away that closed at 6pm.
I went to the street where this bank branch was and saw another branch of my landlord’s bank down the street. With the hope that this branch would accept money I bypassed my own bank and went in. No, she said, we don’t take money here but we could open an account for you and then you could deposit money and then transfer money online and not even visit the bank. Thinking this was a lovely idea, I said yes, I’d like to do that. A half hour later I had opened an account but… I could not deposit money into this account until my ATM card was ready, in a week, when I’d be out of town.
So, still no rent paid.
Back down the street I went to my bank, the branch that was open until 6pm, and once again explained what I wanted to do. Once again I was told it would cost more. I want to do it anyway, I told the lovely young woman helping me. OK, she said.
First I needed to have money in my euro bank account. I had money in my lei account but not the euro account. Normally, I believe, I could transfer this money from my lei to my euro account at an ATM. But my newly acquired ATM card would not work until 10am the next day. So instead I had to take the lei I had and convert it into euro at the exchange window. I then took these euros and deposited them into my euro account.
Now, with euros in my euro account the bank employee made out a transfer form. On the first form she incorrectly put in my birthplace as my residence, so that one had to be ripped up and she made out the form again.
All was well until she talked to someone on the phone and found that because it was after 5 and the bank branch where I had opened the accounts originally was closed, she would have to do the transfer in the morning. No problem for me, but she had already written the date of transfer as today rather than tomorrow, so form #2 was ripped up and she made out the form again. Making a mistake mid-way through form #3 was ripped up and she made out another. Finally, form #4 was completed successfully and I was able to sign it and be on my way, a half hour after the bank closed.
Paying rent should be much easier in the future, but this first time was quite an ordeal.