Thursday, March 31, 2011

Need Visa for Germany

Back in February I ordered a horrendously-expensive new bike.
Made in Germany.
Their only outlet in France is in Paris, so I chose to order it from a dealer in a village near Baden-Baden.

The ordering process seemed to go OK, in a mixture of German, French, English & gestures.
Though I was a little surprised & dubitative when they didn't ask for any deposit or ID at that stage.

So I was relieved when they eventually rang to say it was available & I was again surprised when they suggested I take it for a ride, still with no deposit.
Unfortunately, the German/French/English/gestures had failed to get over the message about the non-standard chainwheel I wanted, resulting in a couple of weeks delay while they found & fitted the right parts.

I went to collect it, finally, this week.
Naturally enough, I pulled out my Mastercard.
And was more than surprised to be told they only accepted Visa!
"In fact, Germans usually pay cash" said the assistant, adding that Visa-only was common in small towns, though I don't know how true that is.

Of course I am aware that, in Germany, low-margin supermarkets often don't accept credit cards, instead usually having convenient cash-dispensers available.
But not high-margin sports goods dealers.
That must be the first time in 30 years I have heard of anybody accepting only one of Mastercard/Visa.

The happy outcome was that I left with the bike, merely promising to transfer the money to their account!

All I need now is their IBAN number & I am still waiting for them to e-mail me that.
I can't imagine such trust in France.

The bike is fine, if depressingly black.
The brightest bits are the tyres & chain.

Parting thot: "If you owe the bank $100 that's your problem. If you owe the bank $100 million, that's the bank's problem." - Jean Paul Getty

No comments:

Post a Comment