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Unfiltered Story #256512

, | Unfiltered | April 8, 2022

I’m visiting Finland from Canada. I’ve been in the country several times and for extended periods, so I’m fairly familiar with how things work. I’ve just spent some 30 hours in planes and buses, and it’s the end of the day so I’m fairly tired. Here the ATMs have a yellow slot for magstripe-only bank cards, and a blue slot for chipped cards. I mistakenly put my chipped bank card in the yellow slot, and a bit too far: it takes it in, but the mechanism to get it back out can’t get it far enough for me to take it back, and after a moment, the ATM swallows my card, telling me to contact the institution that issued the card.

I’m not panicking, because I still have my credit card, but I do want to cancel the debit card and get it reissued. I check online for the best way to contact my bank.

Initially, I find a list of international numbers for specific countries, so I dial the one for Finland. The menu mentions “consular emergencies” and I get the feeling that it’s not the right number to call, which is confirmed quickly.

Another option is the Canadian number, requested through an operator. However, since the vast majority of the population don’t really own landlines anymore, there is actually no operator in Finland.

I end up contacting customer service through instant messaging via a social media platform. The agent asks for verification and casually mentions the previously mentioned options, which I explain are not available to me. After some 15 minutes, she confirms that online banking will be deactivated until I get my new card (which will be delivered to my home address in Canada) and with my approval, cancels the card.

Funnily enough, just the week before my departure, I’d reflected on the fact that I’d had that debit card for several years. I have a shiny new one now!

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