Friday, February 28, 2014

Antiguan Bank Scam - First Caribbean Bank Steals Our Money

28 02 2014
Jolly Harbour, Antigua

 Until now we have used the system of ATMs around the world to obtain local currency from our Canadian based bank accounts.  No need to bring large amounts of cash when we traveled; we just hit the local ATM and withdrew funds as we needed.  The exchange rate was pretty decent too, much better than the VISA card fees.

Yesterday we had $2,000 EC stolen from us by First Caribbean bank.  

We used the First Caribbean Bank ATM at the Epicurean Market in Jolly Harbour to obtain cash to settle accounts we had with local tradesmen.  The ATM processed a $2,000 charge against our bank account but it did not give us the cash.  The machine kept it.

We contacted the bank immediately and were informed by them that they would do nothing about it but maybe my bank in Canada would do something.  According to the Antiguan bank representative "it is illegal for us to pay you the money we have kept from you.  Even if we went to the machine and found your claim was correct we could and would do nothing."

In Canada the law says stealing my money is a crime.  In Antigua the law says that a bank that steals a foreigner's money is forbidden to return it.

We are working with our bank in Canada to try to obtain some kind of relief but this is a months long process and success is not guaranteed.  In Antigua the banks are the biggest crooks and they always get away with it.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Universal Constants

24 02 2014
Jolly Harbour, Antigua

Meredith is once again a North American boat.  De facto not just on paper.

A couple of articles are due and are coming.

It was a crossing we are glad is over.

Arriving Antigua we chose a marina wihich offered "Free WIFI" pronounced W eye F eye over here and not the much smoother but wimpy W ee F ee used in Europe.

It is a fact that every bar and coffee shop and every ten year old boy with a jug of water on his back slugging glasses of H2O to weary caravans at 2 cents a glass can provide fast,efficient working internet to their customers.

No marina anywhere on planet earth, regardless of how much they charge for rent, can provide any internet of aerny kind for any period of time.  They do however maintain a list of excuses that similarly are universal.  Insults such as:

It is working. (this one works short term.  Soon people start showing up with their laptops and tablets in the marina office.  When this  Tppens the staff move to this:

The guy is coming to work on it this afternoon.  This works for about a week and then staff move to excuse number 3:

It is not us, it is the ISP or its less frequent variant We are changing services and there will be a brief outage.

So we sit in peace and quiet and calm, protected by marinas from any contact with the rude and annoying outer world.

Time for another beer.  I will check messages tomorrow.