Okay so… I check my bank accounts on a regular basis (daily, on average). Tell *claps* me *claps* why *claps* *smacks* …I log into my ING account to see a nice lil 100 EUR fee taken from my account?
Spoiler Alert – Main point of this post: AS SOON AS YOU START THE RESIDENT CARD PROCESS, CHANGE YOUR ADDRESS WITH ING AND CHANGE YOUR ACCOUNT TO A RESIDENT ACCOUNT TO AVOID A 100 EUR FEE. You can stop reading here if this is good enough for you.
Y’all remember my post Quick Tips for Moving Abroad ? Well, on that post I recommend setting up a non-resident account with ING because it was a GAME CHANGER for me. I had a debit card in hand and an account ready to go by my second day in Brussels. In the fine print, they mention there is a 100 EUR annual fee for non-resident accounts. Welp…that fee hit right after the new year. But the gag is, I had my residence card since October and my Belgian address since August. Basically, if you’re living in Brussels beyond 3 months, you have to get a resident card – which makes you a (temporary) resident of Belgium.
I took my sweet time getting around to changing my address, and then when I saw that fee I was like #*)@! So I send an e-mail to ING saying…..ayo…I’m a resident, can you give me my money back…I can show you my resident card… and they were like … nah shorty, once that money’s gone it’s gone.
So shout out to the homie Jason (he’s in my Fulbright cohort) because the same thing happened to him and he told me to fight it. (And you know…I usually fight these things but for whatever reason I was willing to accept defeat via e-mail). He goes…nah, you gotta go in person. 100 EUR is not small change, go in person, get in their face, and make demands. You gotta buckle down and negotiate.
So today, I went to the ING center, updated my address, and the lady said she’ll call tomorrow and have the fee reverse. #LookAtGod
Moral of the story… 1) be a responsible adult and handle business early! 2) Make demands, negotiate, and don’t take no for an answer. I need to take my own advice because it was by being assertive and doing something that I “thought” I couldn’t do that landed me extra funding.