Poor ol’ Cory at boingboing posts long and lengthy about the frustrations of getting a cell phone in the UK with “no credit.” Why can’t the credit agencies put their heads together to come up with a global rating system so that us trans-national workers can move freely about and immediately begin contributing to the local economy? I work with a bunch of ex-pats that have relocated from the UK and they all got shafted on their mortgages and car purchases because they essentially didn’t exist as far as the local banks were concerned.
I too had a funny experience when I tried to open up an account at Bank of America in Berkeley. I walked up to the teller with a wad of 10,000 yen notes that I had earned as English teacher and said that I wanted to open up an account using this as my initial deposit. The teller said that I couldn’t exchange foreign currency without an account. When I pointed out the flaw in their procedures and asked for an exception, she stuck to her guns and directed me to the Wells Fargo branch across the street. “I know they will exchange your currency even if you don’t have an account. Why don’t you go there, change your money and come back here? I’d be happy to help you then.” Needless to say, I never made the trip back to BofA and ended up banking with Wells Fargo for over 10 years.