Uniastrum Bank / Customer service
We have been ripped off by Uniastrum Bank which is based in Moscow, Russia.
The bank employs a group of inept staff, and applies non-transparent rules to secretly, unlawfully charge the bank customers.
Our story started on 22 January 2010 when we went to Orekhovo branch of the bank to open a bank account linked to a debit card.
I am a lawful foreign resident in the Russian Federation. I am allowed to reside and work without any restriction, and additionally to be treated like Russian citizens in front of the law. The immigration department of the Russian Federation has issued me a residence card of a foreign citizen (вид на жительство иностранного гражданина) to be used when dealing with all Russian organizations.
All the employees of the branch, their supervisor, and the branch manager said that the computer system of Uniastrum Bank does not accept my official Russian identification card to open the bank account as its number does not match the Russian identification cards. We told them about their mistake and we asked them to double check with the legal department of the Uniastrum Bank about my situation. After putting us on hold for a long time, they corrected themselves and accepted my identification document. They photocopied my identification document in full including the empty pages, and asked me to sign all the photocopies. They promised that the debit card would be ready by the 3rd of February. I deposited initial amount of 30, 000 Russian rubles (about 1, 000 US$).
When we went to receive the card on the 3rd of February, it was not ready as they forgot to photocopy one of the empty pages of my identification document. That was enough for me to conclude that the efficiency of the bank is far below zero. Thus, I decided to withdraw my money and forget about that bank. As I was carrying only my foreign passport with me on that day, they refused to accept it as a proof of identity (just to verify that I am the account holder). All our attempts went in vain trying to convince them that ALL my Russian documents depended on my foreign passport as the only source of valid information about me. Additionally, we made it clear that we were not trying to reestablish the identity as we were only using my foreign passport as a proof of identity. We also showed the Russian stamp on my foreign passport which has my name, my address, and my details written in Russian language.
They not only refused to cooperate, they also started to yell and speak in an impolite way. We asked them to check the situation with the legal department, but they refused. We asked them to call the police department to settle the issue, they also refused. They simply made their minds to give us hard time because we dared to prove their ignorance and inefficiency in our earlier visit to the same branch.
We went to the head office on the 4th of February to file a complaint about the situation. The complaint was filed with Mr. P. E. Neumivakin (Chairman of Uniastrum Bank) under the number 2644.
On 19 February, we received the official answer of Uniastrum Bank which stated:
• The branch made a mistake.
• A commission of discipline will decide the necessary action against them.
The bank failed to offer any compensation for our wasted time and the encountered trouble as a result of their inefficiency and carelessness.
On 24 February, we found that bank UNLAWFULLY charged us for the debit card which they did not issue.
We had to accept to be stolen publicly like that to get a peace of mind and go away from that ugly bank.
A sincere advice for everyone to avoid giving business to Uniastrum Bank as it applies illogical rules, employs inefficient-impolite staff, and unlawfully charges the customers.