So I went to the post office to send some documents to a TECO in the US. Was told by the TECO rep. that I need to send $xx amount in USD with a cashiers check from Bank of Taiwan. Get to the PO and they see the cashiers check and tell me I can’t send money through the mail. I told them that it was for official government purposes, clearly made out to the TECO rep. office, etc. etc. They’re not budging. They call someone at BOCA, goes around in circles. I start getting irate, the PO workers are clearly incompetent. I’m placed in an impossible double-bind situation. Get frustrated, tell them they don’t know what they’re doing, demand my documents back and go across town to DHL. No problems at DHL. Documents are off.
Anyone know why this happens? Is is about money laundering? This happen to anyone before? How did you deal with it?
Anyway, this is just one of those things I need to make a good old rant about. I love living here for the most part, but when shit like this happens, it’s still frustrating as hell. The lack of logic and the rigidity to sticking to the rules is just mind blowing.
I figure that at DHL, it’s a business, and they want to make money of course, so even though they did a “security check” of the contents of my shipment, they didn’t bat an eye once at the cashiers check that was among the other documents. The post office is a government bureaucracy and they have to stick to the rules I suppose. But seriously, it just makes me pissed off when this happens. Do they think that they are doing their job by making things more difficult for you and not really making a real attempt/effort to understand your situation?
Why would you show the check? Just put it in envelope and send by registered mail.
when I got to the PO today, I had no idea that this “wasn’t allowed.” If I ever have to do this again, I would conceal it or just use DHL, FedEx, UPS, anything but the bloody post office.
It was just there and as I shuffled my documents around, the clerk spotted it, asked if it was a check and I said yes. I had no clue.
And also, if it really is illegal to send money through the mail like this, why would the TECO rep. tell me that this was the only acceptable form of payment?
It’s not illegal to send money. But, there are rules that govern how much etc etc. The problem at post offices is that someone has to make a decision and it’s always safer to have someone else make it or just say no. That way no one gets into trouble.
A while back I tried sending some Taiwanese coins to a friend in Europe. At the post office they refused with a big “no” because money can’t be sent by mail. No other explanation. I asked them how it was possible for me to go online and buy coins that are then sent by mail to my address. I just got stupid looks. I then went to another post office and initially the guy also said that it was not possible. He said that it might be worth a lot of money or it might get lost. I showed him the coins. Nothing worth more than a couple of hundred NTD. I told him I didn’t care if it got lost or stollen. He then agreed and there was no problem.
I suspect that the main reason is fear of money laundering. But, in typical Taiwanese fashion, no one seems to be able to tell the difference between $100 and $10000. No thinking. No logic. Fear, fear, fear, don’t screw up, don’t take responsibility.
yeah, I think you nailed it there with the “fear” and “take no responsibility” attitude. that former attitude really drives me nuts sometimes. Taiwanese people avoid even the tiniest amount of responsibility like the plague. sure, Westerners do too, but not nearly to the same extent. for example in a Western office “hey, so and so isn’t here, can you give this to her when she gets back?” “sure, no problem.” in Taiwan, even something like that is asking way too much.
the amount I was sending was less than $100 USD. who knows what kind of major financial crime I could be committing with that? but seriously, the cashiers check was made out to a government agency for a small amount, they can’t even get their heads around that it was asked for by the government.
as for your situation with the buying coins online, where did they come from? domestically within Taiwan or from abroad?
This right here, at many more places besides the post office. I empathize with the OP.
Abroad. You can go online and buy any kind of coin and have it sent to you by mail. The whole thing is so stupid. I suspect that this mentality is one of the biggest pet peeves most foreigners have with Taiwanese culture/people.
I went to send a letter to UK last week, old lady said no because I had written Taiwan return address in English and no registered post to UK!
Go to another one different part of Town Same letter not adjusted sent registered no questions asked.
Who knows! Sometimes a jobsworth is doing the job, sometimes the jobsworth has the day off. Like someone else noted: this problem exists in way more places than the odd post office branch. That’s why I always recommend asking at least two or three different people (not at the same location/time/date) to find out what the REAL answer is.
Sometimes they just BS because they don’t know and don’t want to ask. So they just make up a reason. It’s fine, if you know that’s how the game is played. Other times, the bureaucracy screams through tasks that take ages back home. You win some, you lose some. Don’t sweat it!