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Old 29.10.2011, 19:36
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Postfinance Euro debit card at Aldi in Konstanz (FAIL!)

To quote another American on EF, I got the stink eye today. It wasn't in
Switzerland it was in Konstanz, Germany. So I went on my first cross border
shopping trip to see what Konstanz has to offer.

I bought some things in the Aldi supermarket. I tried paying with my
PostFinance Euro debit card. It has the "PLUS" sign on the back so it should
work with the vast majority of Visa/MC network. I was wrong. Somehow
sliding my card and entering my PIN managed to freeze the cashier
machine. The checkout girl had to call her manager over and reset the
transaction. People behind me gave me the stinky eye as I held up the
queue by a few minutes.

I ended up paying in using cash in CHF because I didn't have any Euros on
me. I have two questions about my bad Ausländer behavior:

1. Did I press the wrong buttons or Aldi in Germany do not accept debit
cards in the PLUS network? Anybody else have problems paying with
the PostFinance Euro debit card in Germany or France? I got this
Euro account specifically so that I can shop in Euro countries without
carrying a lot of cash.

2. I read about the green forms to claim back VAT taxes. Where do I get
those? I caused a lot of trouble at the checkout so I didn't want to
complicate things by asking them for this green form. The Kasse is
where one should ask for it right? Even at supermarkets like Aldi when
I'm buying food? Is there a minimum amount that I must spend before
I can ask for the form? I was buying lunch so it wasn't a lot of money.

thanks
DavidSJC
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Old 29.10.2011, 19:45
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Re: Postfinance Euro debit card at Aldi in Konstanz (FAIL!)

I use EUR cash although I have the PF Euro card ( prevents me from spending too much within CH ).

If shopping in Aldi Süd often, you might want to get the Aldi Süd Global Blue Tax Refund card:

Shopping in Konstanz, Germany
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Old 29.10.2011, 19:48
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Re: Postfinance Euro debit card at Aldi in Konstanz (FAIL!)

3. It was just a computer hiccup.

I've had the same thing happen with my UBS Maestro card several times already at various places over the years here in Switzerland. Face it, it's a computer, they can freeze up anytime unexpectedly and for no (apparent) reason.
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Old 29.10.2011, 22:19
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Re: Postfinance Euro debit card at Aldi in Konstanz (FAIL!)

My experience is that debit cards generally always work in cash machines. For the machines in shops, it seems to be kind of random behaviour if it is accepted or not. I have experienced this with Postfinance cards but also with EC-cards.

Best is to use either cash or a credit card, although a credit card may not be accepted in Aldi.
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Old 29.10.2011, 22:34
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Re: Postfinance Euro debit card at Aldi in Konstanz (FAIL!)

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Is there a minimum amount that I must spend before I can ask for the form? I was buying lunch so it wasn't a lot of money.
David, you can't export your lunch, you have to display the items at the border, and regurgitated lunch will not be recognisable.
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Old 30.10.2011, 22:15
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Re: Postfinance Euro debit card at Aldi in Konstanz (FAIL!)

I was talkimg to the checkout girl in a German Aldi some weeks ago.
It seems it is a common problem for the card reader to seize up for minutes or even hours if they do not like the card.
Can be a simple error like inserting the card with the magnetic stripe on the wrong side.
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