The N26 nightmare – the end?

… finishing the story.

Three months that I was trying to open a bank account with N26. Three months that I was struggling with this nightmare. We’re unable to offer you an account due to legal requirements. I had nothing left to lose; I contacted the N26 chat to obtain some explanations. N. told me, I had to wait…

“To wait for what? And for how long?”

May 12, I was still waiting for their Customer Service to help me with my registration and to let me know what could be the irregularities with my identity (see The N26 nightmare – part 7). Oh naïve, right? I was waiting – not even knowing what I was waiting for. An email? A confirmation? An invalidation maybe? I was still hoping indeed that I would be able to open an N26 account. After all, there was absolutely no reason – or legal requirements, whatever it means – that could stop me to do so. Again, I fulfilled all N26 criteria (see A “real” bank – N26) and I was a freelancer, namely a micro-entrepreneur.

As suggested by the title of this post, this should be the last on this mini-series about my N26 disastrous experience. Could a nightmare have a happy end? I have already provided the obvious answer to this question; still, it’s time to conclude.

My last attempt

I was not expecting anything from the chat; still, I contacted them – one last time! I wanted to end an indefinite wait, but also to know what I was supposed to wait for. However, here was all L. told me: “I cannot help you, your case has been escalated. You have to wait.” I didn’t have the opportunity to ask anything actually – or, to say thanks and bye, for that matter – L. had slammed the chat door in my face before I could.

Apparently, ineffective customer service and blocked accounts are the main complaints N26 customers have – along with sign up troubles, of course!

Not receiving any help, or even an answer, via this channel, I tried to contact N26 by email:

Dear K. or whoever is now in charge (after escalation),

I do understand that I have to wait for your email and that the chat cannot respond to my inquiries. I will try to be patient. Yet, I was trying to check for alternatives (i.e. Revolut, Bunq…), but remain convinced that I want to go with N26.

More importantly, during my chat with N. (May 8, 2020), I understood that he will give you (the person in charge after escalation) all the information I provided him. Given my initial problem in February (being in Germany when creating an account), I focused on the potential issue with my German phone number (prepaid card for when I visit my wife who works in Germany). However, after going through many articles, it seems that this should not be an issue. I still don’t want to believe that my beard (as suggested in some forums) is a legal reason to reject my demand. Now, I have read a few times (and it’s confirmed in an article from Portail Auto-Entrepreneur) that the business account is only for micro-entrepreneur. If this is the culprit, there is no problem at all because I do want to create this business account for that purpose indeed. If you need my SIRET number to double-check my claim, I would be more than happy to send it to you. I hope this piece of information will help you to solve this case.

Again, after trying and looking for an alternative, I am even more convinced than before that N26 is the best option for me (as a micro-entrepreneur). I hope this unbelievable story (started when I had to buy a new phone in February specifically for your app; I thought that the web app would work without and my old blackberry was not compatible with the app) will have a happy end. You may not have the entire story because of GDPR; I can give you all the elements again if needed. Please forgive my English (and let me know if you prefer to communicate in French), as well as my lack of patience.



Do I have to specify that they – K. or anyone from N26 – have never replied to this email either?

False joy

When I received an email a few months later from N26, I thought this was the end of my indefinite wait. Oh naïve, again! This was indeed a promotional offer to their customers.

“Wait, I thought you could not open an account with them? How could you be a customer then?”
“I was wondering – in The N26 nightmare – part 8 – if they had ‘real’ customers, that is with a bank account.”
“And what about GDPR? Are there any rules for preventing them to keep your personal information?”
“Yep, but I should not worry, right? I am not a N26 customer, I don’t have an account!”

Anyway, let me come back to that email:

Hello Alexandre,

As you probably know, your N26 account gives you access to many advantages, especially with our partner brands. Today, we’re adding Adidas to our selection of benefits, designed to support you every day. You can thus benefit from a 25% reduction on your next Adidas order.

Don’t wait any longer to discover a new banking experience and take advantage of exclusive partner offers.

So, do I have an N26 account? As far as I know, I still don’t have an account due to legal requirements. As I said, I am still waiting for someone from Customer Service to help me with the apparent issue with my ID.

The pros cons and cons of N26

If I were to write an N26 review, I would have a huge part about the disastrous sign-up process and the lack of support from their live chat. However, here is the point, how to review a bank when you cannot open an account with them. Maybe I should add to this matter some concerns with their (lack of) communication ability. As for the banking experience per se, I cannot tell; I am still without an N26 bank account.

It doesn’t always go well. Some people had problems when verifying their ID, or had to wait a long time for their new card. Others have to go to the post office to validate their ID. If you need a bank account right now, it’s very annoying.Nicolas Bouliane

That is right – exactly my problem. I needed a bank account right nowforthwith, as a matter of fact (see When all the crap hits the fan at the same time…). The difference is that, as of today (i.e. 2 years later), I still do not have an account. Not mentioning the absence of replies to all my emails and the complete lack of transparency concerning the so-called legal requirements. Customers may have problems with N26, but as far I am concerned, I have troubles with N26 without even being a customer! The worst, perhaps, is that beyond the stress and frustration, from the purchase of a compatible phone to the trip back and forth in between France and Germany, this misadventure cost me a lot. All that to pay a 1-euro tax!

Did you really believe there was a happy end to nightmares?

The end

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