Thursday, May 26, 2016

Deutsche Postbank legal grounds for not speaking English & bad reporting

Is this English language website of Deutsche Postbank a fake because the bank allegedly does not do business outside of Germany, according to its Twitter account?

@_MissLux as we are not doing business outside of Germany, our corporate language is German. Thanks for your comprehension. [to]

Deutsche Postbank, or Postbank for short, got itself caught up in a minor Twitter flub when this English tweet: 

Been waiting for over 2 weeks for a new card and pin AGAIN. Time to just change bank and be done. Worst service EVER

got this response:

, thanks for getting in touch with us. Please ask your question in German, so we can answer it. [br]

to be followed by "we are not doing business outside of Germany, our corporate language is German. Thanks for your comprehension. [to]".

The dust up by itself isn't all that remarkable. Things happen. 

What is remarkable, to the blogster, are two points: the fact that Postbank doubled up on its mistake, and the sympathetic reporting it got for this by straight laced Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ).

FAZ reports that an employee of Postbank eventually spoke to Joe Miller on the phone and explained what happened to the card.

FAZ accepted a statement by a Postbank spokesperson that such inquiries "could only be answered in German for legal reasons" at face value.

Did the employee speak English? Or does Mr. Miller speak German well enough to converse on the phone? After all, his initial tweet suggests he is an existing customer, which means there should be a way he can handle is German bank statements.

Postbank does do business outside of Germany, a lot, in fact. Or maybe the blogster mistakenly believes a 2.5 billion pound portfolio is the UK is a lot?

As to the alleged legal requirement, that's wrong, too. In the unlikely case that a short twitter response in English should end up in a German court, the court could require a translation of the statements in question.

Factually incorrect reporting on a Twitter spat is the issue, not the spat itself.

But maybe the sad reporting is caused by all experienced editors enjoying a nation wide holiday, leaving underpaid interns in charge?

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