Why your bank may not help you if you pay by ec-card and PIN

Laptop with card reader - ©Can Stock Photo Inc. / MultiartOne of the most popular ways of paying for things  in shops in Germany is by ec-card – a standardised debit card that is issued by most banks and accepted by most shops. The card, which has a both a magnetic strip and a chip on it, generally comes with a PIN and you enter the PIN when paying to confirm the transaction, although some older card readers still require you to sign a slip of paper instead.

The money is debited from your bank account in a similar way to a direct debit (“Lastschrift”), but the similarity stops here. Because whereas a direct debit can be reversed within 6 weeks, I recently found out that such protection is not offered when paying by PIN. [Read more…]

Oberursel’s Station Grand Re-opening: The Bahnhofsfest

This Whitsun weekend will be one that many people in Oberursel remember for a long time to come, because it was this weekend that the station building re-opening with what may be the first “Bahnhofsfest” that it has even seen.

“May be” because no-one knows whether they held one when the building was originally opened in 1901.

The day started at 11am when a large crowd gathered in front a stage that had been set up partially on the U-Bahn platform.  Dr. Justus Förschner of SEWO, the organisation responsible for the renovation work, opened the proceedings with the Mayor Hans-Georg Brum.

Dr. Justus Förschner presenting to key to the new tenants of the station building

Dr. Justus Förschner presenting to key to the new tenants of the station building

After a brief look back at the history of the building, how the dual railway connected had benefited the development of the town, and not forgetting the fact that it had taken over 20 years to find a solution to the “station” problem (the building had been run down, with ticket sales only at peak hours), the key was officially handed over to the new tenants.

[Read more…]

Inside Oberursel’s Station

Oberursel Station May 2012Last November I had a chance to look around the newly restored station building in Oberursel.  At the time work was still going on inside the building itself.  With the exception of the service store, only the outside had been completed.

That situation has now changed and yesterday I went back to see how the rooms inside have been transformed. [Read more…]

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