ways to pay for Bundesarchiv(WASt) research?

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tzt4
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ways to pay for Bundesarchiv(WASt) research?

Post by tzt4 » 13 Jun 2019 04:07

A Question for those who know German and have had paid services of Bundesarchiv or WASt...

I've had some research done by WASt. I got an invoice, which I OCR'd and translated using Translate.google.
It describes one payment method of a Wire Transfer of 90 EUROS to a choice of two banks. And, they wanted payment in 30 days, of which at least 10 was consumed by their snail mail getting to me, the rest by me being on vacation when it arrived. So that is not quite happening.

But I am trying to avoid or reduce if I can, that method's $35 outgoing Wire fee that Bank of America would also charge me. That would add 30% to the cost of research work.
I sent a note to 'post-stelle@bundsarchiv.de-mail.de. That Failed. Calling one of the banks, I get an automated menu that I cannot navigate.
I sent them a note, I guess it made it but they warned of delays in replying.

So:
  • Might the bank do a credit card transaction over the phone, as many US phone-order retailers can do?
  • Might they have PayPal?
  • A personal paper check made out in EUROS, which I just mail to the bank and hope they take it?
Other options or suggestions, before I just have to grit my teeth and pay the extra $ ??
Thanks very much.

Tom Z

Mori
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Re: ways to pay for Bundesarchiv(WASt) research?

Post by Mori » 13 Jun 2019 08:07

The bank wouldn't do the credit card transaction over the phone. This is not a standard procedure, I believe.

A paper check in euro has a strong value and the bank will manage to take it. They will charge their fees to WASt. 90 euros being a modest amount, WASt may or may not notice it the transaction fees (maybe 20 euros?), and then may or may not complain.

history1
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Re: ways to pay for Bundesarchiv(WASt) research?

Post by history1 » 13 Jun 2019 11:28

tzt4 wrote:
13 Jun 2019 04:07
A Question for those who know German and have had paid services of Bundesarchiv or WASt...

I've had some research done by WASt. I got an invoice, which I OCR'd and translated using Translate.google.
It describes one payment method of a Wire Transfer of 90 EUROS to a choice of two banks. And, they wanted payment in 30 days, of which at least 10 was consumed by their snail mail getting to me,[...]
Why do you blame them of US-postal service? Ordered a couple times goods from the US and those fools did ship it to Australia instead Austria. Though I gave them the exact datas and requested that they use nothing different.
tzt4 wrote:
13 Jun 2019 04:07
But I am trying to avoid or reduce if I can, that method's $35 outgoing Wire fee that Bank of America would also charge me. That would add 30% to the cost of research work.
I sent a note to 'post-stelle@bundsarchiv.de-mail.de. That Failed. [...]
No wonder as the proper address is "poststelle-pa@bundesarchiv.de".
Source: https://www.dd-wast.de/de/impressum.html
Do you again blame them for your fail?
tzt4 wrote:
13 Jun 2019 04:07
So:
  • Might the bank do a credit card transaction over the phone, as many US phone-order retailers can do?
  • Might they have PayPal?
  • A personal paper check made out in EUROS, which I just mail to the bank and hope they take it?
Other options or suggestions, before I just have to grit my teeth and pay the extra $ ??
Thanks very much.
Tom Z
Credit card transactions by phone? Never!
Also the other suggestions are not available as far as I know/remember. I just used e-banking and that worked for me, but I´m sitting in Europe.

tzt4
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Posts: 42
Joined: 27 Dec 2013 21:53
Location: Virginia, USA

Re: ways to pay for Bundesarchiv(WASt) research?

Post by tzt4 » 14 Jun 2019 03:47

History1,
Thanks for identifying a correct email address. Below is the excerpt of the payment letter with what I think is the address they provided to contact them if I had an issue. Is that an email address?

I did not *blame* them for snail-mail, which is the sum of two county's mail systems anyway, but expressed general frustration that I was in contact with the BA-WASt archivist by email several times and that worked wonderfully to clarify a few things. But the billing aspect that has a declared deadline, came by a much slower method. I had no idea what bill amount was coming, by what method and with what deadline, so please allow some slack.
Image

Anyway, thank you for your insights about payment options, which are limited. I am better prepared now and for any future engagements with them.

Tom
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history1
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Re: ways to pay for Bundesarchiv(WASt) research?

Post by history1 » 14 Jun 2019 11:10

Hi Tom,

you wrote
Thanks for identifying a correct email address. Below is the excerpt of the payment letter with what I think is the address they provided to contact them if I had an issue. Is that an email address?
No, it is not.
And this caused your problems that you, or maybe Google Translator, did miss-interpret "DE-Mail" as mail address. It´s a system used also by our (Austrian) citizens/companies to interact with legal institutions like courts, district authorities, internal revenue, health insurance, etc..
In my country on need to be registered and you get for each transaction a code which you need to enter so that your personal involvement is guaranted/accepted. For such interactions you need to visit their websites and to log in with a handful datas.
Quote: [...] Communication between De-Mail and regular email addresses is not possible. [...]" Unquote
Source and more infos at: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/De-Mail
" But the billing aspect that has a declared deadline, came by a much slower method. I had no idea what bill amount was coming, by what method and with what deadline, so please allow some slack."
The text reads "payment within a month of notification".
You need to know that a one month timespan to pay a bill is very patient.
You also need to know that "notification" is NOT "within one month from sending the bill". It means "one month as soon as you´re aware of the bill". All my letters/files I got from Wast were sent with registered mail, and I assume that was also used in your case?
I don´t know the US postal laws but I know ours (this is important because you were absent as you told us:" the rest by me being on vacation when it arrived").

Now to the main thing: When someone is absent from his/her home he need to go to the post office and tell them about his eg. vacation. Normally they collect the normal post (leaflets, letters, postcards, etc) for little money. But more important is that registered post and documents from authorities [https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/R%C3%BCckscheinbrief] get sent back to them with the notice "absent". So that they´re required to sent it again after some time.
Are "you" not going to inform the postal office and the mailman throws an information (as requested because you´re not at home) in your letter box the deadline (30 days) starts from this moment/day. And there is no valid excuse later as eg. I was abroad because my father was ill, my employer did sent me sursprisingly to China, etc..
As said, this are our rules and laws, you need to know yours. They might be very simmilar.

However, this is only valid/important when you are planning to disagree with their costs (what is pure nonsense by this price, IMHO). Regarding your info about not knowing the billing costs. This fact they tell everyone in advance (or at least told, didn´t have contact with them since a few years). The costs are in every case depented onto the research success, and they are usually unknown before.

Hence, don´t worry, the transport time of the letter/bill is not included in the deadline. I also experienced the Wast- staff as really helpful and kind so if your payment is reaching them a day/a couple days later they want call the cops on you ;-)
If you need help with translations feel free to use the proper subforum here.
I hope this post is of some help for you.

Roman

Mori
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Re: ways to pay for Bundesarchiv(WASt) research?

Post by Mori » 14 Jun 2019 11:20

history1 wrote:
14 Jun 2019 11:10
You need to know that a one month timespan to pay a bill is very patient.
Slightly off-topic, but no: one month to pay a bill is quick. Standard time in commercial transactions is 60 days. Consumer who have a card charging their account by "month end" pay in 1-30 days, and this is what banks offer for free.

In reality, a business has ca. 3 months of cash out. When dealing with public institution, it's way more...

history1
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Re: ways to pay for Bundesarchiv (WASt) research?

Post by history1 » 14 Jun 2019 12:08

Seems that this depends on the country you´re in, Mori.

Can you really call a eg. plumber and request a deadline of 60 days? Here its usually 14 days (after that you get two additionaly warnings/reminders each of them raising the costs before the whole case is at the courts). Often enough companies do not give you a timeframe at all and request immedialy payment.
And dealing with public institutions even more? That´s fun!
Once I drove 75km/h in a 70km/h zone (highway leading out of Vienna) and got stopped by a cop on a motorbike. Had no money with me nor credit cards (which they accept nowadays).
Cop didn´t tell me:" No worries, pay in three month" but "do you want that I file charges against you or shell I accompany you do the airport (20km away) and you get money from the cash mashine to pay your fine immedialy?".
Guess what I did choose?
Or at the district authorities when "making" a passport there: "You don´t mind that I pay in two month?" I can imagine what would happen as the PD is housed in the same building. :D
So no, there is no "When dealing with public institution, it's way more..." here.

Mori
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Re: ways to pay for Bundesarchiv (WASt) research?

Post by Mori » 14 Jun 2019 12:54

history1 wrote:
14 Jun 2019 12:08
Seems that this depends on the country you´re in, Mori.
I meant Germany.
history1 wrote:
14 Jun 2019 12:08
Can you really call a eg. plumber and request a deadline of 60 days? Here its usually 14 days (after that you get two additionaly warnings/reminders each of them raising the costs before the whole case is at the courts). Often enough companies do not give you a timeframe at all and request immedialy payment.
Certainly they request immediate payment. Who wouldn't.

That said, paying a few weeks after getting the bill is nothing exceptional. In Germany, it's a standard practice to add a few words about a penalty should customer wait too long, but since it's a few %, I am yet to see any company getting excited about applying such penalty for an invoice of a few 100s euros.

Smarter is offering a discount of a few % for early payment. Many small businesses - like your plumber - do that in Germany.

The public institution situation I meant is B2G (business to government). It cover a bit - cough, cough - more than speed tickets and passport stamps. It seems like you have little to no experience of how it goes. Trust those who do.

history1
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Re: ways to pay for Bundesarchiv (WASt) research?

Post by history1 » 14 Jun 2019 13:22

Mori wrote:
14 Jun 2019 12:54
[...] The public institution situation I meant is B2G (business to government). It cover a bit - cough, cough - more than speed tickets and passport stamps. It seems like you have little to no experience of how it goes. Trust those who do.
Tom isn´t a business but a private person, hence your B2B or even B2G is totally irrelevant.
And yes, I have no experience with doing business with our government, I´m doing business with my clients. BTW, passport stamps in an EU-passport?
Mori wrote:
14 Jun 2019 12:54
it's a standard practice to add a few words about a penalty should customer wait too long, but since it's a few %, I am yet to see any company getting excited about applying such penalty for an invoice of a few 100s euros.
1. Your "few words" are based on actual laws.
2. You seem unaware that companies hire debt collecting agencies and finaly pull you at court for less than 100€. Try not to pay your power costs and see what follows next! ROFL
But as mentioned above this is not the problem (the Wast will unlikely start such action for a moderate delay), what Tom wants to avoid are the additional costs at his bank.

This were my final words to your response as this is OT.

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