22 January 2009

Banks – Aaaaaagh!

A few weeks ago I sent a letter to my bank in the UK over their complete inability to stop the name on my account changing every six months or so. If you read my blog of that date you’ll see that this name-changing problem caused me enormous problems and lost me loads of dosh.

Read the original letter here: (http://tomsfrenchblog.blogspot.com/2008/11/letter-to-my-bank.html)

I thought I’d update you as to the progress – if it wasn’t so troublesome, it would be hilarious!

One of my gripes to them was that as I lived abroad, it was difficult for me to do anything in person (the Abbey don’t have any branches in France), so it was quite a surprise for me to get a response within a couple of days of my original complaint letter asking me to pop into my local branch where they would deal with my complaint! Great!

I called them to ask if anybody had actually noticed that they’d sent the letter to France and they were most apologetic and informed me that my letter was now the subject of an ‘internal inquiry’.

A week or so later, my ‘formal’ letter arrived. It was nearly as long as my original letter of complaint and went into great detail about the number of computer systems which needed to ‘synchronise’ before all my accounts (all three of them ??) would have the same address. It was quite clear from this that they had some crazy system where each account was on a different computer.

They then addressed my utter frustration at having to deal with Bangalore when it was quite obvious that the people there had no idea how to fix my problem and did not have the tools to even see what my problem was. The solution was to call a ‘special’ UK number.  Round one to TC.

They went on to apologise for all my problems and frustrations and whilst acknowledging that I was ‘inconvenienced’, only offered the usual token sum of £50 to compensate me. Now I know from business life that ‘consequential loss’, which is what I suffered when I could not transfer my money, is not recognised when working out compensation, and therefore I accepted the £50. Round two to TC.

A few weeks passed and I noticed that the £50 had not been credited to my account so I called them on their ‘special’ UK number. Guess what ? they’d only gone and paid the £50 into somebody else’s account! The girl was so embarrassed she could hardly speak and I was so gobsmacked I could hardly speak, so there were long periods of silence on the call.

‘Not my problem’, I said. ‘Now you’ve been informed, just credit the £50 into the correct account’. ‘Can’t do that Mr Cupples’, she said.. ‘We’ll have to contact the person to whom we paid the £50 in error and ask their permission to remove it from their account’. Knockout to the bank.

I was almost at the point where the cat was looking a likely target for my frustration (again) but I calmed down, revelling in the girl’s absolute embarrassment and said I’d probably need a laugh in a couple of weeks and would call back then.

You couldn’t make it up  

1 comment:

Allison said...

Haha, sorry to laugh at your misfortune! You're right though - you couldn't make that kind of thing up :)