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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted -  25/06/2010  :  09:59
I just love banks, don't you? They go out of their way to make life exciting and to make sure we are always wondering if our account will have been emptied by tomorrow morning. They spend a fortune launching `Chip & Pin' and trying to convince us that it is infallible and that any fraud on our card in future will be due to our failings, not theirs. They do us great favours like deciding, unilaterally, to get rid of cheques. They are so good to us I thought we should reward them with a thread devoted to their marvellous escapades. Let me start with this offering but please add your own experiences and comments...

We have received a letter from Santander (Abbey Nat to you and me) beginning "We are deligted to inform you..." which always sets alarm bells ringing, and ends "As Santander we will continue to offer innovative, great value products and are committed to delivering excellent service to our customers" which sets the sirens blaring.  What they are delighted to inform me is that they have upgraded (without consulting me) my Cheque Guarantee Card to a Visa Debit Card. But I don't want a Visa debit card, I don't need another card, it's just another thing to get stolen, lost or defrauded.

But there's a sting in the tail. They then tell me to destroy my cheque guarantee card by cutting it in half. OK, I think, the new card will be used for this instead. But no, lower down in the letter it says the new card cannot be used to guarantee cheques. I know that cheques are set to be phased out (unilaterally once again, by June 2011) but it looks like the banks have devised a great scam to deprive us of cheque guarantee cards so they can say that cheques are not much use. I use cheques a lot and I would prefer that they were not phased out, but then, hey, the banks are not there just for you and me, are they?

I notice that although the letter tells me to destroy the cheque card, nowhere does it say that I cannot continue to use it. So I'm going to use it for as long as possible. I advise everyone to do the same. The banks are just hoping we will all fall in line with their demands and destroy the cards immediately.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 14/02/2011 : 16:45
You have my sympathy too Ted, as people who have been running a small business for 15 years Mrs Tiz and I find it incredible that a company should charge its customers for contacting them, especially when it is to report something caused by the company. Our business ethics arose by learning in the 1980s when successful companies thought it was worth spending a lot of money to find more ways to get in contact with their customers, rather than charging them to do it. It's a strange world (now).


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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 14/02/2011 : 16:56
I hate paying to call businesses as well.  I expect my customers are the same, so thats why I have a plain local call for my business.  If I'm out and the calls are forwarded to my mobile, I pay for that, so my customers get the cheap local call.  I don't have a computer switchboard with 1001 options and wallpaper music and 'your call is valuable to us' messages either.  My customers calls are valuable to me, thats why I pay for them........


Need computer work ?
"http://www.stsr.co.uk"

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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 14/02/2011 : 18:15
This is a very useful site for beating the bloodsuckers :-http://www.saynoto0870.com/


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 14/02/2011 : 21:11
"Your call is valuable to us"...Too damned right , they're earning by the second !


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 15/02/2011 : 04:54
Dead right Ted. I can remember being shocked when I saw that the whistle-blower number for reporting an untaxed vehicle to the DVLA was one of these profit making lines. I asked Gordon Prentice to look into it for me (he too was surprised) but all he got out of them was the usual waffle about 'efficient communications'. We used to customers, we are now milch cows to be exploited at every opportunity.

Voice mail bugs me as well. Two bright spots; a few years ago when Balfour Beatty were refurbishing the water mains in Barlick I had occasion to call them about bad reinstatement after digging a hole in the street. I rang the number on their letter and found myself talkig to the PA to the CEO! Evidently he hates voice mail and she had the facility to make herself available for calls if she wasn't too busy. The other day I rang Private Eye for a word with Strobes and got straight through to a nice young lady who took the message. 


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 15/02/2011 : 05:42
Barclay's publish their results today..... [£6.2billion. Up 32% on last year. Crisis? What crisis?]


Stanley Challenger Graham




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stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 15/02/2011 : 08:41
Maybe the next elections we will be voting between the three big banks to run the country and not the political parties!


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belle
VIP Member


6502 Posts
Posted - 15/02/2011 : 09:49
 I usually vote with my feet if I don't like something. Years ago a bank I was with had cashed some travellers cheques for my daughters exchange friend, they told me to pick the money up in the afternoon of a certain day, when I got there they said it was too late to give me the money (half an hour til closing and mid hoovering!) even though it was in my account. I explained I had been asked to come in the afternoon but they repeated it was too late and then said "and there's nothing you can do about it!" their mistake... as there was still one teller behind the counter I  went up and shut my account , they had to pay me it all there and then. Of course these days they would refuse to do that as well. We are held to ransome by highway men in almost every area of life!


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 15/02/2011 : 15:16
"Of course these days they would refuse to do that as well."

That's right Belle, these days the banks set conditions on how much money you can take out even as a cheque, never mind cash, and also for many Internet accounts on how much you can transfer to another account. It's a good idea to read your terms & conditions if you think it's your money and you can have it when and how you want it.

Now, another scam but the insurance industry this time (what a surprise!). They have shifted into a higher gear with their control over your money by automatically renewing your policy each year without asking you. This has gone on for some years already (we've been stung by it) but now it's blatant and becoming normal. They simply debit your credit card or collect it on your direct debit regardless of whether and by how much they have increased the premium. Again, it's in the small print in the terms & conditions, have a look. Too bad if you have opened a new policy with another company because you should have cancelled the old policy. You think you can simply demand your money back? Just try it, they make it as difficult as they can and all sorts of things happen to go wrong so that it takes ages to get your money back.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 16/02/2011 : 04:58
Tiz, that's why I have always done my insurance through a broker and not direct.  I pay them and not the company and when an insurance term ends they contact you and give you the cheapest alternatives.

I was (surprise!) thinking about routes to closing an account the other day and wondered whether, like some internet accounts, the best way isn't to accept a package where they manage the changeover on authority from you. Better communications between banks?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 16/02/2011 : 08:11
I think you have to tick a box for automatic renewal ?? Well on my credit card you do. DD just continues and they change the amount which is what you have empowered the company do. I think they (the company) have to give you 30 days written notice of a change to the amount.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 16/02/2011 : 14:14
The insurance companies don't need to give you any warning Frank, it's covered in the T&Cs. I've never yet seen a tick box for automatic renewal.


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 16/02/2011 : 20:10
I'm just looking I think it's on my  Ancestry renewal.



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 17/02/2011 : 05:38
First time I ever came across it was on Macafee virus protection. It was automatic renewal but they contacted you each year before the debit to remind you of the timing and the amount. When administerd like that it is an acceptable procedure but not if there is no warning and if there are price changes.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 17/02/2011 : 10:49
The word `acceptable' isn't in their vocabulary Stanley. They don't even obey the regulations. There was a terrible example in The Times on Saturday of a lady and her husband (who suffers from the effects of a stroke) coming back from a Spanish holiday and finding about £15,000 had been taken from their credit card account to buy large items like plasma screen TVs. When she rang the bank and said she hadn't bought these things and had hardly used her card and had never written down her PIN number it insisted her husband must have used it even though he can't even write. The Chip & PIN system is known to be fallible and also fraud occurs inside banks yet they won't pay up. The The rules of the Financial Services Authority (FSA) state that a bank must pay up if it cannot provide adequate evidence that the person used their card or released their PIN. The bank does not have the evidence but it still refuses to pay. The issue has been going on for three years and is now being taken to court. The Times has now reported the bank to the FSA for breaking the FSA rules. Just imagine what the couple have been put through. This is not a simple mistake or error on the part of the bank. It is blatant evasion of the rules in order to avoid repaying and compensating someone who has lost their money due to a failing in the bank's systems. Unlike some countries currently in revolt our country is not ruled by a dictator but it is ruled in some respects by companies who believe themselves to be above the law. It's time they were brought down to size, both literally and metaphorically. Roll out the tumbrils!


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