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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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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 19/08/2010 : 04:18
Anni, the only clue I can give you about these matters is that if you can say that the meter as installed originally cotravenes heath and safety regulations they have to do the work. I used this ploy almost 15 years ago and it worked like a charm.

I had occasion to send a parcel to Mrs Tiz yesterday (That's right, yet another common paper back book) and asked if the Post Office did cashback on my debit card. They told me that only Barclaycard did cash-back, HBSC cards wouldn't work. I told them this was nonsense but not to bother, I had to go to the Co-op anyway and they understood the process. I wasn't surprised because I am afraid we have a bad post office in Barlick but what did annoy me was that their reply indicates ignorance of the systems they are running and they simply lied instead of addressing the problem. This comes under the heading of 'The system is down' and is a lazy way of avoiding extra effort for the customer. People laugh at me when I say I can remember the day when every shop had a chair for the customer at the counter. The only place I know where this still applies is at the travel agents in Park Road. Mind you I have a bad reputation at the PO because I once made a complaint against their processes and they tried to bar me! It caused them quite a lot of trouble.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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


634 Posts
Posted - 19/08/2010 : 11:30
Stanley - what a gem! Thank you very much - I will remember that - the meter was installed before I bought the house.

I remember the chairs.  And I too hate the lies to cover up people's laziness.  Someone recently told me there was something wrong with me because I didn't do it LaughingThey are off my christmas card list now because am I too lazy to put effort into a relationship like thatLaughing

But I did have a very pleasant experience with my bank this week.  I made an international transfer in 2005 but because I use telephone/internet banking (there are no branches) I had no paperwork to show which bank account these funds had gone to.  I anticipated much ooing and aahing, piped music as I was shuffled from one department to another to be told I would have to pay at least £10.00 for this information.

I was put straight through to the correct department and within 2 hours had the information straight to my private secure message box at no cost.  I was seriously impressed.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 19/08/2010 : 13:27
Anni the H&S ploy can be very useful in all sorts of areas. The reason is that it flags up possible responsibility or even culpability if anything goes wrong and all official bodies are forced to react if this enters the equation. It is a little known fact that if you examine the Acts governing listed buildings you will find that there is a loophole in respect of any alteration that can be shown to be necessary in order to avoid contravening H&S considerations. All you have to do is inform the relevant body of the problem, your proposed solution and leave the ball firmly in their court. You then put them in the position of having to prove that your reasons are wrong and they regard this, quite rightley, as a minefield. By the way, this is the reason why, when requisitioning iron railings during the war, no railings were removed which protected a drop like the area in front of a basement entrance.


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 - 19/08/2010 : 13:29


Here's a picture of my mother in the shop at Sough when we were 'open all hours'. You can see the top of the chair for the customers in front of the counter. Those were the days!


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 20/08/2010 : 11:02
It's good to hear Anni getting some good service from the bank. We have to use several banks because of having a business and the Co-op has been good to us with our online dealings and our Nationwide branch in Bridgwater has given excellent service over the 15 years we've used them. Trouble with Nationwide only happens when we deal with the headquarters, then it goes pear-shaped. I wrote a letter to The Times some years back in which I mentioned how good our Nationwide branch was and I later received a letter of thanks from one of the company's directors, so at least they got the feedback.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 21/08/2010 : 06:12
Tiz, I often think that there are still good men and women working in the banks and they must be as dismayed as the rest of us by the way banking is going these days. It's a form of arrogance isn't it, they think they are indispensible. I wonder what role local credit unions will play in the future? I wish them well but as they grow will they become infected with the same disease?


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 21/08/2010 : 08:14
Another vote in favour of the Nationwide, 20 + years fairly painless dealing with them.  Santander - Bleargh. 

The banks however are wonderful in comaprison to the arrogant self importance of the self employed National Insurance office.  Dealing with this bunch of muppets is one of the lows of self employment. Their automated telephone system screams 'b*gger off, we don't want to know' at every turn.  When you eventually get through to something resembling a human (after racking up a couple of quid in call charges), they haven't a clue.  

 


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

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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 21/08/2010 : 08:25
"men and women working in the banks "
Do you have any men working at the counter in banks?  I haven't seen one here for about fifteen years.  I asked once at the Coop in Cambridge, and there was only one in the whole branch.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 21/08/2010 : 12:32
The bank's men have all retired at 50 on full salary and the men coming in will go into head office I suppose, not the branches.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 22/08/2010 : 11:17
We got a letter from Pluggy's favourite (joke!) bank Santander yesterday. We took out a savings bond with them a while back to try and get a bit more than the miserable basic current account level of interest. They've written to say sorry they failed to respond to us and that the interest will be credited to the account. It's an opaque letter with some sentences difficult to understand but I think that reading between the lines they are admitting they failed to open the account and are backdating it. Whatever, they've messed up and probably lots of other people have had similar letters. You'd think that opening an account would be easy for a bank!


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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 22/08/2010 : 12:29
Pluggy..."Racking up a couple of quid"...It doesn't always have the answer , but there is a website called "say no to 0870" where you can find land line  instead of premium numbers (I'm guessing you knew this already)....It works well for me because my mobile phone contract allows Free access to land lines...(it's £15 . per month with orange)  It's my only phone  , and the bill is always the same every month......If friends want to contact me I get them to text me , and I ring them back on their landline .


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 23/08/2010 : 11:23
We use that web site too Bradders, for similar reasons - our phone is paid for at a fixed rate with the broadband bill. We can get standard regional numbers `free' but have to pay for the numbers that most of these companies set up to deter their customers. So we go to the web site and find a normal. `free to us' number.

http://www.saynoto0870.com/search.php

Edited by - Tizer on 23/08/2010 11:24:56


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 02/09/2010 : 10:49
The Lloyds banking group have released information which shows that they receive 2000 (two thousand!) complaints a day. Assuming nothing on weekends and holidays, that's about half a million complaints a year. That must tell us something about the company.

In fact on this measure Lloyds even manages to be worse than Santander (Abbey) which receives 1300 complaints a day. The Times devotes a couple of pages evey Saturday to its Troubleshooter section where journalists cat on behalf of readers to get serious complaints sorted with companies. Last Saturday it devoted the whole section to complaints against Santander because the newspaper has received `hundreds' of letters from its readers about this company. As well as all the usual problems, when Santander has to correct its errors by returning money to customers' accounts it is sending the money by cheque instead of transferring it electronically - and these are the banks who want to stop us using cheques. Also they have been blocking electronic internet transfer of customers' money between their accounts without telling the customers. The arrogance and incompetence of these companies beggars belief. It's time there was a real regulator with the power to break up the companies and sell them off.


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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 02/09/2010 : 12:40
82 years old, receives a letter from Halifax saying they are closing his local branch.  Letter goes on to say he can move his money to one of the following.......

He goes in to withdraw his £600 in his account there with the intention of depositing it in one of the said banks (where he already has an account).  Is told he has to make an appointment!  Appointment made and given for 7 days from now.  Devil

74 years old, goes into his Nationwide branch to withdraw his weekly personal allowance (he doesn't have a debit card).  Is promptly told he will only be able to withdraw a minimum of £100 at a time over the counter.  He doesn't use that amount of cash every week, so promptly goes and opens an account at Santander to change everything.  I groan and he tells me they were really nice and helpful. Devil

Same 74 year old receives a letter from BT a couple of months ago which tells him if he pays up front for 12 months he can save money.  He calls BT only to be told he can't do this because he doesn't have a computer.  He decides to move from BT because he is cross.  BT now say he has renewed his contract and want £85.00 for "breach of contract".  He is foaming at the mouth and wants me (125 miles away) to sort it out for him.  He will have to write in to them saying that they can speak to me.  In the meantime, he is going off the richter scale about his "rights" and "can only speak to a robot and not a person" and "I didn't tell them I wanted to renew the 12 month contract" etc etc etc.  

I receive a letter saying British Gas have stopped my direct debit as requested.  I didn't request that.  I told them that if they were going to review and increase my gas direct debit (in debit), then they should play the game and review and decrease my electricity (in credit).  I requested reinstatement of my direct debit at £10 per month.  Can only do £20 per month.  OK.  I look and it is set at £60 per month.  Still have the human on the phone - can't fix it.  Will ring me back - that was a week ago.

I absolutely despair.


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 02/09/2010 : 20:19
And the CEOs who run these companies tell us that if we limit their salaries, bonuses, perks etc they will leave the UK. What are we waiting for?


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