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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 - 24/04/2011 : 09:56
We listened to a recording of that Money Box programme (Paul Lewis) over breakfast this morning. You don't even have to invite the bailiffs in (by speaking to them) - as SCG says, as long as they get a first opportunity to enter your house, e.g. by climbing through an open window or one of your kids/grandkids letting them in, they can come back, force entry and remove whatever they deem necessary. Now, if you are thinking "Serves people right for not paying their taxes" you had better beware. It can still happen to you even if you have always paid on time and in full. HMRC has the delightful trick of making mistakes and they have been sending bailiffs to houses where the owner is innocent and has always paid up on time. And think also of those people who are taken ill or bereaved and therefore not surprisingly might have missed a payment at the crucial time. The bailiffs still turn up on the doorstep. Jus what you need under those circumstances. And there is evidence that HMRC is targeting the bailiffs on those people who have the least to pay - they are regarded as not worth spending time on to solve the problem in any other way. They save that for the big debts.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 25/04/2011 : 05:59
Just as I understood the problem Tiz. Of course the bottom line is the rush to 'computerise' the HMRC and pruning the staff before the systems had been proved. The consequence is that their is no room for anything approaching an individual approach to late payments. Easier and cheaper to sell the debt. Off the books, the computer is happy.

On another matter. I have been increasingly irritated by the Nat West advertisement in which they assure us they have initiated an 'independent performance review', that the results are in and that there will be another report in August. Problem is that all they say about the results is that 'Nothing is Hidden and nothing left out'. They don't actually state whether the result was good or bad. Indeed, from the bunch of platitudes they follow this information with it would appear that the survey threw up problems, they admit they have much to do. However, any viewer not questioning the language could come away with the impression that this is a caring institution doing its best to serve its customers. Ingenious and clever, and no doubt vetted by the legal eagles, but is it pushing copy-writing to the verge of misinformation?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 25/04/2011 : 10:33
I can't remember whether I posted this before, but after my moan about closing my bank account and waiting 1 week (because of Easter) for the money to reach my current account, I thought I would tell this story (and if it is again, I'm sorry).

A few weeks ago, I transferred some money to a European country.  From start to finish (including speaking to the Brokers, transferring my funds to their account, completing the paperwork and transmitting online) to the funds hitting the European account, someone seeing it there and sending me an email to say it had been received took about 3 hours.

So, my simple thought process of someone pushing a button and transferring the funds between accounts seems to hold true - in some instances.


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HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 25/04/2011 : 15:39
I recently got involved helping someone with a bank problem...the chap's company had ceased operation, owing the bank $25,000.  The bank started action to collect on a personal guarantee that they said was in place.  The original banking agreement was about 60 pages, which the client is expected to sign on sight...when I asked the bank for proof of independent legal advice that the client obtained...they dropped the issue and have never contacted him again.


HERB


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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 26/04/2011 : 00:11
Are you a Lawyer , Herb ?


BRADDERS BLUESINGER Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 26/04/2011 : 06:42
Brad, I don't think you need to be a lawyer, just have an understanding of the rules governing business correspondence. The first step is to realise that it is a form of written warfare which leaves an audit trail. The main tactic is to always leave the ball in the opponent's court, either by a question or a proposal. If a letter is Registered it automatically raises its status and ensures it cannot be 'lost'. Once you start responding like this you flag up that you are an opponent and the person you are attacking has to make a decision, is the return going to be worth the investment of time and money. If the original trigger was a fishing expedition it is quietly dropped.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 26/04/2011 : 11:21
Yes Stanley , I've learned that over time in business too ....

My question was a dead straight one , with no "side"....I was just curious....

I should think Herbs friend would be very happy with the outcome.....particularly if the Statute of Limitations is the same in Canada as here....

I understand that after a period of 7 years , no further action is possible to recover moneys outstanding from normal business activity , and a period of 12 years can (in special instances) be the case, if the matter is to do with the likes of Building Societies.


BRADDERS BLUESINGER Go to Top of Page
HerbSG
Senior Member


1185 Posts
Posted - 26/04/2011 : 14:18
Bradders, not a lawyer, an accountant with some knowledge of commercial law.  Limit here is indeed 7 years from date of last activity, even with banks and trust companies,  Government MAY go after directors for outstanding payroll taxes and unpaid HST (vat).


HERB


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Bradders
Senior Member


1880 Posts
Posted - 26/04/2011 : 18:10
Good man Herb  ...Thanks for that reply,. We don't always have to fall out, do we .eh !

(anyone heard saying "Aaaaagh" , will be dealt with .......so,watch it ! )

Edited by - Bradders on 26/04/2011 11:24:25 PM


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 27/04/2011 : 10:02
I've just been reading how in the USA the banks haven't issued `Chip & Pin' cards to their customers. One reason is the cost of issuing the cards but another is that they've seen from our experience in the UK that it isn't secure. The banks in the UK are getting away with it because of what's known as the `liability shift' - they have shifted the liability for card fraud onto the customer whereas in the US the banks are prevented from doing this by the 1978 Electronic Fund Transfer Act. UK banks had already shifted some liability from themselves onto retailers, so they are in the magic position of being able to say it's not our problem, it's either the retailer's or the customer's problem. US observer's have noted that since chip & pin started in the UK it's become almost impossible for British consumers to recover money lost to fraud (even when the fraud is internal at the bank). The primary reason that UK banks forced chip & pin onto their customers was to shift the liability for fraud onto them and they lied to us about the security of the system.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 28/04/2011 : 04:52
The Lords of the Universe! It makes you wonder how long it will be before there is a readjustment of the relationship between the banks and their customers. Do we need some sort of a mass boycott? Is this not possible because of the number of people hooked on credit and getting used to being dominated by the lenders because financially they can't function without acceptance of the lousy treatment they receive? In the US the degree of security offered by Federal Guarantee is used as a lever to modify the behaviour of the banks, here we seem to have given the protection virtually unconditionally.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 28/04/2011 : 06:57
You have to admit the banks have made banking easier for a lot of people. I have just been ( online ) to check my statement and to move money from one account with one bank to another bank. Because the other account is a "current account" the transfer took less than 20 minutes you couldn't do that previously without a vist to the bank in person !!!



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 28/04/2011 : 08:07
Providing its not Santander, their transfers stll take 3 days.......


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

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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 29/04/2011 : 07:25
I long for the days when my bank statement was typwritten and detailed, my bank manager was my friend and thousands of people had meaningful jobs supporting paper-based systems. Say what you like, it was human-scale, efficient and accessible. I can't remember a single problem caused by the banks and still exchange Xmas cards with my last proper banks manager.


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 - 02/05/2011 : 07:19
Here's one for students of convoluted thinking on the workings of the financial markets. The 'expert's' opinion I heard this morning goes like this: If the killing of Oscar Bin Liner relieves tension in the world it will encourage investment in the normal channels of commerce. If this happens it will diminish the amount of money invested with reserve currencies like the US$. Any reduction in these money flows into the US economy weakens the already grossly over-stretched US economy and has implications for public spending and tax rises. In other words, a potential disaster.

Personally I find this a bit far-fetched, the death of Bin Laden is not going to trigger a lasting improvement in the world economy but consider this. If there is truth in this mechanism, it follows that instabilty due to terrorist attacks is a good thing for the US$ and that therefore a world living in fear is to the advantage of the USA. My mind goes back to Naomi Klein's book, 'The Shock Doctrine' and I begin to wonder if there is more truth in this than meets the eye! complicated isn't it.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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