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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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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 02/09/2010 : 21:18
Went to M&S  to get 100 euros for our son's hols. No probs sir Debit Card fine so transaction completed gave son 100 euros to buy a meal etc on hols.
Bank statement shows cash advance fee £2  mmmmmmmmm
went to M&S not us sir,  it will be Visa. So off to the RBS what's this I asked, oh Visa's fee. Hang on I bank with you not Visa. Yes sir but they carry out the transaction on our behalf OK then you pay them, because I'm not. Can't do that sir, well take this little card that You issued Me empty the account and I will be sitting here ready to take the cash. After 3 minutes thepersonal account manager came to invite me into her office, now I am sure we can work this out said she. Well put the £2 back in my account and we will discuss this further yes sir right away.  I told her I was still not happy and Got £25 for my troubles result .



Frank Wilkinson       Once Navy Always Navy Go to Top of Page
catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 02/09/2010 : 22:40
Well done that man.ya-hoo


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 03/09/2010 : 06:27
It's chilling to read about the problems people have as customers with these organisations. It's also sad because someone of my age can remember when the customer was treated well. Can anyone wonder why I have such a jaundiced view of the direction of travel today. The bad news is often accompanied by a wonedrfully upbeat statement that they have improved their service. The question is, improved for whom? As for the bloated CEOs leaving the country, bring it on! The flaw there is that no matter how often they threaten this dreadful punishment, they never actually get on with it. Crying wolf?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 03/09/2010 : 08:52
Man after my own heart!  I once did something similar over a 50p charge for getting  money from a third party cash machine.  However beware - it only works when they want your business. My son followed my example, and came second. He had his account closed on the spot, and was told never to darken the Natwest doorway again. 


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frankwilk
Senior Member


3975 Posts
Posted - 03/09/2010 : 10:02
Tripps
I was ready to walk away from the RBS in fact I am still considering it, but it's difficult with even the bank that is " Proud to be Different " is not that different at the end of the day.



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


5150 Posts
Posted - 03/09/2010 : 11:35
You probably heard on last night's news that RBS is to cut thousands more jobs, 300 in Bradford but many more in back offices and IT, so service may get even worse. Most alarming though is the plan to dispose of many RBS branches by passing them to Santander (see above for our thoughts on that company)! Santander already blames much of its massive problems on difficulties in absorbing the Alliance & Leicester customers that it took over some time ago. So the story goes from bad to worse.

Well done Frank for getting RBS to listen to you and even cough up some cash to show willing. We have to be firm with them and tell them what we expect from them. British people are generally too soft and take any bad treatment with a stiff upper lip (or stiff gin & tonic). Americans wouldn't stand for it. A few years ago my dad was fined by the local council for allegedly parking without paying in the town's main car park. In fact he and my mum had parked in the usual spot using her disabled person's badge but the council had created a new area for such parking - but they hadn't told the drivers or changed the signs on the ground. My dad paid but when I heard about it I shamed the council over the treatment of a 90-year-old ex-RAF man and he got his money back.

Unfortunately everything these days seems to work on the `put up and take down' system pioneered by internet companies - they do as they like until someone tells them to stop or to revert. So the ball is in our court - if we don't fight back we get what we deserve.

Edited by - Tizer on 03/09/2010 11:37:06


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 04/09/2010 : 04:35
My old bank manager at Barclays told me many years ago that the worst moments of his career were when he had to explain to the higher echelons why a customer had closed an account. If that was true in the days when he had a measure of autonomy it must be more important now. Worth bearing in mind when anyone goes for the throat but have an exit strategy in place first in case it backfires on you!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 04/09/2010 : 14:39
I'm not convinced about that Stanley. 

Everything is done by "data streams" these days.  Someone somewhere will read a print out on the data stream that you have closed your account.  That information will be used as a statistic and someone somewhere will read that X accounts have been closed and Y accounts have been opened.

Someone somewhere will question why X accounts have been closed, but I doubt anything will ever be reverted downwards to question why that might be.

You are talking about the days when banks were institutions where you kept your money.  Nowadays, they are shopping outlets.  Where the front line staff have to meet targets for selling insurance, mortgages, car breakdown cover, etc.

I was talking to one recently who joined the bank in the good old days.  She had difficulty in learning the new culture and found the "targets" and "rewards" demeaning and patronising.  She was not comfortable with trying to sell these "add ons" to the older population, who are the main users of her bank branch anyway. 

I've just had a call about my customer satisfaction after my recent "direct debit" run in with British Gas.  I had deleted the email from my inbox and decided I wouldn't reply.  So, I guess (24 hours later) "they" decided to give me a ring.  We got half way through and I got fed up with the very polite youth trying to get me to say "yes" or "no" when there were too many variables and I suggested the exercise was pointless because it would not be a true reflection of my satisfaction. It's the way they word the questions and my overall cynicism that it is just to put "fancy icing on a badly baked cake".

I feel sorry for these people who are trying to earn a crust and no doubt my refusal to continue the conversation will have lost him some commission, but enough is enough.

Edited by - Anni on 04/09/2010 2:42:41 PM


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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2010 : 17:37
I just had to add to this.  I spoke to my mobile phone provider about something which has been rumbling on since May.  I forwarded an email I had sent them back then.

I got an out of office response from a company called Everything Everywhere which spooked me - never heard of them.  So, I looked it up (with the words of my parents - look it up in the dictionary or the Encyclopedia echoing through my brain).

It seems two of the biggest mobile phone providers have merged their services into one company called Everything Everywhere.  Owner by a French and a German company.  

Must have missed that.  But just goes to show you are never really certain who you are dealing with - much like the banks.  Who owns who and who has merged with who.  


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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 05/09/2010 : 19:52


quote:
Anni wrote:
I just had to add to this.  I spoke to my mobile phone provider about something which has been rumbling on since May.  I forwarded an email I had sent them back then.

I got an out of office response from a company called Everything Everywhere which spooked me - never heard of them.  So, I looked it up (with the words of my parents - look it up in the dictionary or the Encyclopedia echoing through my brain).

It seems two of the biggest mobile phone providers have merged their services into one company called Everything Everywhere.  Owner by a French and a German company.  

Must have missed that.  But just goes to show you are never really certain who you are dealing with - much like the banks.  Who owns who and who has merged with who.  

I feel fairly certain that  your "Everything Everywhere" will in fact do "Nothing Anytime", except skim off money from those who send you your bills, who in turn will probably be riding on the backs of those who knit the wires and push the buttons.

I have often wondered who iit is that darns the holes in the air made by the signals as they travel from one 'phone to another.


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 06/09/2010 : 05:18
Anni, like you I often feel sorry for the battery chicken on the other end of the line when I tell them politely that I am not interested and hang up on them. There is a human cost to that action. I suspect that the same target-driven culture is at work in counter staff at banks as well and have noted that in circumstances like when I closed my Barclaycard Visa accout because of their ridiculous interest policy on small debt that as the lengthy process went on I was dealt with at higher and higher levels. The letter confirming the closure of the account with a zero balance ( and I insisted on an old-fashioned letter sent by post) was from a senior manager in their customer relations department. And no, they didn't charge me for it. They couldn't of course because there was no account to charge it to!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 06/09/2010 : 05:43
Report on Today of a couple travelling o a single ticket to Southampton. Got off two stops early at Eastleigh to visit friends. Fined £100 by ticket inspector for 'breaking rail regulations'. Never miss an opprtunity for profit!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 06/09/2010 : 10:33
Everything Everywhere reminds me of the M&S accounts that are actually HSBC. I can't remember off hand whether they are pensions or insurance or whatever but they are branded as Marks & Spencer and bought by people who think they are dealing with M&S. But the accounts are with HSBC and your dealings are with HSBC.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 12/09/2010 : 07:01
It seems I wasn't the only person incensed by HMRC Harknett. He has been forced to make a public apology. This does not alter the fact that he is evidently a supercillious, patronising jerk who has no concept of his responsibilties to the taxpayer. He is still in denial about culpability, still in post and will still get his bonus next year for 'performing well' . There is no hope for improvement in administration standards while people like this are in charge.

Why did his attitude remind me of the bankers? Think Barclays and the casino manager.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 12/09/2010 : 20:09
Could you imagine being married to a person with such sterling personal attributes? Laughing

Seriously though, he is just a puppet fall-guy in my books.  He doesn't "serve the people".  He serves his political masters. He is a front man.  This just wasn't big enough to warrant his falling!

It must to two or three years ago that a lot of the middle range tax inspectors were given redundancy packages.  Presumably, that is when things started to go a bit wrong.  Because HMRC was depending on computers to do their work for them.

His puppet masters don't care about the tax payer - why on earth should they?  There is no money to be made in tax.  I am not convinced that this country generates enough tax to meet it's obligations.  So I wonder where the money comes from.

We might pay their wages, but that means nothing really.

I'm getting too cynical for my own good.

 


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