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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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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 19/01/2011 : 12:13
They have all lost sight of what "money" really represents. They still believe that money makes more money.


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 19/01/2011 : 14:51
My quip about parallel universes refered to the Horizon programme about 'What is Reality' on Monday night.  Not about banking, although the suggestion that reality is a hologram, probaby has some truck with the attitude of bankers...

 If nobody is looking at the moon, does it cease to exist ? is how Einstein put it when talking about particle physics and different behaviour  depending on if any one was observing it.   All very "Schrödinger's cat" Laughing


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 19/01/2011 : 20:14
You're right there, Pluggy. The Schrödinger's cat model is very close to the bankers with their derivatives, credit default swaps and collateral whatsits hidden away who knows where in virtual boxes. They all think the money is still there but nobody dares open the box to take a look. It needs a little boy to come along and shout "The Emperor's in the altogether, the altogether....".


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 20/01/2011 : 05:19
Sorry Pluggy, confused it with Panorama. Martha sent this link this morning. Well worth a look. Quite brilliant and very short.

 http://fora.tv/2010/04/26/David_Harvey_The_Crises_of_Capitalism_Animated


Stanley Challenger Graham




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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 22/01/2011 : 17:33
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-12259716

 "In a speech in London, Sir John Vickers said plans to separate bank trading and retail operations were being looked at. "

 Delightfully simple, except the banks will want to gamble with our money which is in the retail operation............

 

 


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 23/01/2011 : 06:07
Correct Plugs but the intention/aspiration is to separate the gambling in the casino banks from main street customer's deposits in the core banks. The idea is not to stop the gambling, nobody will ever manage that, but ring-fence the capital used so that they bear their own losses. This will reduce the size of the casinos and means that if they go down they can be allowed to fail. Not the ideal solution but the most likely to succeed against the opposition of the bankers because it doesn't tie their hands in the funny money market.

Beware of the phrase 'being looked at'. This doesn't mean action. We need a clear policy, legislation and hard regulation.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 02/02/2011 : 12:41
Now the insurance companies are out to get us too. Reports in The Times newspaper show private health insurance companies increasingly refusing claims from customers even though the claims are valid - the companies only admit it and pay up when challenged by the newspaper. They plead `computer error' and the like. So if they refuse your claim - persist!

Similarly, they have started getting around travel insurance claims for treatment of illness and injury by using a clause in the small print which says they will not pay out if the person was `under the influence of alcohol'. This can apply even if you have only a small amount of alcohol in your blood. An extreme example was a British man who was seriously injured by a hit and run driver in Florida while his family visited to celebrate a birthday. They went for a meal and on the way back he was hit and was in hospital for weeks with many broken bones. He'd had a few drinks with the meal and the company refused to pay up, so he is now faced with about $100,000 fees to pay the US hospital and thinks he will have to go bankrupt. Remember, your travel insurance might not cover you if you have been drinking alcohol (a sobering thought!)

Edited by - Tizer on 02/02/2011 12:42:18


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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 02/02/2011 : 15:41
Insurance companies being fair weather friends ? no change there then......

 Had reason to 'have words' with HSBC this week. I got a letter from HMRC (another favourite of mine) saying my bank had cancelled my direct debit to them and they couldn't take my last Natinal Insurance payment.  On line the DD had disappeared and didn't apper in the 'Cancelled & Expired' either.  Went round to the bank, no record of there ever being one except for the payments already taken.  Posted new DD form to HMRC. Frown


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 03/02/2011 : 05:03
I've lost count of the number of application forms I have been sent for 'Over-50s' insurance. Basically a burial fund and if you miss one payment the policy is cancelled with no refund. Great! Most seem to be from Aviva channelled through a variety of retailers.


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panbiker
Senior Member


2300 Posts
Posted - 03/02/2011 : 09:55


quote:
Stanley wrote:
Most seem to be from Aviva channelled through a variety of retailers.

Good old Norwich Union, they are the company that shafted me when a vehicle drove into the side of mine whilst I was stationary. Impact damage was all at the side of my car. They came down on the side of the other party (who was also insured by them) and said that I had driven in to her! My car was written off, bottom book paid and they were told where to go in no uncertain terms.

I also have had forest loads of literature for the "over 50's. Why do some company's think that as soon as you turn 50 you will want to go on a cruise, need a foot spa or personal gentle excercise machine? Personally I can't think of anything worse as far as holidays go and If  I want some excecise I will go for a 15 mile hike across the fells and then relax in a nice bath when I get home.


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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 03/02/2011 : 12:11
Ah - insurance.  Oh good topic for me to have a rant about.

I have an indemnified medical condition of galls stones.  I can't get them removed or zapped until they cause me significant problems.  

I am not certain what "significant problems" actually means.  There are now some things which I just can no longer eat - but I don't know that until I have eaten them and the resulting pain and sickness.  It has happened twice in the last two weeks.

If I go to the doctors to enquire whether these are significant problems and they tell me no they aren't significant problems, I won't be covered on my medical insurance because it will show on my medical records.

Rock and a hard place spring to mind!

I had heard of the alcohol thing, but only in cases where the insured was at fault (i.e. sh1t faced and caused their own injury through said condition).  Never heard of the clause being so stringently applied as in Tizer's example.

Panbiker - I would reply to you, but I will start swearing!

For years, I have been of the opinion that insurance was legalised fraud.  But, it is a necessary evil.

It just seems to me that in this day and age, I have to be an insurance expert, legal expert, any kind of expert to make sure that I am within all the clauses and expectations of someone or other.

I am trying to write the copy for a website for my small business I am in the process of setting up.  It is giving me a permanent headache to ensure that I am not breaching one or other clause of some obscure legislation.

I have to be regulated by a number of different bodies to be able to work and am just wondering why I am bothering.

Ah yes, I remember why I am bothering.  My state retirement age changed and is changing again.  I'm not moaning about the first change, I knew about it in advance and made provisions.  I am moaning about the latest change - it has postponed my state retirement by 12 months and is way too late for me to make adequate provision.
 

Edited by - Anni on 03/02/2011 12:13:43 PM


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 04/02/2011 : 05:24
It's the 'New Economy' Anni. Work on the principle that they are all out to get you.

Margaret hasn't heard from Barclays about closing her account yet. I have urged her to go for their throat.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 04/02/2011 : 12:28
Anni, the alcohol clause and others are being applied much more stringently because the insurance companies have been told by their accountant bosses to save money in the recession. On travel insurance, another of the newspaper's examples was were a claim was rejected when the woman had to cancel a holiday booked a year in advance because she developed cancer. They claimed she had the condition when she booked but in fact she didn't know until shortly before the holiday. The company finally caved in and admitted that they made a mistake. These companies are either grossly incompetent or deviously manipulating their customers to avoid paying out.

Barclays are in trouble with the regulators and have been heavily fined for brazenly selling unsuitable products to people late in life [savings funds that were (a) risky and (b) not going to pay anything out for at least 10 years.]

By the way, have a look at my Twitter thread .

Edited by - Tizer on 04/02/2011 12:29:20


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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 04/02/2011 : 13:40
Everything is such a battle these days and that is what gets me down. 

I really can not decide whether companies are incompetent or manipulative - I reckon it is a bit of both.

Since November, I have been locked horns with the freeholder of my apartment.  Black mould growing on two walls.  They have repeatedly been told that there is a roof breach and have repeatedly sent in roofers who have not even bothered to go into the loft.  They kept saying it was a condensation problem which even to my untrained eye was blatant rubbish. 

I finally sent my own contractor in (250 mile round trip journey) who found the breach, sent me a report which I then sent on to the freeholders call centre via email.  Waited a week and called up to find out what was happening.   "Having problems with the email system and hadn't retrieved it".  Sent it again.  Appointment made but never bothered to tell me or the tenants.  Another call from me to establish what was happening.  What is with this assumptive attitude that someone can just turn up?

Unfortunately, tenants then get ill and call me to cancel appointment on day.  I call call centre and the message doesn't get passed to the contractors.  I get a call from contractors.  Tell them sorry story and ask for a new appointment.  Can't be done on the day I request.   I ask for the 9th as I am at the flat then.  No, can't be done.  I gently suggest it can be done after all the messing around.  Anyway, they have managed to "fit me in" on the 9th.  Too right they can "fit me in" after3 months of telling me it is condensation.

Problem is, I am always loathe to start shouting off the bat, but they really are pushing me to the very limit.  

Condensation my a**e.  

I pulled a muscle in my back this morning and am in a particularly bad mood now Laughing


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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 04/02/2011 : 13:58
1)  8 1/2 years since I left the organisation I was working for.

2)  6 years since I started tribunal proceedings against them.

3)  4 years since the tribunal found in my favour.

4)  3 1/2 years since I was awarded my pension (backdated to 2)).

5)  3 years since the organisation told me I was not entitled to enhanced payments.  Grounds for this decision: a Doctor taking a quote from another doctor, changing a couple of words and leaving a couple of words out which changed the whole meaning.

6)  1 1/2 years since the medical appeal found in my favour.

7)  1 year since I was awarded my enhanced payment (backdated to 2)).

I have just found out that the organisation did not apply the rules correctly and appear to have short changed me by £ 15,000.00.  Stated case from 4 years ago says they should have backdated to 1) and not 2).

I wonder - did they know about this stated case and have just decided to ignore it, or did they not know and it is a genuine mistake.

No doubt I will find out by the reply I get to my polite request.

What really gets my goat is that I put my trust in the skills of people who are supposed to be professional when I don't have those skills.  

I have become adept at reading legal judgements and arguments.  Understanding the small print of insurance documents.  How to build and repair a roof.  To name but a few.

I don't want these skills - I want to concentrate on my own areas of expertise and not clutter my head with other things.

Think I will go and have another tablet and a lie down Laughing


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