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Tizer
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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 - 25/09/2011 : 12:25
I've read Janet's pre-publication version and enjoyed it - keep up the good work!

We've been winding down our business and were planning to retire next year but a new move by the banks has prompted us to bring this forward and we will now stop at the end of November. A letter just received from the bank that processes our credit card transactions tells us that from 1st December this year we will need to comply with the `Payment Card Industry Security Standards' (PCI DSS). I'm sure this is all a great benefit for consumers to protect them from fraud, but reading through the details of what we would have to do I foresee much work and trauma. In addition to the hoops that all small business owners will have to jump through there is the added problem that the banks often don't understand our Linux computer system and that will be a major obstacle to us getting approval for the PCI DSS. For example, they would be scared witless when they found out we don't use antivirus software and won't be able to understand that we don't need it.

This made me think about how Janet and I started our business in 1995 and took advantage of the developments in computing, software, Internet and the web to publish and sell books to customers throughout the world. I now see that it was a bit like pioneers in the Wild West, we had no technical help and had to learn all the IT for ourselves, no business help and learnt to run a business by using good sense and treating customers as we would like companies to treat us. Perhaps this was a `Golden Age' for small business in the UK, a bit like those gold miners in California, a little like the Industrial Revolution in Britain. As always, the entrepreneurial spirit gradually gets damped down as the balance of regulation and bureaucracy moves in favour of health & safety and protecting consumers. There must be an ideal optimum state but I wonder if we are passing through it and out the other side, the wrong side?


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pluggy
Geek


1164 Posts
Posted - 25/09/2011 : 15:08
I think its only a matter of time before they enforce Trusteer Rapport (most of the UK banks use it) use when accessing Bank sites.  It supposedly negates the effects of malware in stealing your credentials/ draining your bank account although some reviewers have dismissed it as 'Snake oil'.

Since they don't do a Linux version we might be forced into running an operating system with hundreds of thousands of pieces of malware from a system with no or next to no threats so that their software can protect us from them..........


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

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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 26/09/2011 : 06:21
The banks use Linux and similar coding for their internal systems, the problem is that they have to use Msoft based systems to interact with their customers because of the Gates Hegemony. I have often asked what the real cost of Msoft innefficiency is. Perhaps we've found another leak in the bucket!

Tiz, Perhaps the answer is for old fashionec mail order, cheques in the post!


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 26/09/2011 : 10:39
Spot on Pluggy, and what makes it even worse is that I don't trust the banks to get their own computing and software right.

Stanley, one of the other troubles is that although the banks might use Linux somewhere deep inside their engine rooms, the employees who interact with customers (answer phone calls and the like) usually have no experience of Linux. You don't get to talk to anyone who understands Linux. For international transactions most of our customers want to use credit cards - it takes away all the hassle of dealing with different currencies. Companies use bank transfer but we can lose a lot of money by the banks siphoning it off at various points in the transaction.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 27/09/2011 : 05:57
Yup, I understand the problem and sympathise. Only one way out Tiz. Retire and start growing orchids. (Or build a shed!)


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 02/11/2011 : 05:37
One thing you might like to keep an eye on. I got notification yesterday that my Cardguard subscriprion was up for renewal on December 28th and would cost £78 but have 'enhanced benefits'. One would hope so because it has gone up from £50.

I don't need the service and as they only renew it every three years I missed it in January 2009 and found that I was bound by the contract. So yesterday I cancelled the policy by phone, no problem and they will send a confirmatory letter. However....  I had read the small print and there was a kicker buried in there. They can't cancel the Direct Debit and so I had to go to the bank and do that myself.  Clever stuff! Can you imagine the hassle I would have had getting it back? I wonder how many people are caught out?


Stanley Challenger Graham




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


5150 Posts
Posted - 06/11/2011 : 12:11
HSBC, RBS, Natwest all having problems this weekend with online accounts failing, cash dispensers (ATMs) not working, people left without any cash for the weekend, unable to check accounts, wrong figures being shown online. Running a retail bank isn't rocket science, anybody with nous could do it - and you don't even have to be able to count these days. Instead we've got people like Bob Diamond earning millions of pounds for running a business with half a million customer complaints a year. I'm not one of those who put up a tent outside St Pauls and protest about globalisation but I do believe there is something very seriously wrong with the state of large business in the UK. What can we do about it?


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 07/11/2011 : 04:24
Being a dinosaur I won't trust online banking or cash machines. I use the Co-op check out with debit card as my cash provider. Free, efficient and you get to check the account immediately.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 09/11/2011 : 11:28
We haven't used a cash machine for about 20 years. Too many instances of people having money deducted from their account but nothing coming out of the machine, and the bank refusing to refund the money.

There's more trouble afoot over the banks refusing to refund money to people whose accounts have been drained through fraud even though the fraud was not due to any negligence by the customer. The rules state that a bank must refund the money unless they can provide evidence of negligence but they are failing to make the required refunds. The FSA sided with the banks, even though the rules were being broken. The ombudsman has just ruled in favour of a customer who has been fighting for over a year to get her money back. She didn't give her PIN to anyone. The bank says that they received a call from her asking for a new card - but they can't produce any record of the call - and they sent a card to a different address to hers (but won't say what the address was). She had only ever used the card to pay off the same small monthly bill but the fraud on the new card involved many thousands of pounds in each of a number of transactions in a very short period of time - and the bank didn't set off any warning bells. She only found out when she eventually got her bill, saw their was a different card number on it, and found she had lost £16,000 (and that was £5000 above the limit set by the bank). Security experts believe it was an inside job by a bank employee but the banks won't admit that such things happen - even though there are known publicised cases.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 10/11/2011 : 05:32
It beggars belief doesn't it when you see reports of large organisations, in this case the banks, riding roughshod over rules and procedures and acting as judge and jury. It all gets back to ethics. Interesting piece in PE this week about the Bishop of London putting Ken Costa up as leader of the church initiative to 'reconnect the financial with the ethical'. PE go on to detail some very questionable aspects of Costa's career. Good piece in the same vein about Lord Stephen Green, the Business Minister. The incestuous nature of the relationships between finance and government are scandalous but seem to be fireproof. How can we expect the banks to be fair or ethical in this climate? Perhaps the protesters outside St Pauls have a point.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 10/11/2011 : 10:55
Also the new revelations about Murdoch's News International - should be some fireworks today!

I've just been looking at a BBC `magazine' article on its news site about Berlusconi - funding and links to the Mafia and the like, much worse than the bunga bunga stories.

Olympus have been up to no good, buying failing companies to save on tax and paying massive fees to `advisors' who had never been heard of before and then disappear immediately after the payment.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 11/11/2011 : 05:42
And let's not forget Michael Wood who blew the whistle on Olympus. A lot more mileage in that one I suspect.

I watched a bit of James Murdoch in front of the committee. He didn't like being called a Mafia Boss did he! One gets the feeling that the Murdoch empire is crumbling. 'Not me Guv' can't stem the tide forever.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 27/11/2011 : 11:18
Well I never, the banks are being arrogant yet again, but they've been found out by Paul Lewis who does BBC Radio's Money Box programme and writes for Saga Magazine. It started with one case and now lots of people are writing in to say they've suffered the same problem...

The first case to be aired was a couple who set up a bank savings account for their young child to build up a pot of money for her future. It started OK but then the bank sent the child a letter saying the account had been closed. When the parents asked for an explanationthe bank branch couldn't help and directed them to head office. But the bank wouldn't give a reason. Eventually, after much persistence and taking it to Paul Lewis, the bank said it was because of fraud but still wouldn't say more. More research showed that someone who had lived at the address previously had committed fraud. The bank and credit reference agencies had failed to check what the present situation was. So, the banks may brand you as a fraudster just because a previous occupant of the house was one.

Since then other people have been writing to Paul Lewis with similar experiences and the common theme is that the bank simply will not divulge any information to show why they have closed the account. Not only that but the `victims' then find they can't open an account at another bank because the banks transfer information about you between themselves. There are customers left with no bank account and you know how difficult that can be these days when the government wants everyone to have an account. Of course, the banks show no remorse and try to put the blame elsewhere. For more of Paul Lewis's stories and his advice on money matters, see these links:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/moneybox/9647980.stm

http://www.paullewis.co.uk/

http://www.web40571.clarahost.co.uk/archive/BBCi/BBCi.htm

Edited by - Tizer on 27/11/2011 11:20:27


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 28/11/2011 : 06:34
I heard the same reports Tiz and had the same reaction. It is absolutely disgraceful and leaves the customer high and dry because in effect they are black-listed by all the other banks.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 20/12/2011 : 06:17
As I predicted, the increase in speed of bank reform has brought the egregious Angela King (Banker's Federation spokesperson)  out of her office and she graced our screens last night. She is going to be very busy in 2012! I listened to a banking expert yesterday and he said that we can now expect protests and lobbying from the banks to go into overdrive.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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