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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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tripps
Senior Member


1404 Posts
Posted - 25/06/2010 : 10:47
Keep fighting Peter.       "Non illegitimi carborundrum"
Seems Lloyds are not paying interest on current accounts any more.  Thats another 12 p a month down the drain. 


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catgate
Senior Member


1764 Posts
Posted - 25/06/2010 : 15:32


quote:
Tizer wrote:
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 ........

Banking is without doubt the most evil thing on the planet and all its practitioners are leeches.

For many many years they have been out to create a "cashless" society, because without cash the true reference point of value  disappears. The steps that have been already taken to achieve this can be seen if one looks back. Retreat from the gold standard, debase the value of coinage (even pennies are only copper plated), the introduction of credit card, the coersion of industry to pay wages and salaries by direct transfer, the issue of  debit cards, the encouragement of the utilites to use direct debit and auto metering. Each step moving transactions not even topaper transaction, but to merely electronic imprints on  bits of plastic ribbon or disc.

Once the cashless stage is reached you are enslaved.

Your only alternative to total submition is barter....right back to where we started.

 There is a lot more chatter here ;-   http://www.angelfire.com/realm3/accord/monreslt.htm


Every silver lining has a cloud.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 26/06/2010 : 06:10
Quite right Peter, from your mouth to God's ear. Biggest scam I have found of late was that Visa have a minimum interest charge of £1 so if your card has only 1p on it you pay £12 per annum interest on the loan. Work that one out baby! HSBC charge you the actual percentage so I ditched the Visa card and what a job that was!

I agree about cheques also. I shall simply use the supermarket as my bank. Buy a bottle of milk on your debit card and ask for cash back. Convenient, open all hours and as near secure as you can get with no charges. I've never used a hole in the wall in my life.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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


5150 Posts
Posted - 26/06/2010 : 10:14
A report in The Times last week related interviews with two bank staff, one from Santander and one from HSBC, blew the whistle on the way banks encourage them to sell overpriced and inappropriate products and make them use tactics to dismiss legitimate customer complaints. The report makes depressing reading becasue it confirms the cynical way the banks treat customers. Santander call centre staff are told that average call time must not be more than 270 seconds otherwise staff lose their quarterly bonus. After a call is finished the worker has 25 seconds to make notes on the customer's file. (Santander now has 25 million customers in the UK after taking over Abbey, Alliance & Leicester and Bradford & Bingley).

The Financial Services Authority criticises the way bank staff issue multiple, repetitive responses to customers, forcing them to restart complaints a number of times.At some banks the staff even get bonuses for rejecting vaild complaints.

Staff fraud inside banks has soared with 121 cases of proven fraud among employees in 2009 compared with 21 in 2008, according to the UK fraud prevention service, CIFAS. Experts say the number of frauds will be much higher because they are difficult to detect and they believe that organised criminals are now planting people within organisations. Customers cannot get any help from the police when they think a fraud might have taken place on their account at the bank. The police will only respond to a request from the bank, not from the customer.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 26/06/2010 : 18:08
Money programme today highlighted the problems people are having contacting their credit card providers from abroad. Supposed to be a 24hr service, they complain that they often get the dreaded 'office hours' message. Also banks ignoring notice that a client is going to be abroad for a few months. One bank told a customer that nobody takes more than three weeks holiday abroad and so they automatically stop the card. This after getting a response in writing to notice that the clent was going to be away for an extended stay.

My estimate is lack of staff to attend to client concerns and log communications properly.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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


5150 Posts
Posted - 27/06/2010 : 10:57
Some banks put  a stop on cards even if they are used on a day visit abroad if you don't warn them.


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 29/06/2010 : 05:40
Heard today from a friend that she has had that problem even though she rang them and flagged the visit up.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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


5150 Posts
Posted - 12/07/2010 : 20:21
Another trick from the banks. They are now freezing people's accounts because they wrongly suspect the customer of being mentally incapable or involved with fraud. A 76 year old lady had her Natwest account frozen because she gave a wrong answer to a question from a clerk at the bank - and it was just after her husband had died. Her son got it sorted but it took 6 months to get the account opened again. Although she couldn't deposit or withdraw money, Natwest carried on sending out direct debits from her account. This took the account into overdraft and Natwest charged her £15 a day for being overdrawn.

In a different area, phone companies, Talk Talk (which took over Tiscali) is chasing former customers for debts that they do not owe. In fact it sells on the false debts to collection agencies and it is they who are chasing and intimidating the customers. Sometimes the customer is in credit when they left Talk Talk but when they contact the company and ask for the money Talk Talk accuses them of being in debt instead of credit. It's amazing the ideas these companies come up with!

The report in The Times gives some useful information. If you are harassesed by a debt collection company you should take your complaint to the trade body, the Credit Services Association (www.csa-uk.com or phone 0191-286-5656) or to Consumer Direct (consumerdirect.gov.uk or phone 08454-040506). Ask the debt collector for documentary proof to support its claims. You should also ensure that it does not breach Office of Fair Trading (OFT) guidelines. If it does, report it to your local trading standards office. OFT rules state that a debt collection agency is not allowed to contact you at unreasonable times or make misleading statements. Agents are allowed to visit you at your property, but they must give you notice of the time and date, and they should not turn up at your workplace unless requested.


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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 14/07/2010 : 10:30
In some ways, I can understand banks freezing accounts of suspected vulnerable people.  I have seen vulnerable people protected by these measures.  For it to take 6 months to sort out is disgraceful.  It takes a lot of time and energyand some people no longer have that capacity.  And that irritates me.

The problem seems to arise because everything is so disjointed.  My current gripe is nothing to do with the banks but will tell it anyway because it highlights "jobsworth, not within my remit" attitude so prevelant today. 

2 years ago I was informed my gas metre needed changing.  I duly took a day off work and waited in (12 hour time slot).  The young man took one look at my metre and said the pipes were too close, needed changing and promptly left.  I heard no more. 

Now, every six months I get a letter saying I have to stay in for a day to allow someone to come and change the metre.  I call up and say it has already been inspected and the pipes need changing.  The call centre tells me they are merely the sub-contractor and I need to contact the main company.  I say I haven't commissioned the work therefore it is not my responsibility.  They should report back.  They say they can't do that because a) there must be a bug in the computer and b) they can't dial out from the call centre.  Then they advise me the main company will get a warrant to enter my premises.  I tell them as they have been granted permission to enter, they can't get a warrant and if they do, it will have been illegally issued.  

It has become a mexican stand-off.  I keep thinking maybe I should write to the main company and get them to sort their systems out.  


I have literally just opened my mail and - yup - another letter telling me they have to change my meter.  Pass me the phone Laughing


Well, I phoned British Gas and was put through to two different people.  I was told to phone National Grid.  I phoned National Grid and was told that if they raised a work order, I would have to pay for the work to be done.  They told me to phone Onstream.  I've been doing that for over a year, but did before putting pen to paper.  I finally spoke to someone with some sense who said that I shouldn't have to pay for having the pipes moved - that British Gas should pay.  That it was Onstream's responsibility to tell British Gas that the pipes needed moving.  That I should ignore any further letters.  I think I need to follow this up with a letter just to cover my back.

 

Edited by - Anni on 14/07/2010 10:33:01

Edited by - Anni on 14/07/2010 11:32:12 AM


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 14/07/2010 : 10:46
Anni, try writing to `Troubleshooter' at the Money section of The Times newspaper. They have a lot of clout and love solving these problems!

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/money/article3358533.ece


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Tizer
VIP Member


5150 Posts
Posted - 26/07/2010 : 19:53
The latest dodge from the banks. They are `upgrading' people to `better' accounts. They get you into an interview room and explain how you can have an account with all sorts of `valuable' extras thrown in, and all you have to do is pay them a small fee each month. The catch is that `little' is often big and the extras are frequently of no use to the account holder or they could get them a lot cheaper elsewhere (such as mobile phone insurance). They are especially fond of targeting elderly people.

A similar trick is being played on people who go to open an account. They set you up on a paying account instead of a free one - they don't tell you about the free accounts, or even if you ask they will either say (wrongly) that you can't have one or come up with all sorts of reasons why paying is better (to grind you down - they can keep you in that room for an hour). An example was an 18-year-old who was set up with a paying account when he was living at home, had no job and couldn't benefit from any of the perks. He didn't realise there was any other type of account - until his dad intervened.

Edited by - Tizer on 26/07/2010 19:56:42


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Anni
Regular Member


634 Posts
Posted - 26/07/2010 : 23:00
Thanks Tizer - I might well give that a go.  I had forgotten all about it again until just now Laughing

Been too busy trying to get through to a major bank to tell them that they had written to me about a debit card I have.  I didn't think I had an account with them and told them so - after 3 attempts to speak to someone sensible.

When I did speak to someone with some sense, he asked me whether I had ever had a mortgage with a certain building society.  And then I remembered - I had applied, but not taken up their offer over 3 years ago.  But in the meantime, this major bank which owned the building society had opened a bank account for me and sent me cheques and debit card.  I just cut the card up and shredded the cheques  because I thought it a bit cheeky of them to just assume I wanted an account with them.  I obviously forgot to ring them up and tell them to shove their account Wink

Before I got hold of Mr Sensible (he should be given an accolade) I had one stupid girl tell me she couldn't do anything.  I protested and asked her what would happen if someone had opened an account in my name.  She told me to either go into a branch or write a letter of complaint - and in the meantime, someone is spending on my name - I think not.

So, I have decided the moral of this particular story is to ring the call centre again if you get someone giving you an answer that is not laced with a good dollop of common sense.  Odds are you will eventually find someone who knows what they are doing Laughing

Seriously though, I am starting to worry about my next few years on this earth.  Who is going to save me from these automatons in call centres and computers which churn out all sorts of rubbish?

Edited by - Anni on 26/07/2010 11:02:10 PM


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Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 27/07/2010 : 05:26
Nobody Anni. I have got down to one Card and one basic account. They will have difficulty with me!

Did you watch Fake Britain last night? There was a report that the card-reading machimes coming out of the factory for use in the retail outlets sometimes have card readers and a mobile phone built in. As cards are read the details are automatically phoned to Pakistan where cards are cloned and used to steal money. An unspecified number have been detected in reatail outlets. The question in my mind is that when such a cloned card is used (complete with PIN number of course) is the customer told that it is due to a totally undetectable scam or accused of not keeping PIN secret and thus voiding any protection on the card?

Got a letter from BT yesterday telling me that there were to be 'exciting changes' to my connection charge. 50p a month more but 'lots of exciting benefits and bonuses'. Time to switch line rental I think to Orange.....


Stanley Challenger Graham




Barlick View
stanley at barnoldswick.freeserve.co.uk Go to Top of Page
Stanley
Local Historian & Old Fart


36804 Posts
Posted - 27/07/2010 : 06:33
Just heard a news item originating from the royal mint. Three out of every ten pound coins in circulation are fake. Seems a very high percentage to me... Can it be true?

They had another crack at the calculation and by 7am they had changed the estimate to one in thirty six. Now that sounds a bit better!

From Wikepedia:

 A Royal Mint survey in January 2009 estimated that 2.58% of all £1 coins in circulation are counterfeit. This represented a considerable increase, up from 2.06% a year earlier, with the highest level of counterfeits being in Northern Ireland (3.6%) and London and the South East (2.97%) and lowest in Northwest England. Some estimates place the figure closer to 5%. An earlier survey in 2006 gave an estimate of 1.7%, which itself was nearly twice as many as earlier estimates.

One common method of detecting counterfeits (if the sound of the coin on a table or the colour of the metal doesn't indicate something suspicious) is to check whether the reverse matches the edge inscription for the alleged year  it is extremely common for counterfeiters to get this wrong. Also, the writing on the edge may be in the wrong font and look very poor (see image), and the coins often generally look much less sharp and defined, lacking intricate details. Most counterfeit £1 coins in circulation are made of brass, and most lead copies are easy to spot and are quickly removed from circulation.


Stanley Challenger Graham




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


5150 Posts
Posted - 27/07/2010 : 09:30
Anni, I know how you feel. The call centres should have to pay a special tax to subsidise NHS treatment of all those suffering illness due to frustration by their handling of customers.

Stanley, the customer will be told it is their own fault, just as they do with internal fraud.

Another Times report. An 80-year-old  lady who had been a loyal customer of Lloyds bank was advised by them to open another account with a higher interest rate for her savings. OK so far. She handed over £500 in cash and asked for proof that it had been deposited. The cashier said she would receive a paying book. A few days later she checked again at the branch and was told the money was not recorded. Even when The Times intervened Lloyds still refused to refund any of the cash. It was only after the newspaper persisted and said they would run the story that the bank gave the lady her £500. Lloyds say they no longer give receipts to customers paying in cash "to reduce queuing times in branches". Can you imagine it? A bank does not give a receipt for £500! And these are the people who try to advise us on how to handle our money, or how to run a business if you are starting one.

A similar story was a man who paid in £465 cash at a Barclays' `Quick Pay Point'. The money didn't show up in his account and Barclays refused to reimburse him because he didn't have a receipt. Now here's the interesting bit - the Barclays `Quick Pay Point' system does not issue receipts, so how can they expect him to have one! He still hasn't received the money. He contacted The Times and they tried to get Barclays to pay up but for once even The Times couldn't defeat the bank and he has lost his £465.

One of my neighbours, in his 80s and living on state pension, says that if/when the banks stop us using cheques he is going to ditch his bank account and just use cash. Have nothing to do with banks. I wonder if he will be able to do that? Or have they cornered us by making it essential to have bank account for so many things now? It would be wonderful if everyone took their money out of the banks and boycotted them!

 


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