Thursday, August 25, 2005

Financial Leper 2: The Curse of the Deadly Revenge of Vengeance Caused by Mild Upset

So, my day of financial woe continued.

On Saturday I discovered that my bank statements, which I have never seen since I first moved to Leicester, were being delivered to No. 31 in my street. As I'm a 13 (gee, can you spot the data entry problem there?) this has made it a little difficult to check my finances. I only discovered this thanks to the ever-so-clever postman who reasoned that since another letter for me was going to 13, maybe this one was as well.

I reasoned that perhaps the reason my phone order was declined was because my address and my account's address are not quite the same. Either roads it was something I needed to fix ASAP.

Anyroads, if you've read my blog before you know that the Bank of Scotland branch in Leicester is useless. Their stock answer to any question is to tell you to use the phone-banking service. After all they can't do money transfers, standing orders, or even allow me to query my account statements on their computer. It hardly seemed likely they could allow me to change my address.

In fact it seemed as probable as the teller saying, "For the inconvenience here is an extra 5 million for your account. And have my wife thrown in as a bonus too."

Realising this I used the BoS phone banking service. Since it would save me a trip down to the city centre only to be told to use the phone service. However the wifie on the phone informed me they couldn't change my address for me - the only way I could change my address was by popping into my branch...

... which is 365 miles or so away.

Needless to say I was somewhat vexed.

So she qualified by saying I could pop into any branch of the BoS and get my address changed.

Needless to say I was cynical, due to my previous experience with Leicester's muppet squad branch.

Blind-faith at the ready I popped into the BoS in Friar Lane, Leicester, after work. I walked up to the teller, noting that for a change there was no enormous queue and equally enormous wait which would culminate in said stock answer involving a phone and me possibly smashing the glass in an attempt to insert their phone service into the teller.

I smiled politely and informed the teller of the minor clerical error which meant total strangers were getting their mits on my financial information. He looked at me like I had two heads and...

get this...

no really...

here's the twist...

you won't see it coming...

you will laugh...

no I don't have 5 million sitting in my account...

it's not that sort of twist...

ok...

give me a minute to compose myself...

the words are forming...

He told me...

sorry...

I'm not mad you know...

Well, not mad in the loss of sanity, perhaps loss of temper though...

Enough already...

He told me to use the phone banking service!

Now - I'm normally a nice, polite person but I would describe myself as swiftly becoming "stroppy" with said fellow. Minorly irked, a bit hacked off, riled, prickly, upset, vexed. I was all those things. At the same time.

I politely informed him that it was said phonebanking service that had told me that this branch, being a branch of the Bank of Scotland, would be able to ensure the reversal of the numbers "31" to "13". He remained steadfast that, despite being a bank, a Bank of Scotland bank, which by definition deals with bank accounts, they could not deal with this.

I know - perhaps the maths of reversing 2 digits is a little beyond Leicester's branch.

Or maybe their brains are wired so they can't do it. A sensible precaution to stop £5,000,000 becoming £0,000,005. None the less he seemed adamant, nay crystal clear that phonebanking could deal with this. I however was more adamant, more crystal clear. In fact I was certain! So he said he'd get the relevant form for me.

The "form" I had to fill in was a piece of paper, taken, I suspect from their printer. I'd wager it's a dot-matrix, given how up to date and on the ball the branch is.

A blank piece of paper. I'd to put my account number and details in, and he would forward it on to the Broughty Ferry branch. So I scribbled down the basic concepts of how to reverse "31" into "13". I even went so far as to explain it in English.

After this I queried him that the process of changing my address would take 7-8 days to come through (though I suspect that's if the branch is working at peak efficiency and no-one increases the level of sedatives in their water-cooler beyond normal levels). Unfortunately they couldn't provide any confirmation if it went through, but if I got my bank statement delivered next month it might be a good indicator, if a little late if the opposite happened.

Fairly certain said piece of paper would not disappear into whatever filing system they keep I wandered away, muttering words like "incompetent" and "idiots" and contemplating all the various other banks in Leicester I could open an account with that might save me the trouble of taxing the minds of Leicester's Bank of Scotland branch.

I returned home, and phoned up the Carphone Warehouse people and it turns out Mare wins the grand prize for guessing correctly - I'm not quite yet on the electoral roll. However if I got to a Carphone Warehouse shop with 2 proofs of address they will run a credit check which will probably not end in me being labelled a big risk.

Wow - what a long rant.

4 comments:

SixFoot Hobbit said...

I know that I had to jump through hoops to prove I existed but once I had to their satifaction, my bank couldn't do enough for me. That's just crazy the way they're treating you.

mare said...

Don't join RBS- your situation is spookily similar to my own (except my branch is never open)

So what do I win?

EgorKDie said...

So the fact your a terrorist hasn't been a problem?

Oops was I not supposed to mention that?

Stuart Kerrigan said...

Dude - you're the guy who has to shave his beard to avoid being strip-searched in the States.