Irritated this morning by the news from a friend on holiday in Canada. Apparently she and her son have been there all of three days before her bank here in the UK (Tesco) see fit, without any warning whatsoever, to cancel her credit card because of unusual activity.
Now I know that fraud prevention is very important, and of course it is good that the banks are being vigilant but, in that way that banks have, there is no flexibility in the systems. I know this from personal experience as my own bank (Bank of Scotland) did it to me in Australia back in February.
I would have minded slightly less if I hadn’t taken the time to go to my own branch and explain to two members of staff why there had already been significant activity on my account (Xmas 2011 and dealing with the Pater’s estate) so they shouldn’t worry when they saw money being drawn in Australia because that was going to be me on holiday. Did it make a tiny bit of difference? No it did not.
I would have minded slightly less if the bank had taken a little time to check things with me at the time, using any of the two e-mail addresses or three telephone numbers they have for me for this very purpose. Did they do so? No they did not.
I would have minded slightly less if getting it fixed had not taken three phone calls (including some totally inaccurate information from the call centre) during a family meal on our last evening in Canberra. Did they pay for the phone calls? You’re damn right they did.
So here is a thought for all of you bankers out there: when you are trying to get us to take your latest account, or cash card or credit card; or when you are trying to sell us holiday insurance we don’t need or want; or when you are promoting yourselves by reassuring us that your name is know in over 200 countries around the world … we might just actually take your advice and go on holiday sometimes.
And use your card.
And get some cash.
And get completely screwed over by you again.
Complete and Utter Bankers.