I blog when I go abroad, and occasionally when I do stuff in the UK too. There's a nicer interface over here.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Tesco Finance really can just fuck off

It's 16 days since I requested a signature verification letter. I still don't have it, but I sent one in after getting Ruth to print one out at her work. Yesterday, 2nd December -- about 8 months after opening the account -- I finally got online access to my "Internet Saver" account.

Naturally the first thing I tried to do was transfer the money out. Except I can't. In order to transfer money, I need to add a payee -- and in order to do that, I need a card reader.

Some background: Tesco Finance is essentially a franchised RBS service, in the same way (but on a smaller scale) as NatWest is. In fact the Tesco Finance online banking site is an obvious reskinning of NatWest Online Banking, and this thing about needing a card reader is the same on both systems.

With NatWest I can understand it. I have a current account. Consequently I have a card, which is fairly crucial to the operation of a card-reader. But with Tesco I just have a savings account. No card. So, they're going to send me a "suitable card" as well as a reader. Within 15 days. Right.

I phoned Tesco up, and asked to transfer all the money out and close the account. They said oh, no, because this is an internet saver account, the only way to close the account down is by sending them a letter. Of course! How stupid of me. But, OK, at least please transfer all the money out to my current account... oh. I can't do that either. Because, you see, if I transferred all the money out, I wouldn't have the minimum balance (£1) required to keep the account open, would I? And as they'd just explained, I can't close the account. Never mind the fact I wanted the account to close, I can neither explicitly do that nor trigger it by taking the balance below the minimum.

I swore at the bloke, hung up, and wrote a letter to Tesco. I don't need this shit at the best of times, certainly not when I"ve got a cold. I wonder how long it will take to close my account? Tempted to predict that it'll take long enough that I'll actually earn some interest (I don't have any yet -- it's paid annually, at the end of March). What a fucking colossal waste of time and effort.