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

Monday, April 20, 2009

Financial institutions and me YET again

Have I ever mentioned how much I fucking hate banks? Oh, yes, I have. Twice. But this is no credit crunch they're-all-bastards-because-people-borrowed-too-much-and-the-media-encouraged-it rant, it's a purely personal rant (again) about how banks seem to treat me like total shit.

If you can be bothered, you can go back and read my previous rants about the fiasco that was my attempt to move from NatWest to Nationwide. Well, this time I'm angry about having moved back to NatWest.

Not that I ever fully left them. Nationwide's team did manage to move my direct debits and standing orders across, in so far as they got them cancelled on the NatWest side. My mortgage bounced -- twice -- from Nationwide though. Sigh. And because of all the other grief they gave me, most particularly lying to me about my credit rating and refusing to give me anything but a Fisher Price "my first bank account" service, I moved back.

The move back had to be manual. I'd never closed my NatWest account, or even moved my salary payment to it. So I had to move all the direct debits back by myself, either online or on the phone. I did them all, I'm sure I did. I remember having a list of them written down and ticking them off as I contacted them. The sooner I got away from Nationwide, after all, the sooner I could stop the standing order which was funding it and close the bastard (not that I've done that last bit just yet).

Since doing so, my Orange direct debit has bounced and I've been cut off with no notice -- on, as it happened, a day when Ruth really needed to get hold of me, from Pakistan (when I finally spoke to her she was in floods of tears). I've now had to set up a direct debit to a credit card instead of the bank, which will cost me an extra £3.50 per month (thank fuck for miles-earning credit cards, though see below for a rant about one of those too).

My Fortean Times subscription has ended, after ~13 uninterrupted years. I'm pretty sure this is because the direct debit has bounced. I've contacted them but had no reply. The password I used to login to subsinfo.co.uk in February (when I went in to sort it out) no longer works.

My TV licence expired and the direct debit to renew it bounced.

My council tax direct debit has bounced. Twice.

Hmm. I'm sure more things have fucked up too, but I can't remember what right now. Too angry I guess. Anyway, I'm fairly certain that what's happened is this: NatWest have seen a bunch of direct debit requests from accounts that were fairly (but not hugely) recently cancelled, and decided to refuse them. But that's bollocks: I've set these things up manually, and it's called a direct debit instruction for a reason. I instruct the bank to do what I fucking say. And at the very least they might want to, y'know, phone me up, write me a letter, send me a message through online banking...

Deep breath. That's enough about NatWest for now. How about we talk about MBNA? Don't get me wrong, mostly they treat me very well (big credit limit etc), but sometimes they do take the piss. My MBNA credit card is an affiliate card with BMI, the airline, so that I can earn miles on all my purchases and then fly in comfort on long holidays. I don't actually fly with BMI at all, but if I did I would earn double the miles on purchases made with them. It's a loyalty card, after all.

In February (or was it March? I forget) I made my first purchase from BMI with my BMI card. Except, oh wait, no I fucking didn't: it failed authorisation. The call centre had to ask me for an alternative card with which to make my payment. And straight after I got off the phone to them, I got a phone call from ... MBNA. Telling me an attempt at a suspicious transaction had just been attempted, so they had emergency cancelled my card and issued me with a new one, new number, new PIN, new the lot.

That's good service, but for the fact that IT'S A BMI BRANDED/PARTNERED CARD AND THE TRANSACTION WAS WITH BMI. For flights! How can that be suspicious!?

I fucking hate banks.

1 comment:

Clare Griffiths said...

blimey, you don't have much luck do you?

I hate banks too!