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Bank grumbles
grimacing
nmg

Just spent an unprofitable hour in the bank...

I've always used HSBC. Both my parents worked for the Midland, and I've had an account with them since I was seven (the one with the plastic elephant bank). I have a considerable degree of loyalty to them, you might say.

My current account is held at the Cambridge branch, and has been so for almost ten years; I can remember the sort code and account number off the top of my head, so I'd rather not change. Now, I've been living in shared accommodation for many, many years, so the bank is understandably reluctant to send new cards to my home address (this applies to ias's address too), so they're delivered to my branch for me to collect. The problem here is that my branch is in Cambridge, so I then have to phone the bank's customer services number to get the card sent to my local branch, which is the university branch in Southampton.

Until recently, the university branch was a sub-branch of the main Southampton branch, and didn't have a sort code of its own. Consequently, I'd go into the university branch after three working days to collect my card, only to be told that the card is at the city branch, and that it would take another day to get to me. Increasingly explicit instructions have had little effect here, not least because I've been unable to speak directly to the Cambridge branch staff. This has now changed, since the local branch have their own sort code, and mail goes to them directly.

Anyway, my credit card has just expired, so I've had the customary letter to tell me that my cards are helpfully being held on the other side of the country. Phoned customer services last Wednesday, and told them to send the card here. So far so good. Went into the local branch to collect them yesterday, only to be told that they hadn't turned up yet. They weren't able to get through to card services or customer services, so I left my mobile number, and was told that they'd phone me to let me know what was going on.

They didn't phone.

Went back in this morning, and queued for ten minutes before I could ask about my card. Was told that they phoned, which I don't believe. Still no sign of the card. Not good, since I'm leaving for a week in Belgium on Thursday evening. Was told to wait while they did some more phoning around to determine where the card was. Waited for twenty minutes.

The card is still in Cambridge. Cambridge have received the action from customer services, but have yet to do anything about it. Pointed out that I needed the card tomorrow, and that I expected it to be couriered to me. They went away for another twenty minutes to sort this out.

The card is not in Cambridge. Started getting a little pissed off at this point, and asked if they had any idea where the card might be. They have no idea where the card might be. Presumed lost in the internal mail was the best guess.

The upshot? They'll have to issue a new card. How long will that take? About ten working days. Ri-ight.

They offered to courier the card to where I'm going to be staying in Belgium, but I couldn't remember the address off the top of my head, and wouldn't trust them to get the card to me there anyway. Left explicit order that the replacement card was to be delivered to the local branch, and that if it wasn't there on my return (26th), I was going to be Very Unhappy.

Not that I'm particularly happy about this anyway, you understand.


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This bank bascially offered my uncle early retirement last year despite the fact that he was only in his early fifties, had worked for Midland and then them all his working life and was very senior in security. I suspect that they no longer value experience.

They did much the same to my dad when they closed his branch (he was manager of Old Street) in 1991.


Sounds like every [insert high street bank here] experience. I had much the same runaround from Natwest, who told me at one point that they no longer want people to change branches just because they have moved, because it might go wrong.

I am now with 1st Direct. They've been pretty good so far, though are not without their high street moments.

Some friends of ours came over from the US to work, and then 2 years later went back. As a result, their finances encompassed debt in both countries.

American banks were presumably comfortable with the idea. First Direct proved not to be able to cope with people paying off debt in the UK, while living in the US. The change of address slip induced a state of extreme alarm and frozen bank accounts in them, and much coaxing was required.

Brilliantly, one reason for the choice of bank account was that one of the couple had been working for HSBC in the UK.

H

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