Trampled Underfoot …

First of all I am okay … not squished at all!  The trampling is a metaphor for being on the receiving end of soul destroying customer service.

To briefly recap:

11 weeks go a person at my bank interfered in my current account – resulting in me having no access to my benefit for over a week.

  • I wrote to my branch and got the letter hand delivered, for which a handwritten receipt was provided
  • Eventually (after many fruitless phone calls) I got a replacement debit card and PIN, and had my next benefit paid to a different bank account.
  • Meanwhile I needed to go to the branch – 20 miles away – to get the first benefit payment transferred to the account I could use.  This only happened because a woman in the Customer Relations Team responded to an electronically submitted complaint.
  • Having only had that debit card for less than 8 weeks a bank employee who cannot do basic arithmetic cancelled the debit card leaving me with no access to my benefit.
  • Another electronic complaint resulted in the complaint being upheld and a new card being issued.
  • I tried to use the card and the PIN was refused.  I tried it with the gadget I use for online banking and it was refused.  I absolutely know it was the right PIN.  A further electronically submitted complaint.

Outcome of that complaint has been me on the phone for several hours today.  The Customer Relations staff I spoke to were lovely, helpful and they listened.  They could find no trace of my original letter complaint so could I resubmit it – that got an e-mail address provided to me.  They made a suggestion that they would pay for a return taxi for me to go to the branch.  I explained that I stay in a small town where there are only a few one person taxi firms and by the time I got one it would be too late for the bank today.

Eventually after it was suggested several times I must have put the wrong PIN in there was a lightbulb moment; ten minutes of listening to the awful muzak they have and the chap was able to confirm that in fact the bank had made an error.  The original debit card for that account was a Type A; 10 weeks ago they issued a Type B card with a Type B PIN; this last week when he has issued the replacement it is a Type A card which will not accept the Type B PIN and so I need a reminder of my original Type A PIN sending which will take a few days.

So tomorrow instead of going straight to Arbroath for a training course Open Event of 2 hours; I am trailing by taxi to Dundee to the bank, then getting a bus to Arbroath and I will be gone around 6 hours if the bus connections work coming home.  Pup has never been left 6 hours – I am not worried about leaving him but he will be grumpy with me when I get home!!

Then after I have spent a wee bit of time with the dogs and given them tea I will have to trail back to Forfar for food shopping … I ran out of butter, cheese and milk on Monday, out of lentils and coffee today … I have 53p in my purse …

Tomorrow – after 10 days without access I can draw cash at the branch; I still cannot use my card online until I get the reminder of the PIN and so will have to buy dogfood locally again – added cost!

I have made progress but it has been a very emotionally and physically draining  afternoon.  The bank has added some compensation to my account to cover the taxi and the additional cost and inconvenience and my original complaint has now been submitted as a formal complaint and I have the reference number.  The chap was clearly embarrassed that the bank have got this so wrong.

It should not have to take a complaint to get basic good customer service and what worries me is how many people who cannot stand up for themselves against a formal organisation like the bank go unheard? it is a disgrace.

Through all of this the bank Collection Team has continued its bombardment of phone calls but through all of this my boys have been like a pair of furry angels – good as gold, not a murmur and not a wrong foot between them.  Right now I am off to pack the things I need tomorrow into a bag so I can be as calm as possible tomorrow morning before I leave the Pup in his crate.  I will be having an early night tonight as well – my head is still pounding and I don’t need it to progress to a full migraine!  And having said that I am now getting bombarded by screaming Oyster catchers … did I ever mention how irritating those birds are?

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About nonehpets

I have an interest in how interior design and adapting a home to support living independently for longer can be complementary. The blog Life Long Design is part of an holistic plan for establishing a social enterprise which will offer the people of Tayside opportunities to explore Telecare and the wider scope of assistive technologies. Enabling individuals to make more informed and responsible choices in the care and support they need in their independent living. I am also keen to see public transport more widely adopted and sustainable rural bus services in particular supported. The Blog Travels with a Megarider shares my journey to find serenity in my life as I make that transition form employment to social entrepreneur. One of my methods in increasing serenity is to travel as many miles as I can on a fixed price bus ticket and explore my own local places of interest. Places that I used to go past and had never stopped to look at; places of peace and tranquility; places where I have had some wonderful conversations with complete strangers. I would like to share with you a response to when I described that one paragraph in an e-mail made it sound simple: "Believe me, Cathy, it does not sound simple. You are taking on an incredible challenge for all the right reasons. It is ambitious and admirable - the sort of project that can change lives, including yours." He is right it is ambitious but when did we every achieve anything by settling for the status quo and ignoring what doesn't work for people? So I would welcome your company from time to time on this journey either simply as a reader or if you are brave enough adding your own thoughts to the comments as you feel moved.

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