Thursday 30 October 2008

It's a sin

Grrr. My day got off to a pretty bad start today when my mobile chirped "beep-beep". A text :) From the bank :( Something along the lines of "Dear Lis of the North. Did you know you're overdrawn by nearly a grand?". Wtf?!!

Let's now rewind to four weeks ago. I went to the bank and instructed them to cash in part of my life insurance policy. I wanted the money to pay for our bathroom (nearly done). And some other stuff. That's not the point. So the guy typed away at his keyboard and presented me with a thing to sign, which I signed, and that was that. Job done.

Having concluded this life insurance business, I then proceeded with withdrawals from my current account, calculating that I had X amount salary less Y amount mortgage + various bills plus Z amount life insurance. Loadsa money. You can imagine my surprise and growing horror when I got that text this morning. I even feared for a terrible moment that someone had somehow got access to my account and was cleaning me out (wouldn't take long).

But no. I checked internet banking and the useless crowd of wasters still haven't carried out the instruction I gave them four weeks ago to transfer three pots of gold from my life insurance to my current account. So I rang the call centre, reminding myself to try not to be rude to the customer advisor. And apparently "it's perfectly normal, madam". Is it?! "Didn't the bank teller mention that it can take up to 30 days for the instruction to go through?" Er, no. And why the hell does it take up to 30 days? I know it's the credit crunch and all that, but surely the bank doesn't need my miserly few euros to shore up its capital?

I'm part annoyed with myself because really I should have checked my account before now. But more to the point the half-brained oik at the branch should have told me it would take a whole month before I got my readies. And it shouldn't take a whole month for me to get my readies.

This is the third time the incompetents have messed up transactions on my account this year. Had enough. Will be opening an account with a proper bank providing proper customer service* very shortly. I figure that, given that I have no choice in paying bank charges (yes, here in the third world "free banking" is a completely unknown concept - a bit like "lane discipline"), I may as well get my money's worth.

*NB: may I had the caveat that this counting house only qualifies for such praise because so far I have been satisfied with its measly efforts.


Anonymous said...

Your bank actually texts you? Oh, thanks for making me think I should never ever give my bank my cell phone number.

Lis of the North said...

Hey Zhu! Well, they only ever text me when I'm overdrawn so I don't hear from them that often. Which is a good thing, no?

Brennig said...

I use HSBC for my Ltd company and they're very good. Except their telephone call centre is located somewhere on the Indian sub-continent and making oneself understood is sometimes... difficult. :(

Lis of the North said...

Lo Brennig. I've had a current account with them since they were known as Midland. The call centre thing is a bit of a pain, I agree! But they aren't so bad. For a bank.