Friday, 5 April 2013

Why I Bank On-line

Blog fodder is like buses.  

Nothing for weeks and then lots comes at once.

This time a rant about incompetent banking.

Lately I have been sorting out our savings accounts. Given the abysmal rates of interest on our accounts I have been opening new accounts on-line and transferring money into them.  Unfortunately, you can't close accounts on-line, so I popped into my local branch of the Halifax.  After queueing for 15 mins I got to the information desk and asked about closing accounts.

"We haven't any appointments to see you now, but you can close accounts at the cash desks", the girl said.

So I queued for another 15 mins to get to a cashier.

I gave the woman a piece of paper on which I had written "close" and the sort codes and account numbers of three accounts I wanted to close.

"Where do you want your balances going?" she asked.

"You can put it in here", I said, passing her a Halifax cash card.

After 5 mins of messing about, trying to get the printer to work and studying my piece of paper she announced:

"I've closed the wrong account.  I've closed this one"

 and she held up the cash card of the one account I didn't want closing!

"Well, open it again" I said.

"Oh, I can't do that, once it's closed it's closed"

I was not a happy bunny.

She then passed me the paperwork to sign to close the account.

I looked at it and said, "If I don't sign this, is the account not closed?"

"No, it's already closed"

What kind of system is that?!

One in which she can close my account before handing me the paperwork to check.

By now I'd been 40 mins in the Halifax and had only paid for an hour in the car park.  

I came home, fuming.

The following day I tried to open a new account in place of the closed one, but on-line I couldn't open a joint one, nor could you request a cash card.  I opened an account in my name and phoned them to request cards for myself and my husband.

"I can do that for you, but not until the account has been open 24 hours, you'll have to ring back tomorrow"

So the next day I rang to request cash cards for both of us.

" We can't issue a card for your husband because it isn't a joint account"

Not what I'd been told the day before.

"Can you change the account to a joint one?"

"No, you have to do that in branch"

Not on your nelly!

"I could put you through to your local branch and you can ask them to send you a form for you and your husband to sign?" she suggested.

"Ok", I conceded.

So she put me through to my local branch:

"Hello?  Hello?  Hello?" the girl at the branch said and promptly hung up on me.

I give up!

This is why I bank on-line:



ADDY said...

This made me smile. I have been going through something very similar - also with the Halifax. I tried to open a new account online to switch savings, ended up inadvertently opening TWO new accounts, having to close various accounts in the branch. Somehow I ended up with two user names and passwords too, which the cashier said was impossible, but I managed it! Why it can't be done online I don't know.

Working Mum said...

Addy - I think they should allow us to do more ourselves on-line, sack the incompetents and use the money they save in salaries to increase interest rates - problem solved!

Expat mum said...

If that's their idea of customer service I'd be leaving that account closed and going elsewhere!

Mum in a Hurry said...

Urgh. I hate banks. Feel your pain! That is ridiculous!

Claire said...

My Mum has just opened up an account here in Australia for their savings to go into as it's much better interest rates here than there (we never went into recession in the financial crisis). Comes to something when you have to transfer money half way around the globe. And no, there were no problems opening it, cards came within the week and customer service was great apparently.