When one door closes another is locked
I do my main banking with Ulster Bank.
I have been with them for over forty years and have had few problems with them. Granted there was one period when my local branch had a cunt of a manager who used to bounce cheques if they went so much as three or four quid over the limit [no exaggeration – he did that a few times to me]. But all in all I have been happy with them.
They have announced they are shutting shop. Just like that. We’re quitting lads, so if you have accounts with us then tough shit; we’re off. You’re on your own. Shower of fucking cunts.
So I have to find somewhere else to stash my ill gotten gains. I have accounts where I can hold money, but what I need is an account where I can use a debit card or, in extreme emergencies, cash a cheque. In other words I have to open an account with another bank.
Basically there are two options – Bank of Ireland or Allied Irish Banks. There are others but they don’t provide all the facilities I need. I was once with Bank of Ireland and on principle I refuse to go back to them. Even better, Allied Irish have what they call an “Advantage Account” for us Wrinklies where they don’t charge any fees. That sounds grand. All I have to do is open an account and transfer my business. I went online.
I went into their website. Loads of options. Nowhere though can I find an option to open an account. Bugger! Maybe I had better phone them.
I looked up the number of my nearest branch [in Skobieville] and dialled it out. Straight away I got into one of those horrendous menu things where an anonymous female gives me six choices, asking me such things as “did I want to cancel my card” or “did I want to apply for a loan”, or a mortgage or an overdraft. You get the gist? None of the options bore any resemblance to opening an account. I waited in the hope that a bit of flesh and blood would pick up, but no, it went back into the menu again and insisted I had to pick one of the six numbers. I tried what I though was the nearest in the hope that I would get through to an actual living being but it then told me to enter my account number. Fuck! That’s like trying to open a safe but the keypad is on the inside!
I rang Head Office. I actually got a live one on the line and I told him I just wanted to open an account. “Whereabouts?” says he. “Skobieville” says I. “No problem” says he, “I’ll put you through”. The number dialled out for about five minutes and then went dead. Fucking hell!
I gave up on the phone and decided to try alternative methods. I remembered seeing a mention of Chat on one of their pages so spent another few minutes trying to find mention of it again. I found it and clicked the link – “Chat is not available at this time!” Bollocks!
Then I decided to try my mobile phone. They have an “App” [that’s “Application” for those who have a respect for language and don’t have to abbreviate everything]. I installed it. I fired it up. It gave me two options – Log in, or Open an Account. Brilliant! I was getting somewhere.
I entered my email address. It sent me an email with a verification code. Grand. I told it my name and it asked for my date of birth. I couldn’t type that in however and had to use their calendar which was displaying “December 2021”. Obviously they expect the newborn to register an account as their first action in this wonderful life? They only way to get back to my date of birth was to flick back the months one by one. 873 [!] flicks and a sore finger later I arrived at my birth date and sighed a sigh of relief. I clicked “Next”. The fucking thing had timed out as it reckoned I had taken too long. Fuck fuck fuck!!!!
I messed around with their Application and tried again. More verification codes. Then I realised I could easily choose the year to start the search for my birth date. Within seconds I had it. I clicked Next. “Error! Accounts can only be opened for people between 18 and 65″. Christ on a bike!!!!!
I gave up. I suppose I am going to have to find time to call into the bank in person which means running the gauntlet of Scobieville.
It’s amazing how little has changed in the last ten years –
It’s probably no coincidence that the cockneys’ rhyming slang is ‘merchant bankers’.
I’ll drink to that!
Most of these phone systems have an option for a real boy if you keep pressing 0.
The service we get nowadays is crap. As it is a hobby of mine I like to complain. Escalate to the banking ombudsman. It takes a lot of their time and costs them money and if enough did it they would soon sort it out.
I tried that. I tried zero and also just just holding. Each option had the voice complaining I had to make a selection between one and six. Really fucking irritating.