The numbers game
My adventures with the banking system continue.
When I had my meeting with the bloke in the new bank he told me that there were a few hurdles I had to jump yet. The main one was that I had to provide statements for all old accounts showing all transactions in the last six months. Once he had those then he’d set up my new account. I phoned the old bank and told them what I wanted though I had to do that twice as apparently Current Accounts are dealt with by a different section from Debit Card Accounts. Typical red tape…
Anyhows time passed. No statements arrived. Then I got a letter from the new bank enclosing a debit card. It seems I have an account?!
I went into the new lot’s website and used the number on my new card. The bloke in the bank had already given me my first temporary password for future use and had also asked me to enter an eight digit number on a keypad. I typed in a number that should be memorable. So I put in the username [a ten digit number] and the temporary one. It then asked me for the eight digit number I had used on the keypad. Fuck! I got thrown out.
At this point I should point out that I have a weird memory. Tell me your name and will have instantly forgotten it. I’m terrible with faces or names. Tell me a number and I’m fine. I can rattle off all the phone numbers I have had since childhood. Debit card numbers are no problem. Library card numbers are easy peasy. I just have a weird thing for numbers. The problem now was that I had forgotten which of the various numbers I had typed in at the bank.
I tried a couple of variations and got a message on screen about my mobile phone [?] and I was to ring the bank. I phoned them and got onto a nice Indian/Pakistani whose accent was so thick that I had to keep asking him to repeat himself. I eventually got the message – for some unknown reason the bank had locked access to my mobile phone and therefore my access to the whole system was locked for 24 hours. I have no fucking idea what that was about but I decided to leave it as I was getting a bit pissed off anyway.
Yesterday [48 hours later] I tried accessing the site. Fuck! I had forgotten my temporary password! Again I phoned a different number and this time I actually had an intelligent interaction with a computer at the far end. It set me up with another temporary one without ever speaking to a live or dead Middle Eastern.
I had worked out which of my remembered numbers I had used so I put in the ten digit, the temporary and the eight digits numbers. It sent me a text with yet another number which I duly entered. It worked!! There was my bank account with nothing in it.
I logged into my old bank account [using my 10 digit username, four digit PIN and eight character password and set up a transfer mechanism to the new bank. I sent off €50 as a test.
I logged into the new bank this morning. There was a shiny new €50 sitting in the account that I was told I couldn’t have.
I think I’ll head down to the local ATM and see if I can withdraw it with my new card.
Skip the ATM for now while you are still pleased. If it doesn’t work, you will just be pissed all over again. Enjoy the happy while you have it.
Too late. I had to go out anyway so I tried the ATM. I have now laundered €20 through my accounts. 🙂
I figured you would. (Not listening to me is generally a good bet anyhow.)
Glad you didn’t encounter any speedbumps.
I have car insurance and a pension at the same company. I logged into the car insurance website, no problem. A few weeks later I tried the pension website. No go. didn’t recognise my email or user. I tried ‘phoning, but in a call waiting; ‘your call is important to us, but tough you are in a queue and current waiting times are 55 mins’, 45 mins later I got to talk to a real person, the wrong real person as I want to talk pensions. Put on hold for 15 mins, then another real person, he was good and sorted out my pension login. So I logged in and all good. A few months later tried to login to car insurance, no good, for the same reasons stated above. Out of interest I tried to login to the pensions, no good, again. So I wrote an actual letter to the pensions, and I am cancelling the car insurance, by the simple fact of stopping payments. Lets see what transpires
“Your call is important to us”? That must be the greatest joke of modern businesses. Phoning just about any business is a nightmare these days. I have a series of calls I have to make in the near future getting them to make changes to my banking details. The three most important are the three who actually pay into the account. I’m tempted to leave the rest as doubtless they will then contact me when they try to draw down cash from an account that’s now empty!
I never thought I’d be singing the praises of the UK’s banking system, but here goes:
It’s really, and I mean REALLY easy, to switch banks here. You just go to the bank where you want your new account, and you can do this either in person or online, and tell them you want to switch your account from the old bank to the new bank. The new bank does all the work: opens the new account, transfers the balance from the old account to the new one, sends debit and credit cards, switches all your direct debits, etc. A week or so later it’s all done and dusted. Sometimes they even give you £100 or so as a welcome present for switching.