I thought things were going smoothly at last.
My quest to change banks is almost over. I have notified everyone of any importance about the new account so all my direct debits and the like should work. I reckon there are only three steps left.
- Make sure my pensions and allowances go into the right account.
- Remember to change the default card on any site [such as groceries] that holds my old card number.
- When everything is running smoothly then transfer the last of the cash and close off the accounts.
I was wrong. Of course.
Yesterday my State Pension duly arrived in the new account but the Allowance went into the old one. Bugger! I spent an age on their website trying to find where to change my banking details. In the end, out of frustration I rang Social Welfare. I got on to a very nice helpful chap who said he would walk me through the process. We went through the pages until we came to a button – “Change Details”. Click that, says he and you’ll be grand. I clicked it and told him it only allowed me to change my address with no mention of banks. This puzzled him. He found the same thing and I could hear him scratching his head. He perked up and gave me a number to call and told me they would make the change for me.
I rang the number. I told a rather surly woman my problem and could she please change the bank details. No. She wouldn’t. She needed proof that it was my account. She wants to see a letter on headed notepaper with my name, address and IBAN number on it. I pointed out that she only had to look at my pension details which she surely had access to, both being Social Welfare. It doesn’t matter, says she, I still need the letter. Apparently [and I quote] “we have different rules to them”. Fuck!
So now I have a problem. How do I get that letter? I can’t phone the bank as that just lands me in an automated system that certainly does not include the option I want. I can’t email my branch [well, I could but they have never responded to any of my mails]. The only option I can think of is to actually go to the bank in person and hope I can persuade them to give me a letter which will be difficult as they seem to have a staff of two – a cashier and a bloke who is only interested in big lucrative accounts.
Bureaucracy will be the death of me yet.