I have little regard for the banking system here.
Once upon a time [are you sitting comfortably, children?] I could phone my local bank branch and have a simple query answered. But those days are long gone. Without exception, banks now rely on call-centres, automated phone systems and extremely clunky websites.
I have completed my move away from Ulster Bank and it really is a case of good fucking riddance.
The move wasn’t without a lot of stress, frustration and sheer anger at the system but I consider myself to be extremely lucky. I am lucky because I owed Ulster Bank nothing, have a lot of time to spare, have broadband and am reasonably computer literate. That is a clutch of circumstances which is very rare and if I had missed out on even one of those I would have been rightly in the shit.
The latest from Ulster is that anyone who has an overdraft or loan has six months to pay up, or else they’ll be at the mercy of some loan shark or vulture fund. Fuck! If I owed a few grand on an overdraft there is no way I could pay it off. Surely if I were able, then I wouldn’t have an overdraft in the first place?
What about the old folk Down West who have their pension paid into the bank? Switching the Social Services account would be an absolute nightmare for them. It wasn’t easy for me and involved a lot of legwork, red tape and phone calls not to mention delving into websites. So what about the Old Folk who have no broadband [and probably no Interwebs]? I doubt they would even realise what is involved. I sincerely hope they aren’t relying on Ulster or Social Services to do anything for them.
The bank I have moved to weren’t that hot either but they were the best I could find. Opening the accounts also led to a ton of red tape and once again I am at the mercy of their fucking phone system. Their one redeeming feature is Rebecca.
Rebecca works in my local branch and she phoned me a while back with a query about a file I had submitted previously [the bloke I had been dealing with fucked it up by only half scanning a document!]. She gave me her email address so I re-scanned the document and sent it off to her. I heard nothing back. A couple of days ago I sent her another email asking if my scan was okay and within minutes she had phoned me to say everything is fine and she’s dealing with the latest update herself. She is cheerful, apologetic and eager to help and said that I could mail her any time I had a query or problem. That is what I call service!
In the meantime, Ulster haven’t even bothered their arses to officially inform me they are closing.
Help me move? You must be fucking joking!