Beware! Barclays doesn’t know when your card is being used!

Is the second time in four weeks that Barclays blocks my access to my and my company’s accounts online. Or do they?

I have a couple of savings accounts with them and a current account where I receive a small amount every month. This amount goes straight to the savings account every month, so I only use the debit card to access my accounts online, no shopping, no ATM use (and apparently that qualifies as not using the card regardless of how many times you use it per day to access your accounts online).

A while back I already wrote about the inconvenience of their PINsentry invention, and how the ill-thought experiment cost me more than my share of stress for the sake of security (from their own incompetence, I guess.) They don’t even count the forced used of your card on their PINsentry as existent.

Two unrequested debit cards were issued from our business account and this created a problem too difficult for their little brains to handle.

My personal debit card was blocked (hence I couldn’t access the accounts online), I received a business debit card and no PIN for it, so I couldn’t access online banking.

After several calls with as many useless customer service assistants as I could speak to, they told me I had to go to the original branch where I opened the account to ask “why” they had block my personal debit card. Needless to say, living now 50 miles away, I refused to do a 100 mile round trip just for their incompetence.

I walked down the local Barclays branch and the manager couldn’t figure out what had happened and told me to call customer services again.

After a week without solutions, someone at business customer services told me that my account seemed duplicated, and they had blocked my personal account (even though we never asked for debit cards to be issued from our business account). The lady on the phone told me that she would try and fix it, but she couldn’t told me when. “Keep trying” she said. But if I tried more than 3 times, my online access would be blocked automatically, so I told her I could not do what she was asking me to. Her solution?  “You will have to call every now and then to see whether it has been fixed.” (!!!!)

After a week, I tried at an ATM and the card was working again.

Fast forward to last December 31. Same problem as above. Don’t try to sort anything over new year’s, so I just called them again.

Same thing but this time around, dealing with India. Duplicated account, expired card (true, but never got a replacement) and manual block of the card from the branch were I have to go personally. I refuse again and they told me to go again to a branch and try to find out. I asked to speak to someone who would tell me why business debit cards were issued without our consent and why my personal debit card was blocked and not replaced and she tried to put me through with the complaints department!! That’s how they solve problems, pass it on to complaints department.

I went ballistic and when I asked her why she was putting me through with the complaints department when I didn’t have any complaint (yet) I just wanted an answer, the lady on the phone told me that “that’s just the name of the department but they deal with it.” Ludicrous.

I am now waiting for the local branch to open and start all over again. Ridicoulous.

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Barclays going at it again. Account on credit, and returned cheques

I don’t normally insult or use swear words, but I think Barclays deserve to be called Bastayrds out loud.

The reason is no other than the fact that the Bastayrds did it again. A while ago I had a go for their twisted ways of playing the hours in a day and poor product knowledge at a branch level (On Barclays profiteering…)

Back then they told me that a pound paid in on a day at 0:01AM didn’t count towards paying direct debits that arrived that same day, as they said the money should’ve been in the account the day before. They direct me to their account’s T&Cs and somehow unsuccessfully tried to tell me that there was nothing they could do as the direct debits were run from a different company.

Fast forward 10 months later. Lesson learnt, we paid a supplier with two cheques, one for £500 and another one for £1,219.50. To make sure there were funds in the account on September 2 we transferred into the business account £1,719.50 from the Bastayrds savings account. If you want to follow the story, you can check the bank statement below:

BarclaysStatement

So by the end of September, there were £2,300.85 in the account. The bank statement above shows so, but for some strange reason, the cheques that on September 4, appeared as paid, today appear as unpaid even though there were funds in the account.

Now, again I haven’t got the slightiest idea why this happened. The supplier hasn’t contacted me yet (it’s currently Saturday night) but I know we are at it again.

As you can see, today is September 5 and there is a standing order for £90.02 due on Monday. Guess whose standing order this is? A Barclayloan.

Am I allowed to think that since we don’t have an overdraft facility, they cancelled the returned the cheques to make sure that THEY were getting paid?

I am mad, very mad. Again.

Again I have to waste emotional energy in trying not to shout, not to get angry, not to swear at a Barclays brainless staff member because, after all, they ARE brainless. Someone told me once that they train their branch staff “not to make decisions.” Urban legend? I don’t know, but it surely fits my picture of reality. How long am I going to waste on this? Any second is too long. And I still haven’t seen their returned cheque charges.

.calvin

On how not to run a bank, don’t trust Barclays online banking to work every day

There was a time when if your competition made a fool of themselves, you would storm in and get their customers. Market mistakes translated into a drop in market share.

But that was in the old days, my friend. We have reached such a level of mediocrity, that not only businesses don’t learn from their own mistakes, but neither take advantage to learn from their competitors’.

Paraphrasing Peter Griffin, what grinds my gears today is not other than Barclays online banking. Expecting some cheques to be charged today, I have been trying to unsuccessfully log on since this morning at 8am. With the usual routine (HSBC), I’ve tried with all computers, operative systems and internet browsers at home and I couldn’t log in. I gave up and went for a short run to check on the newly born lambs that pepper our backyard. Continue reading

On HSBC fighting ferociously against online banking convenience

Hobbes, I guess by now you must know I try to keep my paws away from the planned incompetence and limitations of nowadays branch banking.

In a number of occasions I have denounced how by planned sheer incompetence banks are pushing us towards online and telephone banking while making online and telephone more and more difficult and inconvenient for us.

The most ridiculous in-branch lunacy I can find so far is the open air telephone banking booths at HSBC branches, no staff member can discuss your credit card issues, but you are addressed to use the phone in the middle of the branch, right by the queue, where every idle person in line will have no other thing to do, but listen to your credit matters while looking the other way. So much for privacy. So much for customer care.

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On Barclays customer services trying to mend bridges? There are no bridges to be mended, just apologise and refund your fees

A few weeks ago I wrote what was then the latest of my bank problems (On Barclays profiteering…)

That very day, I tried to send them my complaint using their disastrous online form. For some reason I couldn’t work out (probably the length of my letter?) I couldn’t send it, so I just wrote that, that I had a complaint but couldn’t send it.

Lucky enough, I received an acknowledgement reply from them (customer.relations@barclays.co.uk) and I sent them my too-long-for-your-complaint-form complaint.

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On Barclays wasting my time and its shareholders’ money, the squeaking chair gets the oil but at what price?

Today I received another phone call from an “unknown number”. As I said yesterday (On Barclays customer services trying…), I do not normally pick up phone calls from people who’d rather keep their identity anonymous, specially if they are from a bank (what are they scared of anyway, their own customers contacting them?.)

Not surprisingly, M. a Customer Relations Assistant wanted me to call him back on 0845 300 4149. As I had nothing at all to discuss, I declined again to contact him back.

But hold on, it seems that my complaint letter (On Barclays profiteering…) went somewhere, at list for Calvin Ltd. (What happened with the chain of fees within and outside Barclays? They don’t care, I do.)

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On Barclays profiteering from honest customers using their 24/7 rule and the ‘returned payment’ chain

Hobbes, seriously, the banking system in the UK get away with so much that once they put themselves in the spotlight as brainless individuals of dubious IQ as they have, we should move to regulators (SEC? FSA? even worse hollow heads than the bankers themselves), and then get rid of this politicians who, against public opinion, should be paid 10 times more than they are and made accountable (and fired if needed) as any executive of a listed company.

Anyway, what made me mad today was Barclays profiteering. Again.

Let me tell you a little story. We’ve got a small business and we try to manage our minimal finances as independently and debt free as possible. A mistake of the past was getting a loan for 50% of the cost of a van that we needed at the time but not now.

Continue reading