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.

Advertisements

On my BlackBerry 9000 Bold diary of crashes and misdemeanors

Hobbes, you must know by now that my crackberry addiction (1, 2 and 3) keeps me off Nokias, Samsungs, SonyEricssons and Motorolas (well, in this case is just Motorola who keeps me away from Motorola), but since I am a bit mad at RIM trying to play cat and mouse with the wrong crowd (BB Storm for the iPhone-lovers and the Pearl 8220 for the SonyEricsson lovers of the world). You already have a niche product! Don’t lose focus just to increase turnover!

Anyway, since RIM doesn’t want to come up with updates to fix the Bold… I will just tell you what my potty Bold tells me…

2009/09/21
I think I was wrong. Battery life after update has dropped substancially to about 12h stand-by time  (aprox 1h30 on calls.) As I said yesterday, the Bold came up from the update with full-on 3G signal. As I commented in the past, using the 3G+2G signal option will drain your battery completely before you can say “Perhaps an iPho…”

I changed it over to “2G only” and regardless of that the full battery didn’t last 12h.

I am trying with a spare battery I’ve got. Just in case.

2009/09/20
I received yesterday an email informing me that a software update for the Bold was available. I downloaded it (it only works with Internet Explorer…), backed up everything on the phone (we’ve been down that road before, losing all the info) and went for the 30min-long update.

It might just be me, but my Bold seems… I don’t know, happier? Full-on 3G signal (never seen at home before), perceived longer battery life and speed.

2009/07/13
As always, I have no idea why it happens, but since I had to deal with it at least 9 times in the last three months, I’ll tell you anyway. The battery runs out specially fast, but the worse is when I go to bed. I lay down, switch the Bold off and, when I wake up and try to turn it on… nothing happens. For some reason the battery is completely worn off to 0%. I have to recharge it completely and even then it takes about 5 minutes to respond. With the battery completely drained, when the Bold gets back to life, even the time on the mobile was reset to 0:00 (and that goes without saying that, if you are in a hurry… you are screwed because it will take you about an hour to fully charge it).

2009/04/19
Since it seems I cannot surprise you any more, I thought of bringing this one up when you tried to browse the internet: “Input System Error. The System is being restarted”. You will have noticed that nothing was being restarted for a few minutes and only when you took the SIM card out and put it back in I started working (although the specially long time it took me to restart freaked you out again, didn’t it?). Continue reading

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 Vodafone and how to live off a brand name and nothing else

Calvin Ltd. has had a small business account with Vodafone for a few years now. We tried first with Virgin, then T-Mobile but they proved pretty deficient in terms of service and signal coverage, so in the classical crowd wisdom, we signed up with Vodafone. Surely a mammoth of telecommunications would know how to do business and treat its customers, surely…

Few years have gone by, and the amount of problems we have had to deal with has been so extensive and bizarre (from having to challenge a £17,000 charge that wasn’t ours to four new 8310 BlackBerry Curves in 2 months), that  I finally decided to write another diary, similar to the one I have been keeping on my BB Bold.

So please, enjoy and do not doubt to join in, as no matter how much time, effort and money I waste dealing with them, they never call back, apologise or explain what happened. We are playing the better the devil you know that the devil you don’t, but quite frankly, we are really tired of sending complaints to Vodafone.

Enjoy our misery:

(38) September 1, 2009
It has been a while since I had to spent longer on the phone to Vodafone than with my wife, mother and old friends together. But today I received the bills for July and September. For some unknown reason, they stopped (again) to send the call breakdown. We have been down this road before, so if I can gather enough strength tomorrow morning, I will call them before going to work.

(37) April 16th, 2009 at 9:34am
I finally got the patience to personally deal with Vodafone’s incompetence. I called customer services and it took me 13′ to get to speak to a human being (the usual “lines are busy”, I wonder how bad it is for normal customers, not business customers). I explained to Tracy, from Team 18 the situation with the USB Modem invoice and that I had been told last month that it wouldn’t happen again, but that it HAD happened again. She disappeared again for 3 minutes.

When she came back she said that she didn’t know what had happened, she apologised for the inconvenience and blamed the “brand new system”.

It was then, 18′ down the phone call when I asked her whether sending the invoice had been a mistake and the £14.15 were still outstanding. Silence. She rushed to say that the £14.15 were still outstanding (and due on March 31, by the way) but rushed to say that “as a goodwill gesture” they would credit our account with that amount.

“It won’t happen again”, she said, and I requested written confirmation. She asked for our email (what type of business doesn’t keep the email of their business customers?) and said that she would email it. I hope nothing. Continue reading

Evita a Delti.com al comprar neumáticos online (X)

30abril09
Y hoy, después de reenviar mis emails en los últimos dos días a todas las direcciones de @delti.com desde donde me han contactado Natalia Sima, José Hernández, Olga Vorkum y demás, me envían un formulario de reclamación (finalmente en español, los que seguís mi odisea ya sabréis que ya me habían enviado uno… en alemán).

Adjuntado encontrará un formulario de reclamación . Por favor rellene, firme y mándelos atrás a nosostros lo más antes posible.
Muchas gracias por su entendimiento.

Atentamente, su equipo Delticom

Delticom AG
Brühl Str. 11, 30169 Hannover
Tel.: 00800-33584266
Fax: +49-89208080810
Email: neumaticos-online@delti.com

Ya harto, les he contestado con lo que espero sea mi última comunicación con ellos: Continue reading

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.

Continue reading