Banking problems… once again

Okay, well I thought that it would be too good to be true that I would make it a whole year without any more major banking crises…*

This morning, I remembered that I had got a letter from my bank about a PIN for a new debit card. The letter arrived early last week. Sadly the debit card – which the PIN would make it possible for me to use – did not arrive in the promised 2 days. Only today did I notice that the Bank have been sending me correspondence to an address which really only has half the address present. When I moved back in May, dutifully I went into the branch to get the address changed. I gave the address to them written down as requested and (stupidly) trusted that it would be okay.

Everything appeared to be okay as I was getting statements through the post and other letters too. Sadly, I had read the letters but not the address. Now, it has to be said, that of the many variations in how addresses can be laid out in the United Kingdom, our address is not exactly the most simple. Still, when one takes into consideration where we live it is quite reasonable.

Correct Address

Apt 11, The Hamlets
33 Hawthornden Road

Address as used by bank

Apt 11
Hawthornden Road

Royal Mail should cope

It has been argued for many years that all the Post Office – or is it now Royal Mail – requires is a house number and a postcode to be able to deliver mail. And whilst that would appear to be correct in the example as logged by the bank… it is of course incorrect. What we have is a flat number, without naming the development, but no house number in the road in which it is situated: Hawthornden Road. A small matter of checking the postcode online and fixing you say…

What is your telephone banking pass code?

When I contacted the bank telephonically this morning, first of all I was greeted by a ‘Good Afternoon’. Not a good start. Progressing through how the assistant could assist me, I was told that the card would be stopped. (Remember this point), and then we got into a discussion about the address. I was taken through security… Now remember I don’t have the card that was meant to be sent out…

Bank clerk: What is the long number on your card?

Me: I don’t have a card.

Bank clerk: I need the long number.

Me: I have just told you that I don’t have the card: this is the reason that I have called this morning.

Bank clerk: Your account number and sortcode then?

Me: Okay, which one?

Bank clerk: the one of the account you have phoned about.

at which point I had to log in to my online banking to get it!

Me: **-**-** and account ********

Bank clerk: Thank you, and your full name?

Me: Michael …… Carchrie Campbell

Bank clerk: Thank you.And your address?

Me; Apt 11, The Hamlets, 33 Hawthornden Road, Belfast. BT4 3JW

Bank clerk: that’s not quite what we have here…

And so it went on.

Eventually I got put through to a manager who has progressed my complaint – for it turned into a complaint – as far as they can go. But we had some problems.

  1. No post can be sent to me by the bank currently as the address is incorrect.
  2. Address cannot be changed over the phone unless I have a telephone banking passcode
  3. Having requested telephone banking, I was told that it was requested but couldn’t be sent due to 1.

Thoroughly fed up, I pointed out that the address could be checked using the helpful Royal Mail Postcode Finder service which is conveniently available online. Especially as the address given did have most of the address present.

Sadly, this was not possible.

So I am still having to make a trip into the city centre to go to my own branch to get it sorted out. Goodness knows what would happen if my mother ever moved and this happened as her branch is in her home town. Approximately 500 miles away from where she now lives… I was credited with £5 to cover the cost of the telephone call and travel to my branch. I wonder would they be quite so generous to my mother were she in a similar situation.


* see Banking posts.

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