August 26, 2005

Bloody hell!

In the style of Dave2's rants here is one of my own.

I own 2 credit cards, both with the same bank. One of them (card A) came with my graduate account. The other (card B) I ordered sepereately later as I thought (and no where did it tell me differently) that I could transfer my balance from A to B and have 0% interest. I couldn't. Still, I kept the card as it offered extra protection for online purchases and being a fairly online kind of person, I thought it might come in useful.

When I moved house in late July I went into this bank and told them I'd changed my address. "No problem Sir." They said "We'll update your account by the end of the day." That was that I thought. Anyways, a little while after that, after deliberating about it, I paid off my car insurance and, in what is my biggest mistake to date, put it on card B. No particular reason, I just did. Anyways, today I'm at a loose end and I think to myself, you know, I haven't paid off my car insurance yet, I'll do that. Onto the website for card B I go. And I find my card has been put on some kind of hold. Very confused I follow the instructions and contact Customer Services. In what turned out to be a 23 minute call (to an 8070 number, niiiiice) I find out the problem.

DESPITE both cards being registered in my name, and DESPITE them both coming from the same bank, DESPITE the fact that I walked into that bank and gave them my change of address form, it turns out that's not enough. What I overlooked in handing my change of address form into my bank is that well, card B doesn't work that way. Instead I had to call them seperately to change my address. Needless to say, I hadn't done that (I thought going into my bank and changing my address there would be enough). So they'd been sending statements to my old address, which my lazy ass and annoying landlord had NOT forwarded on. So I'd missed payments (which, of course, I didn't know I had) and they'd levived fees then blocked my account.

Eventually my address is changed which was an ordeal in itself. The banks' postcode database didn't recognise my postcode so, after trying twice, the lady had to put my address details in manually. Finally my contact details were updated (though all along they still had the correct mobile number, they could've called me) and the customer service rep very nicely waives one late fee and halves the other (why she couldn't waive both I don't know). She then informs me that a new card was sent to my old address so that's been cancelled and a new card sent out to me (complete with new account number). And I'm then advised to make a minimum payment now to avoid any further problems. So off to the payment department, who, despite my details having been updated and the lady at customer services having logged out and then back into my account to make sure they'd refreshed, still had my old address, so through the address rigmarole I go once more.

Finally I'm thanked, and the 2nd lady says good bye. So after 23 minutes on the phone I end up at this position:-

  • I have to pay half a late fee.

  • My account is currently useless to me until my new card, account number, pin number etc come through the post

  • I still haven't paid my bloody car insurance off

What a complete mess. All because:

  • Updating the details for your account with this bank doesn't, it seems, update the details for your account (and no where in card B's litereature does it warn you of this).

  • My old landlord can't be arsed to forward my post

  • I'm too stupid to realise the first point in this list, I should've checked

I suppose the moral of this story is kids - keep your details up to date with everyone, you never know when you're going to be come a cropper.