Wednesday: matter resolved. That’s what head office sent out; what the branch did was an entirely different thing and in fact, as I found out, I’m ahead of the game with a bigger overdraft than they’re giving the flagship account holders in London. Needless to say, I shan’t be shifting just yet.
This is a simple little tale, no worse than any of yours and perhaps better than the situation you find yourself in.
A letter came today from my bank. It was one of those glossy letters which cost a pretty penny to send to every customer in the UK.
Now, as regulars know, I’m having a semi-hiatus at the moment because of a couple of bureaucratic bombshells dropped on me which don’t just involve jumping through hoops but involve a quite nasty attempt to unsettle with outrageous and ultimately illegitimate demands, forcing me to go here, there and everywhere in order to get documents which I don’t need as I should never have had those demands put on me anyway.
This is the bureaucratic mind – someone sends down a blanket rule and the petty pen-pusher misreads the file and puts the householder under enormous pressure. Hence my belligerence in response. I live quietly, I don’t harass anyone, I expect to be left alone. But these incompetent idiots won’t do that, will they? They invent things to send to customers for no valid reason.
OK, with the blog measures I’ve taken, that’s relieved some of the pressure and I can tackle things better so far this week.
Until this letter. People like pensioners or people below that level like me are being super-careful in the weekly shopping, we’re walking or cycling, have the boiler on intermittently only, are watching the water, have only one lightbulb on in the house etc. etc.
We’re saving a pound here, a pound there. I have the electricity down to under £7 a week and I never eat out. One chicken breast does two meals and is cheaper than the rubbish in the convenience food shops.
So, with the saving of £3 a week a major victory, this letter said that they are reviewing one of the accounts I hold and are making it my “main” account now. As the “main” account, which it is not and I don’t wish it to be, unless I put in £750 a month, not only do I not get the bonus which I couldn’t care less about but I also attract a charge of £15.
Obvious solution is to change banks but it’s no better over the road, so I discovered.
OK, I asked, I’ll run my direct debits off my passbook account, thank you very much. Will you arrange that for me?
Ah, no sir, you can’t do that. Only this new account can have direct debits coming from it.
But I already have a direct credit on my other account, the one I use as my true main account – why can’t I run direct debits too? It’s still my money.
Those accounts are being phased out.
No, hang on, listen please – I do not wish to have that account “phased out”. The whole reason I and many people like me come here is to have that sort of account. That’s the whole purpose of being here. You offered it and that’s why I originally walked through your door.
Now, you forced me to have this other shiny account I don’t want and I don’t even need the debit card but you said it was free so I don’t mind. I only put £75 a month into it from my main account because it only needs to just cover the direct debits by two firms. It does that, I’m not overdrawn but now, with your outrageous £15 a month charge for me using it, I will go overdrawn.
Well, it is a main account, sir. Main accounts attract these kinds of fees.
But I don’t want it as my “main” account, I don’t need it and don’t use it except for direct debits. Which part of “don’t want” did you not understand? Go ahead, look at it – the only transactions are for those things.
All my major transactions are on what I want as my main account.
Sorry sir, we can’t do that. A main account –
Give me the complaint form please. [It was available right at the desk.]
Someone said to me – well don’t pay by direct debit then. But I have to, otherwise the two bills with those companies jump from £18 to £28 a month and from £34 to £63 a month – the whole deal is predicated on there being direct debits in place.
And with that, I can keep in the black.
Plus I’m starting a ridiculously useless course tomorrow which I don’t need, I don’t want and will get me nowhere. An utter waste of time run by incompetents whom I have an enormous problem not winding up.
That’s a pressure in itself.