I’ve written several posts about banking in China, but it appears things aren’t any better in England. Before I continue, I should explain I bank with a bank that does everything online or by telephone. They do not have any branches but they’re part of HSBC, so if you need to pick up some foreign currency or a new credit card, they can have it sent to any HSBC branch.
A month ago my mum called me in China to say her credit card that I gave her had expired and she hasn’t received a new one. So I called my bank in England and asked where they would have sent the replacement to. They said the card would be sent to the primary card holder which is myself, meaning the card would have been sent to Shanghai. I explained I had not received a replacement card and the bank promised to send a new one out to me in Shanghai which I could then take to London and give to my mother.
A day later, my mother called and said she just looked at her card again and realised it didn’t expire till July 2010. I assumed the bank would have noticed that the existing card had not expired and then just ignored my request for a new card, as it was not necessary and that would have been the end of it. But my mother called again a few days later saying she had tried to use her card but it had been declined.
So I called the bank and found out they had stopped my mum’s card, thinking it had been lost. Once stopped, a card cannot be “unstopped”, so they agreed to send me another card. But since I was coming to London in a matter of weeks, they suggested I contact them when I arrive and can pick up the new card at a branch of HSBC in London.
On arrival on 11th September, I called the bank and they ordered a new card and told me to pick it up in a week, from a branch that was convenient for me. Today I went to HSBC to pick up the card, only to be told there was no card on file. So I called my bank from the HSBC branch to ask what was going on. They informed me the card had been sent out on 18th September but not to the bank branch as they said they would, but to my London home address!
So I rushed home to see if it was at home but found nothing and just then the bank calls again to say they gave me false information and the card was never sent out.
So it’s 22nd September and we’re back to square one. A new card has been ordered and will be ready to pick up from HSBC in a few days time. Or not. Who knows!