Banking Blues London Edition

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!

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10 Responses to Banking Blues London Edition

  1. Swiss James says:

    Worst September 11th EVER

  2. Stimpy says:

    @ Swiss James- *snigger*.

    I’m fairly sure that its some unwritten rule that banks have to be shit across the whole world.

  3. CP says:

    Could have been worse. You could have been placed on hold for 90 minutes whilst being told that your call was extremely important (but that they were experiencing an unusually high volume of calls during the period Jan 1 – Dec 31) immediately prior to receiving the news that you were back to square one.

    I think Stimpy’s comment is spot on.

  4. Andreas says:

    one word – outsourcing – roe

  5. WoAi says:

    @Swiss James – Well, perhaps not the all time worst, but it was right up there.

    @Stimpy – Yes, I am beginning to suspect banks really are crap all over the world ….. except in Switzerland!

    @CP – I actually WAS put on hold for 90 minutes but didn’t want to sound like a winge bag so I left that part out. Also, I was in HSBC using their phone so it wasn’t my money being wasted, just my time, which isn’t worth much!

  6. i loathe banking in any form and kind of wish i could just do my transactions in cash, but alas, most of the utilities regarding our home are . . . internet dependent. very frustrating!

  7. WoAi says:

    @Angie – Really, I thought the Internet makes everything more convenient.

  8. KimC says:

    Sorry, no clever comments from me. I am still too confused. BTW: do watch out for those stupid chip and pin credit cards. They are a nightmare!

  9. rosa says:

    I bank with them FD – I find them ok, maybe you’ve got too many numbers on your balance, f**k their system up a bit – lol

  10. WoAi says:

    @Kim C – Standards are slipping!

    @Rosa – Yeah they’re alright if you live here. If you live in China they are very confused. It would not be a problem for you they can just send the card to your home. But sure, overall, FD are not bad. I’ve been with them since they started. 20 years ago or something like that.

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