Friday, 25 May 2012

Banks

So, I have just concluded a little escapade with my bank.

A few days ago, I went overdrawn due to a Direct Debit coming through that I wasn't expecting. It happens. It's happened before. On day 2, I became aware of it, and immediately transferred £350 from my instant access savings account into my current account, thus clearing the balance and leaving more than enough in for the remaining bills I was expecting.

Didn't think anything more of it.

Until...

The next day, I got a letter from my bank informing me that I had used an unauthorised overdraft, and that for the privilege of that, they were going to charge me about £25.

Now, bear in mind that in the aforementioned instant access savings account, I had about £1,600, compared with the tiny temporary overdraft in the current account of about £30. My bank has a policy where, if an unauthorised overdraft is repaid within 1 day, they make no charge. If they had phoned me, e-mailed, texted, sent a FUCKING CARRIER PIGEON, that money would have been in the account immediately. Notwithstanding the fact that they weren't actually loaning me anything - my net assets with this organisation, even just on deposit, were £1,600.

BUT NO. Rather than do the decent thing and let me know, they kept schtum, and then used it as an excuse to sting me for charges.

OH, NO, YOU FUCKING WELL DON'T.

*dials phone*

Bank: Hello, how can I help?

TR: Good afternoon. I have an issue with my current account. I have been charged for an overdraft, despite going only £30 overdrawn when I have net assets with you (net instant access assets, I might add) of £1,600. This overdraft was the result of me incurring an unexpected bill. What you could have done was notified me about this, which would have resulted in the immediate transfer of monies into my current account to clear the balance. Instead, your organisation has deliberate kept silent and used it as an excuse to charge me. I am not happy about this. This is not treating customers fairly, and, given that I work in financial services, I am well aware of your regulatory obligations to do so. I want a refund, immediately.

Bank: Well, sir, we can't simply take money from one account to top up another...

TR: (interrupts) Nor would I expect you to. I do expect you to contact me and help me to avoid charges wherever possible, rather than simply remain silent and then bill me.

Bank: Well, sir, we do offer that service, however you have to register for it...

TR: (interrupts) Is it free?

Bank: Yes, sir...

TR: That means, no, it isn't, but the cost of it is factored into your profit margins on your current accounts. Correct?

Bank: Well...

TR: Therefore, every current account holder is implicitly paying for that service anyway, therefore you should be doing it automatically. I shouldn't have to register for it.

Bank: Ah. Well. I can get you registered onto it now...

TR: That would be a start. But we still have the issue of these ridiculous charges. I want a refund.

Bank: Well, sir, I can refund £15 immediately, but I don't have the authority the standard overdraft charge of £10...

TR: I bet your manager does, though, doesn't he?

Bank: Uh, yes...

TR: Better go talk to him, then, hadn't you? Refund. Now. I am a long-standing customer of yours - my accounts have been with you for over 20 years. I expect better, and if I don't get it, I will move my business elsewhere. And given that I work for a financial adviser, I would be duty-bound to inform him of this, as well. And he may well just feel moved to advise his clients to move their business elsewhere, as well. Off you go.

Bank: Ah... erm... can you hold for a moment?

TR: Of course.

*irritating hold music - TR waits with nice, big, shit-eating grin on face*

Bank: Sir?

TR: Yes.

Bank: We'll be happy to refund all of those charges for you, and apologise for the inconvenience.

TR: I should think so.

Bank: In the meantime, we've noticed that your savings account isn't earning as much interest as some of our newer ones...

TR: That's because you only offer a decent rate of interest for the first 12 months, and then it drops to something pitiful while you profit out of people's inertia.

Bank: Erm... yes... well, would you like us to move it into an account with higher interest?

TR: As long as it's still instant access, so that if you try to play this little overdraft game with me again, you don't have an excuse.

Bank: Yes, it will still be instant access.

TR: Yes, go ahead. And make sure I'm on the list of people that you tell before you start ripping them off, as well.

Bank: (sounding relieved) We'll sort that out straight away for you, sir. Sorry for the inconvenience again.

TR: Good. Thank you! (hangs up)

BOOSH! Take that, you motherfuckers! Picked a fight with the wrong stubborn son-of-a-bitch, today, didn't you? Fucking trying it on, weren't you? Knew that you didn't have a leg to stand on, but thought you'd just give it a go, and try to bully me into paying charges that I didn't have to.

Makes you wonder how many other poor bastards get fucking mugged by the banks in such a manner every day. Unfortunately for them, today they picked on TR - a rather bad-tempered fellow at the best of times, who knows exactly where their testicles are, and most importantly, how hard to squeeze.

Always remember: mine, not yours. MINE.