When Banks Screw You Up

We used to have all our bank stuff with one bank - till they started ignoring the legal divides between business and personal - and since then have held accounts in separate banks, in order to reduce the possibility of one bank completely destroying all our money. This has generally been a success. And since Banks have failed in their 10-year attempt to prevent 'Fastpay', most transfers between banks happen on the same day.

This week, whilst we've been on holiday, I needed to get some money to a business account - and so tried to push money to it. Fastpay was not implemented' claimed the internet web site (despite it working between these accounts in the opposite direction). so I had to resort to a CHAPS payment - which costs £25. And took 18 minutes to perform with the telephone banking folks. They read me out a disclaimer which basically said they were not liable for anything, especially if I was a terrorist or criminal. Nice. So off we went on Wednesday, happy that money was in the right place for the right thing, and enjoyed our holiday.

Ah. no. It would appear that the bank in question REALLY wanted us to work for this, and called us back. And left voicemail on my mobile number. After the voicemail message that said 'I dont listen to this - send me an eMail'. And they left a voicemail which sounded like a dalek shouting from the other end of the universe, with a bucket over its head. Nice. Difficult to hear from the car (we spent most of yesterday visiting friends and driving) so we left it.

And so this morning - TWO DAYS after our 'SAME DAY' transaction - I'm sorting out (with another marathon 12-minute call) the payment. It transpires that the first person - despite repeating the informtation THREE times - got one of the core items wrong. We might yet receive yet another random phone call, so I'd better stick to the phone like glue.

My opinion of this bank is now so low that I'm writing a letter of complaint about this episode, and if I dont get a decent apology/response in 7 days, I'm complaining to the 'Financial Ombudsman' here in the UK. Its the ultimate last line of complaint, and actually costs the bank £500 for each complaint they have to process.

My last brush with the obudsman was completely unsatisfactory of course - it is ran by the government after all - but I'll be happy in the knowledge that it costs the bank £500 and that whatever banking employee was responsible for the cock-up will have to deal with days of paperwork justifying it.