Irrational Encounters With The Modern World

Banking On The Wrong Name – Part 2.

After sending a complaint to the Bank Of Scotland, a digital receipt arrived in my inbox. The next two emails were short and professional, and I will relay only the relevant information prior to reproducing the additional complaint it led me to write.

At first I was hopeful, noting of my new contact: “As you sign yourself with two middle initials, and given part of the nature of my complaint, I expect you to be broadly sympathetic. However, I have stated (via the HBOS Twitter account) that I would prefer to be contacted in writing, and not discuss this over the telephone. They tell me they have passed this request on.”

It was nearly 5pm on a Monday, and an automated out-of-office reply arrived immediately. This stated that the complaint handler would be away until 9am that same Monday – a clear anomaly. I consider that to be fuel for the fire. Despite allegedly being away from his employment, he then replied personally:

“I fully appreciate your express wishes to respond to and resolve the complaint you’ve raised however, I’m unable to locate an account in your name to make the appropriate amendments. We do not recognise corresponding by email about account specific information as safe and secure.  As you have not provided a valid telephone number to contact you and the only number which I can find for you indicates a different geographical location, I am unable to safely speak with you.”

HBOS out of office

Gloves off, let’s go.

Hi [name],

Your Twitter team have already assured me that it will be possible to have this matter resolved in writing. If you look at how you addressed me in the letter to which I refer, then perhaps that will help you locate my account?

I hold two accounts, both under variations of my name chosen by your company and both suffixed unnecessarily as detailed in the missive to which you are responding.

I am uncertain as to why you are writing from a Lloyds TSB address, when my complaint is with HBOS. If all four of these banks are united then I begin to understand the recent political phrase “all in it together.”

If I recall correctly, HBOS has called me to confirm details in the past, with regards to my online banking. Somewhere, alongside the two accounts you are unable to find, you have my number on file. It gives me no faith in your company to learn that both of my accounts are invisible to you, and I am starting to realise why the man in the branch who set up my second account said it would be nearly impossible to amend my name in your records. You do not appear able to adequately check said records, let alone update them.

I note that the names on my two cards differ slightly, and both also differ from the way you address communications to me about those accounts. Unfortunately, as you “do not recognise corresponding by email about account specific information as safe and secure”, I am unable to reveal what any of these names are. Suffice to say they are variations on a theme. Personally, I always sign my name the same way – in the evidently mistaken belief that it might avoid confusion.

My phone number is in your system, and I am not responsible if you feel it is playing hide-and-seek with you. I am worried knowing that I have entrusted my money to you, if you cannot safely look after digits that do not even have financial value. Furthermore, I am questioning why you have written from a Lloyds email address. You may be quite correct when you say this is an untrustworthy medium.

Although I have replied with my tongue slightly in my cheek, be advised that it is only slightly.

Incidentally, my previous reply was met with an automated Out Of Office reply which stated that you will return to the office on Monday 7th April at 09:00 – if you are returning in the morning before you have left, then I envy your mastery of time travel.

Yours,

Jordan R.A. Mills*

*Here’s a clue, both of my accounts contain some or all of these letters. My phone number is in there somewhere. Good luck.

He wrote back by post, and I have replied to that too. Read it here.

HBOS Lloyds TSB Tweet

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