Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The rules: The bank always wins

I have just spent a happy hour or so resolving a problem caused because Nat West on line banking has a data error.

It's not a huge deal and I'm sure it was an honest mistake but the effect was that a payment to a utility was sent to the wrong account and I got a red letter from the utility company. There was nothing at all I could have done to prevent this since all the critical information was hidden from me by Nat West, but once the problem came to light a few phone calls to the utility and the bank sorted it out.

The bank said sorry for the inconvenience (kind of, if you tried really hard to interpret it that way).

But it took more than an hour of my time to sort this out. Add to that the the bank chooses to only help customers if they call a number that they get paid for (really, it's profit center).

Now if I had made an honest mistake that had resulted in an account going overdrawn when it should not, or if a cheque had bounced or some other thing had happened, then as sure as eggs are egge the bank would have slapped me with an admin charge to "cover their costs".

What about my costs?

At least they said sorry. Kind of.

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