Thursday, July 27, 2006

Help us to help you...

I posted back in March about a credit card company who appeared to prize themselves on lousy service and I can confirm without fear of contradiction that four months down the line they're showing no sign of improvement.

I've long given up on their internet banking service as it appears to be so secure that nobody on earth has a chance of accessing any information - possibly even their employees.

Having recently realised they're one of the few organisations I still pay the old fashioned way, I thought I'd throw caution to the wind and call them to set up a direct debit.

"Can I take your sixteen digit card number please?"
"And your name"
"And your postcode"
"And your memorable word"
"And your date of birth"
"And the first line of your address"
"Are you the primary cardholder on this account?"

By this time I was seriously hoping that it was Chris Tarrant putting on an Asian accent and was about to tell me my next question was worth 8000 quid.

In return for telling them my full address (in one entire answer this time) they promised to send out a direct debit mandate in the post some time over the next seven to ten days. When they received my completed mandate, they would then set up the direct debit sometime over the next six to eight weeks. Admittedly, I have an excellent payment record with them, but they did appear somewhat relaxed about setting up an automated payment facility.

Two weeks later (today), a letter arrived asking me to complete the attached mandate, including some parts marked "for office use only", then to return it in the enclosed pre-paid envelope, which wasn't enclosed. Yes, I know we're only talking about a 32p stamp and I should know better but I couldn't resist.

Back on the phone and after enough questions and answers to win another 4000 rupees, she has to go and ask someone whether she can send me a pre-paid envelope. After a while she re-appears to say she can't send the envelope without another mandate. I'm ashamed to say I was unable to stifle my laughter.

"OK we'll send those out to you. Can I help you with anything else"
"No thank you, you've been very [entertaining] helpful goodb..."
"It's just I can see that you qualify for..."
"Sorry, I'm going to have to interrupt you there. I'm not prepared to listen to your sales pitch for your wonderful offers when I'm paying national rate for the call. Thanks again. Goodbye."

If they want to tell me all about their wonderful products they can ring me. At least that way I can moan about invasion of privacy and tell them to sod off for free...

1 comment:

Cherrypie said...

Perhaps it would be easier to set up a Standing Order, that way you are in control of it. It doesn't sound like you can trust them to wipe their own noses.

PS. If you do ever get Chris Tarrant asking you questions, you can use me for a phone-a-friend. There's nothing I don't know about the Bay City Rollers x