Monday, 29 June 2009

When it rains, it pours...

Picture the scene... you've just inserted your "hole-in-the-wall" card into the aforementioned "gappage" in the hope that some cash will be forthcoming. A strange whirring noise comes from the machine and after what seems like an eternity, the machine gives up the ghost. My card isn't returned and I get a lame apology claiming that I need to discuss the issue with my card issuer.

This is most irksome but I travel with a spare debit card just for such an eventuality. I insert my "spare" and after some strange noises I receive another apology claiming that the card has been retained and that I need to speak to my card issuer. Note: the second card was issued by a different bank!

It seems that others fell victim to the HSBC ATM's over-zealous retention of cards.

But the big bother came when I phoned my issuer in the vain hope that I could get a replacement card sent out to me in sharpish time. Alas, it is not possible... but I only discovered that the card would take 7 days to arrive (rather than the 4 that I need because of holidays) after I'd had a most bizarre conversation with their call-centre staff. It went like this:

"We need to take some details from you for security purposes, sir" they said.

"No problem" I replied.

"What is .....?" they asked. I replied.

"And could you tell me .....?" they asked. I replied.

"And finally, what is ....?" they asked. I replied.

"I'm sorry sir. Two of your answers don't match our records"

"But those are the right answers - I use them every day because I check my account, every day. What are we supposed to do now?"

"We will need to reset your account, sir"

"How long will that take?" I asked.

"5-7 days"

"Can you not just check my answers again?"

"I can't do that sir. You are welcome to hang up and ring us again to try the procedure once more."

"Why an I do that yet you won't check my answers again?"

"Because you could keep trying answers until you get them right, sir"

"But I could just keep ringing you until I get them right, isn't that so?"

"I guess so sir, but those are the rules."

I hung up and phoned again. I provided the same answers and was security cleared. But then, it was a futile exercise anyway. I won't have a card before I go on holiday.

The upshot of it all is this:
  • I am missing 2 debit cards
  • I can't get them replaced before I go on holiday so I will be forced to use credit cards
  • I will be changing my bank when I get back from holiday - bye, bye Cahoot
On a lighter note... I may have to get a new mobile phone number because I seem to have acquired a stalker! Not your run-of-the-mill stalker though. This is the kind that wants to be abusive on the phone and is managing to spoof the callerid. Not only that, they are phoning other people using my number as their callerid which is very annoying. This is really irksome as my phone is really quite important but I guess I will just have to take the hit.

Why does society carry such scum?
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