Saturday, May 17, 2008

ABBEY - Oh no! Not again! (cont.)

Palm Tungsten TX

It all started early in the autumn and I blogged about it in January. Abbey is my main UK bank where I used to do internet banking several times a week. Living abroad, internet banking is crucial, and it worked wonderfully well until I had to cancel all my credit/debit cards, internet accounts, passwords and usernames because I was pick-pocketed and lost my Palm handheld computer. I was not 100% sure that I had left it in secure mode, which could make it possible for someone to access very sensitive information, as you might understand. Everything was there, albeit some in coded Swedish. I was close to panic stations.

However I managed to prevent the misuse of the information through a series of phone calls. Most replacement cards and new passwords arrived without delay, with one major exception, those from the Abbey. After a while new bank cards were delivered, but the two secret pieces of information that I needed for internet banking never materialised. I rang again and again and again. I spoke to call centre workers, who all assured me that I would have them within a couple of weeks. As if! Over several months I tried four times in vain.

Then, the fifth time, I was redirected to another call centre that dealt with slightly different banking matters, where I managed to speak to a gentleman who seemed to sound like he knew what he was talking about. You know, when you listen to the voice, full of confidence and conviction, you just know that this is a proper bank person. He actually hinted at the possibility that a high intake of new call centre staff had made it difficult to train them well enough to handle a matter such as mine, to satisfaction. I tried to suggest it might have something to do with the fact that the bank had been incorporated into the Santander Group and they had introduced a new computer system too quickly, but he would not commit to any such claim. He was perfectly correct and professional. He even gave me his extension number, which is highly unusual, and told me I could contact him again, should I not be happy with the outcome of this matter. I only wish they would stuff, sorry, staff all call centres with people like him. Thanks to Michael in Bradford I can now do internet banking with Abbey again. I salute him!

Abbey - Copy


CanadianSwiss said...

Well, that must be a big relief for you! I'm happy to hear that someone could finally help you.

swenglishexpat said...

CS - yes, it has been extremely frustrating. I almost feel like ringing that last guy again just to thank him!