Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The girl can't help it

Listen, it's very simple. I have online banking with Barclay's, two accounts, current and deposit. Fine. I also have a community bank account (ie a sort of charity account) for Action for Swifts, which at the moment I do not have online.
So, call the Barclay's helpline, wade through a series of alternatives ("If you are feeling suicidal, press 9", that sort of thing), listen to some crap tinny music till a PERSON comes on. A sweet voice from the subcontinent asks me if she can help me. It takes at least 15 minutes to satisfy her that I am who I say I am.
We come to the nub of the call. She seems baffled by the notion of a community bank account, and tells me I need to speak to my Relationship Officer. Wow, I didn't know I had one. The RO's name is Elizabeth Cooke, and I am excited at the prospect of a meaningful relationship with her. So, I sign off from Mumbai, and call Elizabeth Cooke.
She is, it turns out, unobtainable.
So, I dial the helpline a second time and - eventually - get a different sweet voice from the subcontinent, who goes through the entire procedure again, including the Liz Cooke bit.
When I tell her that Lizzy is bizzy (or dead), she says "Never mind, do you realise, Mr Allspop, that you are not getting the best interest on your deposit account. Instead of 0.2% you could be getting 0.25%, I can set it up for you."
OK, do it, I say, but this doesn't solve my problem with the community account.
"One more thing, Mr Allscock," she intones (these people don't talk, they intone like Tibetan monks doing a tantra), "have you thought about an ISA?"
At this point, I am tempted to press 9. The Old Scrote's serenity has disintegrated. I tell Mumbai I have had enough, I can feel my pacemaker running down, I need a wet towel and a darkened room, goodbye.
Helpline shmelpline, you could get a better response from a rat in a plum tree.

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