After telling the below story to a couple of people, they thought it should be shared more widely.
Scene: I call my UK business bank over an issue I’m having with a bank transfer. After waiting on hold for several minutes, I reach a Customer Service Representative and verify my identity. They ask why I’m calling.
Me: Hi, I can’t transfer money to an account at another bank.
Customer Service Rep (CSR): Sorry to hear that, let me check your account… Hmmm, yes, there appears to be a block on your account. It seems we had some returned mail so as a fraud precaution a transaction and mail block was placed on your account in December. Someone tried to call at the time, but was unable to contact you. I can remove the block.
Me: Hang on, December? I have received mail since then, I have a letter from from you in my hand right now.
CSR: When is it dated?
Me: February, it is the February account statement.
CSR: Oh, that’s strange, let me check… Ah, yes. The fraud prevention block is on the credit card card account. Your current account does not have a block.
Me: So to because some mail was returned you stopped my credit card mail, but my current account mail was still sent and all arrived fine. That doesn’t seem right.
CSR: They are on different systems. The block only applies to one.
Me: So one system thought there was a fraud issue, while the other thought it was all fine and kept sending mail?
Me: Ok… I don’t really need the mail anyway, can you send less?
CSR: Yes, we can put you on our paperless plan, then you will only received credit card statements and any current account statement that includes a fee we have charged.
Me: But you charge me a fee every month.
CSR: Um, yes, that’s right.
Me: So you will send exactly the same amount of mail on the paperless system as you do now.
Me: Ok, don’t bother then, just please remove the block. My mail arrives fine.
CSR: That is done, anything else I can help you with.
Me: No, bye.
I may have been a little abrupt there at the end. My apologies to the customer service rep who was stuck in a bad situation. However, this is just silliness from one of my banks and sadly not recently out of character. I am becoming increasingly irritated by their strange requirements, poor customer service, and outright refusal to do many tasks other banks perform without issue. They also advertise themselves as an international bank, but this appears to manifest itself largely in their marketing copy. I certainly have trouble discerning much international service. Four years ago I recommended this bank to another person. This year I suggested another person completely avoid them. I hope to soon take my own advice.
Also, I screen my calls, so that person may have called in December but definitely did not leave a message – I check them all.