Further to my piece of July 22, 2022, where I wrote of using an old Midland Bank paying-in book to pay in a cheque to my HSBC account.
I used the Midland Bank book, same account and sort code numbers, because none of the HSBC paying-in books I had had any paying-in slips left in them. It used to be that they automatically sent you a new paying-in book when you got to a certain point in the old one, didn’t it?
Am I making that up?
Am I imagining that that’s what used to happen?
No, I’m fairly sure that did used to happen.
Anyway, at some point in the past it stopped happening and Iran out of paying-in book slip things.
As I said, I had a cheque to pay into my account and no paying-in books with paying-in slips, apart from the Midland Bank one. I went to the HSBC website and looked high and low, trying to find the link to order a new paying-in book but link was there none. I turned to the little chat bubble thing and tried to explain what I was trying to do.
‘Hi, I’m MOBA, your virtual assistant. To get started just click on one of the buttons below.’
It’s a chatbot, yes, a chatbot. Don’t fool yourself that there is some real person there at the other end reading what you are typing.
I was asked to choose from a list of categories, none of which were particularly useful in my quest for a new paying-in book. I typed away anyway, explain my predicament.
Incidentally, if you Google “MOBA” the first result you get back is: Multiplayer Online Battle Arena.
So, armed with my Midland Bank paying-in book I made the journey to my closest branch of HSBC in Amersham and paid the cheque into my account.
Later that day I received an email from HSBC telling me that they were investigating my complaint and apologising for the fact that I’d ‘…faced problems.’
That was on a Friday, the next Tuesday a new HSBC paying in book plopped through my letterbox. This, I though, was progress.
Almost two weeks later I received another email from HSBC apologising that they hadn’t yet been able to resolve my complaint.
‘Thanks for your continued patience and once again please accept our apologies for the delay.’
Two weeks later a third email,
‘We haven’t forgotten about you. We’re working hard to clear our backlog of complaints and should be in a position to contact you soon.’
Another two weeks passed and there was a fourth email,
‘I’m really sorry that we haven’t been able to resolve the complaint yet, but we’ll be in touch with our final response within the next two weeks.’
Then, five days later, yesterday in fact, a fifth email in which they again apologised and informed me that a new paying-in book would be sent to my address and to allow 5 to 7 working days for delivery. 5 to 7 days? The first one only took two working days!
Not only that but that were offering me £30.00 as ‘compensation for the inconvenience’ and if I wished to accept this compensation, I should reply to the email.
Reply? You bet I replied. I thanked them for their offer and said I would be delighted to receive £30.00, thank you very much. I explained, once again, what I had been trying to achieve, namely to ‘…order a new paying-in book via the website, something that I would have thought to have been relatively easy to arrange.’
I closed by saying that,
‘… in light of the fact that HSBC are closing my nearest branch soon, the branch in my hometown having already been closed, I am giving serious consideration to moving my accounts to another bank.’
Let’s see if their offer of £30.00 is upgraded, but upgraded or not, I am seriously thinking of moving to another bank. I think I should have when HSBC swallowed the Midland.
I liked ‘Midland’, it rang of a certain homeliness. Honk Kong and Shanghai? The World’s local bank? Well, yes, they don’t call themselves that anymore, but I never wanted to bank with a worldwide bank. I just fell into it along with so many others so maybe now it is time for a change.
I have this memory of when my mother took me as a fledgling teenager into the local Midland branch in Berkhamsted to open my first account, a savings account I think it was. Standing at the counter was this red-faced gentleman, all tweed and vitriol, banging his fist on the counter and shouting the odds. What a great introduction to banking I thought.
I suppose it’s my turn now. Where did I put my tweed jacket?
Yes, I am well aware that I can pay cash and cheques into my account through the Post Office, but I was trying to make a point… I think.