Sunday, 13 January 2013

Aren't banks great

Periodically for my grandmother I take a load of change into the bank, to be changed into bank notes.  My preferred way of doing this is by pouring all of the coins into one of those automatic change sorter things, which are great fun.  The only problem is that most of the local branches of my bank don't have these - the one in the centre of Hull does, but that brings into play travelling into Hull centre, finding parking, paying for parking, basically taking a couple of hours out of my day to pay some change into the bank - plus once I went and the machine was broken, and my bank is one of these where the larger outlets don't actually have a counter facility any more, it's all coffee machines and comfy chairs and little booths where you chat about taking a loan out to start your business.  So, me with my fifty odd pounds worth of change had to haul it back to the car and think again.

(Yes, you can use the ones in supermarkets but they usually charge a chunk of what you've put in so it's not really ideal)

So the other option is sorting the change into change bags, and paying it in over the counter.  I actually quite enjoy counting change, so I don't mind this too much.  Last time I paid some change in the staff behind the counter weighed the change bags, and found a couple of differences between my calculations and what the weighing scales said.

I quite happily accepted their alteration, despite it leading to me receiving twelve pence less than I had expected to gain from the process.  Pleasingly they also told me "As long as you break the change into different denominations, we can just weigh it for you", so I wouldn't even have to worry about counting it all up, just pop each type of coin into a different bag and that would be that.

Did this work?

Of course not.

When I went to a different branch to ask if this was okay I was told in no uncertain terms that I would have to count the change up and fill in a paying in slip.

This I can quite understand and accept, it's just a little annoying when one branch tells me one thing and a second branch tells me another.

I would also note that this was the same bank that sent my parents a very worrying letter about how they had to comply with new standards on electronic protection, which basically amounted to pay us ten quid a month and we'll give you some software that will protect credit card information held on your companies computers.

My parents business is (except for their Facebook page) virtually entirely offline.  They do not accept payments over the internet.  Incredible in this day I know, but there it is, and they've made a living for many years operating in this manner, and continue to do so.  The computer that holds customers names and addresses is not connected to the Internet, ever.  Credit card details are kept on paper and destroyed post-transaction.  They have a shredder and a coal fire that can be used for this.

Despite this, the bank still wanted a payment off them to buy this software - otherwise they would class them as being "non-compliant" and fine them instead.

So, armed with the letter, my parents went into their local branch of the bank - which is laid out all lovely, welcoming person at the front, coffee machine, all the expected stuff - and asked what they should do.

No one at the branch seemed to know anything about the electronic protection standard, the letter the bank had sent out to its business customers (bearing in mind the branch did, unlike some other branches, have counter facilities, but these were solely for "business customers" and therefore had some interest in being up to speed on what issues these valued customers may have), or be able to offer any advice to my parents on how to proceed.

They now hire their credit card machine from a different company.

For a significantly lower rate!

1 comment:

  1. Great post! I came across your blog while I was looking for pay off my credit card debt by following these tips.


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