Monday, March 14, 2011

Bank vs Seabee

Continuing with the bank story, this morning I decided to see whether the PIN given to me by the bank which said it was for the new ATM card was actually for the new credit card.

Following instructions from the machine I put the credit card in, pressed 'Other Services', pressed 'Change PIN', keyed in the PIN they'd given me, keyed in the new one I wanted.

Did as I was told and keyed it in again, then again keyed in the one they'd given me.


'Transaction complete'.

Waited a bit longer to see if it contradicted itself as it had yesterday.


Bloody hell, I'd done it!

I now had a PIN I wanted on my credit card.

Mind you, I don't trust the machine so I won't bother to try to use it. I'll just do the old signature thing.

I thought maybe I was on a winning streak so I decided to give the ATM card a go, just to see if it was working and if I could withdraw cash.

Not sure about the PIN though. Would it be the one I had on my previous card or would it be the new one they'd sent me?

I keyed in my original number.

'The number is incorrect please try again.'

I tried the new number they'd sent me.

'The number is incorrect please try again'

Aha. They were getting their own back because I'd just managed a hassle-free successful transaction.

I suspect that if you beat the system by managing that, the system goes to Red Alert mode and you go on a watch list. 'A customer has made a successful transaction without any aggravation. Flag him'.

I pulled my card out of the machine and the retribution started. 'This machine is temporarily out of order'.

So it wasn't going to let me try again. (My apologies to any other HSBC customers who now can't use the ATM near Spinneys in Dubai Marina)

A bit later I was up in Jumeirah 1 and I remembered there's an ATM in Spinneys' entrance.

I put my card in and the screen welcomed me by name.

I keyed in my original PIN, pressed the appropriate links.

'Card retained. Please contact the Bank'  (Their capital B, not mine)

Yep, it identified me, snatched my card from me and wouldn't give it back.

I called the Bank. Naturally the machine at the other end started asking for things: 'Key in your ten digit personal banking number'.

Yeah right, I always make sure before I leave home that I have all my ten digit, twelve digit and sixteen digit bank and card numbers with me.

Went home, spread all the papers with numbers on them (do you know how many different numbers a bank gives you?) over the desk and called the Bank again.

The machine made the usual demands for ten, twelve, sixteen digit numbers relating to accounts, cards, personal banking, phone banking.

Somewhere in the middle of it all I thought I heard something about 'alternative'. I hit the star key, then whatever numbers it told me to hit and I was in a queue to talk to...wait for it.....a person.

I got the inevitable stuff about 'all our customer service (sic) officers are busy' and I was even told I'd been put in the priority queue (hollow laugh from me of course).

Then the machine told me that 'Our Customer Service (sic) Centre is available 24 hours a day. You can continue to hold or please call us later'

I held and not too many minutes later a human being spoke to me.

I'm sorry I didn't note her name because she was actually lucid and helpful. I explained the situation and that I wanted a new card issued. She said she would arrange it and that she had cancelled the card the machine had snatched from me.

So today has confirmed the cause of the problem, vague and incorrect information in the material sent by the bank, and what actually needs to be done.

The PIN they sent which says in three places that it's for the ATM card is actually for the credit card.

The statement on the instructions with the ATM card that you can only change the PIN at any HSBC ATM is incorrect.

The sticker that says 'Please call 800 etc to select your PIN' actually means you must call that number, there is no other way.


Mich said...

Oh nooooooo! You have alllll my sympathy. What a nightmare!

Mme Cholet said...

I feel your pain. I experienced this a while back and it only got resolved when we sat in front of a person who, I have to say, was fantastic at sorting it all out. Prior to this, I got asked security questions which had nothing to do with any personal information I'd submitted. The final straw was being asked, 'what's the current rate of interest on your car loan'' It led to a Pythonesque moment of me telling them, 'that's not a security question, that's general knowledge'.

Seabee said...

Mme Cholet, I was asked similar surreal questions which I struggled to answer. "I have no idea" seemed to be acceptable though.

Keefieboy said...

I'm feeling your pain Seabee. The endless hassles I had with Red Triangles bank (TM: Grumpy Goat) and with Notional Bank of Dubai, and also my wife's troubles with Emirates *ank had receded into the murky waters of almost-memory. All I can surmise is that logic was invented in Ancient Greece, and works in the Western Hemisphere: once you venture east of Turkey, yer stuffed. Now let's wait for the hate-mail.

Mme Cholet said...

The Kipp report has now got an article on HSBC.

samuraisam said...

Might I suggest you use a service like LastPass to store all the numbers they give you; it runs on pretty much every operating system and device (iphone, android, nokia, blackberry etc).

It allows a feature to store a 'secure note' which you unlock using your password. I store a number of important numbers on it, safe in knowledge if I'm in the middle of the desert, or even if my house and all of my computer backups have burnt down all my important numbers will be there.

JiE said...

Actually the experience with my UAE bank has been much better than 99% of the banking stories I have been told in this country.

Only issue was the first time I should get the renewed credit card, then the courier would not deliver to our work location in the oil fields, so I had to go to my branch in the capital to pick it up on an off day. Of course the lady with the key to the safe was on sick leave that day... but they sorted it out by sending it to the branch by my work location. Next time it worked better, the courier delivered it.
Otherwise everything including online banking and setting an account for my wife has been flawless.
Yes, I am a bit in shock!