Internet banking is designed to enrage
The arcane rules of our new bank seem to be designed not for our security, but to prevent us managing our account on-line and to raise my blood pressure to explosion point. The first three months of the new account were one long nightmare. The call centre staff were charming, but adamant that everything must be changed each time because I had compromised security. There are only so many passwords that I can remember, and I used them all up in the first couple of weeks.
Then I sent a poem to the bank’s big chief which produced miraculous results a budding friendship and a month of problem-free banking. Until today: I could not log on to our current account. Three times I filled in all the boxes from the typed sheet of instructions I had been using successfully for the last month . Each time it told me “wrong password” and then no more chances.
Here’s what I sent to the boss.
O grand panjandrum of xyz bank
This aged crone has a bone to pick.
From proud new clients the recent span
to disillusionment was quick.
For no good reason that I can fathom,
your security systems have dug a chasm
‘twixt me and my money.
my heart is in spasm.
Each time I endeavour on the net,
my current account to connect,
The only answer that I get.
is “for security reasons we’ve had to temporarily suspend your access to the above service because your password and/or memorable information were
entered incorrectly several times.”
The same is true for telephone banking –
letters which tell me I need a spanking
for making mistakes – in a file inches thick.
Cut off from my money, I’m feeling sick.
It seems my password is compromised:
I must fill in a form to change it.
So often has the password been changed
plus chunks of memorable information
I haven’t an inkling which one is arranged.
I’m sick of all this confrontation.
Now old I may be, but not stupid, you see
I’ve been banking online with banks foreign and British
for many long years, without a hitch.
Their systems were simple to use yet risk-free.
No opaque complexities like yours were seen.
I was in and out in a jiffy,
to check several accounts on one screen.
make transfers, draw cash, nothing iffy.
Your telephone handlers are delightful
but the system is utterly frightful.
To change a password one must be transferred
to someone else who inferred
that the first who’d answered is deceitful.
Before the rigmarole is done,
the line’s timed out and the object defeated
before everything could be repeated.
I phone again, in resignation
but the nice guy Nick – or Jamie – or whoever
was supposed to be my destination
is gone for ever.
I give up. Please find me a way
we can manage each paltry pension,
for daily access without contention
or such unlawful hindrances
to the handling of our finances.
Both accounts together, please, would be fine,
same way by phone as those on-line.
The only future that I can see
on this occasion is that you phone me,
grovel and take effective action.
So I telephone, more in sorrow than in anger, and come up against the same adamant refusal to accept these same details.
PS This morning when we went up to the market, we discovered that a chimney had fallen off the mairie (Town Hall) and crashed through the roof of the Post Office next door. So the Post Office has de-camped to the Maison Cantonale (district HQ) where all is chaos.