It is nearly two months now since I opened a new business bank account with HSBC and wrote to Barclays to close the account and transfer the direct debits etc. Well, after hearing nothing at all from them until last Friday, 5th June) the letter I received made me really angry. They were writing to charge me £35 because they couldn’t transfer the weekly amount into my wife’s account (because she had shut it the previous weekend – and her experience in doing that is another whole post in itself).[private_basic]I saw red. I rang the number on the letter and eventually got through to some nice young lady who explained they have no record of the notice from me, or the notice from HSBC that I had signed, or of any request to close the account blah, blah, blah. Anyway, she promised she would escalate my complaint and someone from higher up would ring me within 24 hours.
I have just received that telephone call and there is still no record of me wanting to leave and the chap who called, nice though he was, had to ask me what my complaint against the bank was about.
Having explained it all again, he has promised to look into it and ring me back with a plan to close the account.
I honestly thought they would be happy to see me leave but it seems I was wrong. They are so keen for me not to leave they are adopting the proven and tested ostrich approach to banking – burying their head in the sand hoping I’ll change my mind.
It’s a shame they cannot get their act together – but this really demonstrates why I decided to leave after all those years anyway. Not one person knows what any of the others are doing or have promised to do.
I thought when I made the decision to move banks that it would be a stressful affair but I didn’t realize just what was involved and how determined I would have to be to see it through to the bitter end.
In case you are wondering, HSBC is brilliant. When Dell messed up the new direct debits I set up, one quick phone call saw the money repaid the next day. There is a machine in our local branch that automatically takes cheques and paying in slips, credits the account and gives a printout of the cheque paid in and the slip for my records – no waiting. The business manager can actually do things locally (see above about the Dell direct debits – that was him). The chip and pin machine is flawless and cheap to use, and arrived just a few days after the paperwork was completed.
I don’t know how Barclays are when you open an account these days but they will have a long way to go to better the service I am getting at HSBC – and did I mention the 18 months free banking!!
The moral – if you decide to move your bank account, for whatever reason, don’t give up in the middle if your old bank mess about (or totally ignore your requests) – see it through to the end. It really is worthwile. Honest.