Rant mode on

Well it was a bad day.

It started when I tried to ‘activate’ my new debit card. An hour later and several bizarre conversations with a “help” centre run by or for HSBC and I was losing the will to live. A pattern is emerging here with HSBC. Why don’t banks have global uniform practices? I can navigate my way around their HK site but I am blowed if I can make sense of the UK version. The “help” centre antagonist blamed me for using Safari as my browser when I ought to try Chrome. I have both but I stubbornly insisted that it was not for me to guess which browser would work but for them to enable me to use Safari. The site on Safari kept telling me my user name was invalid, which is a load of BS as it had worked (on Safari) yesterday. I was thoroughly annoyed to discover that it did work on Chrome so I assume now I have to rotate browsers to keep HSBC happy.

Then the second battle started with the company employed by the landlord of our next let. I spent 45 minutes answering moronic questions online yesterday. They wanted Mrs. Ha to do the same and I suggested they go forth and multiply. Then the oik phoned this morning to ask me for info that was all on the form I ploughed through yesterday. He eventually grudgingly accepted that he did have all the info. Then he demanded proof of my financial status. I pointed out that I was paying 3 months up front but still he wanted a bank statement no more than 7 days old, a screen shot of my online bank account or a call from the bank that he could validate. The last was a concession when I told him to contact the name at HSBC I had given him yesterday. He started by saying he could not do that because of ‘data protection’. More BS. Well I was steaming by the time I got to HSBC only to discover my ‘Personal Banker’ was out. They gave me a temporary statement and I toddled off to the estate agent to hand it over so they could pacify their credit reference idiots.

They assured me that this was all a ghastly mistake, they would speak to the people involved and all would be well. It wasn’t. A couple of hours later a different oik called me to start the process again. I have to confess it was a short, one-sided and possibly rather rude conversation and I may conceivably have used the word ‘off’ at some juncture. It is still going on. Mrs. Ha promptly received another harassing e mail a few minutes later. I forwarded the lot to Jemima Puddleduck at the agency and told her to sort the mess out.

Tomorrow is another day and I have to deliver forms to the solicitors. Then we go to meet a lady who may look after Lulu when we return to HK next month. Finally I am going to meet my new GP. I only hope he doesn’t ask me for a bank statement.

There was no photography today and I have no idea if time or blood pressure will permit it tomorrow. I made my maiden visit to the Winchester Photographic Society yesterday evening. Very enjoyable and friendly but the venue is too hot and the seating for the talk by Brian Griffin was too cramped for me. Nevertheless I will give it a go again next week, if I am spared.

Life is sometimes cruel and I have no idea how I shall react if the amoeba-brain from the credit agency rings me again tomorrow. I suspect I shall suggest he return to the primeval soup.


38 thoughts on “Rant mode on

  1. What you are describing is the sort of chain of events that turns me in a gibbering jelly. I start to hallucinate totally imaginary court proceedings with wild miscarriages of justice… so basically I couldn’t sympathise more. You might like to know, that we use Safari only to access our HSBC online accounts, never anything else. And, the HSBC site had a malfunction today during the morning. May the slings and arrows all choose a different direction tomorrow and henceforth.

  2. Ah Andrew. Had you forgotten? That is the world of doing ‘an English’. It is the same here. There is no sense in fighting this. Logic and clarity just does not cut mustard. There would not ever have been a Monty Python or the 2 Ronnies if things were done efficiently.
    Surely you would have noticed that on landing at the airport. A step back in history. It makes the UK quaint.
    It will get easier.

  3. I seem to recall that you had problems with HSBC HK over fund transfers. I think all banks are the same, bl…y useless. Customer service is a thing of the past! Hope the docyor can speak English!

  4. It’s always frustrating when you first move. Hopefully things will ease up. Still can’t quite get my head around why you were using Safari when you clearly should have been using Chrome!!

  5. Reading this raised my blood pressure, Andrew. We’ve learned that what works one day will not necessarily work the next, and getting help from a valid and effective source can be nearly impossible.
    Moving takes all everything that can possibly go wrong and lumps it all together.
    Remember that this, too, shall pass.

  6. I could try to top you there are a least one or two that come to.mind, but this point Andrew, I suggest having a dark.one chill out, put your feet up watch whatever mindless tv that’s on and forget everything

  7. All quite rant-worthy. It seems that these help centres hire those who are not capable of any other tasks. Sort of the way markets place the slowest cashier in the 6 items or less lane. Maybe the thought is they will create so much angst that their inadequacies will seem like strengths.

    • I have discovered the joy of contactless payment Steve so the supermarket queue goes a bit quicker. Sadly it is max £20 spend so about as much use as a one-legged man at an arse-kicking party.

  8. Andrew, I just read your odyssey of deal with the most ridiculous, infantile, and moronic of so called proof of having money. I don’t think things are quite that bad in my town. At least I’ve never heard of having to show someone your back statement. That should be illegal. I think making a copy of someones’s bank statement could be used to scam anyone of their money. But maybe not. When I need help immediate help from the bank, i drive less than 3 miles and march into the bank and look for one of the higher-ups who helps me right away. But I’ve been with that bank for a more than 30 years. On-line banking scares me and I never have used that method.

    My biggest laugh was while reading that your GP is named Dr Odd. I laughed so hard, I was crying. Reminds me when I was referred, by my GP, to have a small mole removed. That MD’s name was Dr. Needle and “needle-less” ( needless) to say I did not make an appointment with Dr Needle.

    Your nightmares of the move seem to be growing and I’m very glad that you had the tune-up of your heart. I just hope all this frustration does not undo your improved health.

    Deeeeep breaths. Deeeep breaths. Pleasssse take care!

  9. Welcome to the UK!

    It is a day of ranting, as tonight I got back to my car in the station car park to find a £50 Fixed Parking Notice on it! I had gone to the station early this morning to catch a train at 06.55 (well two, changing in Leeds) to Doncaster to attend a funeral.

    a. parking ticket machine wasn’t working
    b. the man in the train booking office said he knew the machine wasn’t working, but if he issued me with a ticket I would have to return to my car with it – thus missing my train/s.
    c. He gave me the parking phone number to call, but failed to provide the location number of the car park – even though I returned to him to ask for it, as he thinks that when you use your mobile phone to pay, you can actually speak to a real person and just say the name of the town. As I discovered – you can’t, but by then I was already on the first train!

    Bah humbug!

    • Is there no appeals process? That is outrageous. I read somewhere this week about the railways overcharging because nobody can understand the pricing system and so miss out on cheap fares. It seems they milk you in the car parks too. You have my sympathy, Willo.

      • Yes, I’ve started the appeal process, so watch this space. Glad to hear you had a better day.

      • You know you’ll beat these tedious little people eventually, Andrew — it’s the frustration of having to go through the whole process over and over which is getting you down. I accept your rebuke for using such foolish language, but I really do wish you strength and fortitude until you prevail

  10. Awwww, what a splash down you’ve had, after a positive experience the day before.

    As my elder son would say “It’s all character building”. That’s when I give him a clip on the ear!

    • Thanks Martin. The only bank contact today was to tell me they can’t insure my new house for reasons we don’t need to explore. I laughed that one off.

  11. I always get a good laugh when people tell me how bad government employees are – leave to to the market and private sector – right. Bureaucracy and stupidity are alive and well in all large organizations. Hope you get it all straightened out soon. It will be great when finished.

  12. I will never forget when my wife and I were un married and wanting to find an apartment together. Only she could sign the lease as I was unemployed but starting a new job in a few weeks. Then whenever there was a problem they refused to speak to me. It drove me crazy, until I met Polish bureaucracy.

  13. I love “oik” and hereby vow to commandeer it the very next time an amoeba-brain slithers into my ken. I think that “Customer Service” is a euphemism for “how high can we push your blood pressure”….

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