Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Oh, the Bureaucracy!
This time, for some reason, I could not get the PinSentry to read my debit card. It just kept saying "card error" or something like that. Thinking my card had been damaged in some minor way -- because Dave's card worked fine in the PinSentry -- I ordered a replacement debit card.
It was supposed to come within five days. That was two weeks ago, and I've not seen hide nor hair of my new card. Who knows where it went. The Royal Mail is practically insolvent so anything is possible.
With trepidation, I finally contacted the bank yesterday through its painfully, agonizingly slow messaging system to tell them it had not arrived. Rather than order a second replacement, though, I decided to just keep my old card -- it works fine in shops and I can log into the web site using other security information, so I don't really need a new one. And a replacement, I learned, would change my card number so I'd have to update it on all the web sites where we make automatic payments, and I didn't want to do that. (Apparently it's impossible to get a replacement card with the same card number.)
Well, keeping my existing card seemed like such an outrageous, ridiculous thing to do that the bank staff just couldn't wrap their heads around it. It took TWO HOURS of messaging with four different people to finally, successfully convey to them that I only wanted them to cancel the card they'd recently mailed, that I did not need another replacement, that there were no security issues with my existing card and I wanted to keep it.
At the same time that this was going on, Dave and I were trying to watch the last episode of "Fleishman is in Trouble" (which we liked) and I kept having to pause the show to log in to the bank web site again (because it logs you out automatically if you're not active within a certain very short period of time) to see if their underpaid contract employees with no benefits in India or the Philippines or wherever had responded to whatever plaintive plea I'd most recently sent.
Agony. Agony, I tell you.
Anyway, it's anybody's guess whether my card still works. I'll find out soon enough, because Dave is off to Prague today on the school music tour -- which involves transporting something like 150 students and a truckload of instruments and equipment to continental Europe to perform multiple concerts -- and I'll have to do my own shopping until Friday. If the card doesn't work I may be eating the dog's kibble by the time he gets back.
(I'm kidding. I can always get cash from the bank, although I shudder to think what that process might be like without a functioning debit card.)
Here's an egregious spelling error I saw on my way home from work yesterday. I like how whoever made the sign tried to jazz it up with a couple of little stars, and then someone else slipped an E in there to correct it. A coach, by the way, is what the British call certain regional or long-distance buses (but not city buses, which are merely called buses).
(Top photo: A springtime shadow on Abbey Road, St. John's Wood.)
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Our phone apps for banking work well and seem quite secure. I think we about to be forced to two factor authentication which will be a bit of a pain, but I can remember six numbers.
We have the same names for buses and coaches and coach drivers get rather upset if they are referred to as bus drivers.
I would guess that the little widget's battery has run low...so you need that not a new card!
Our bank uses that system.
The only time I have had to ring the bank recently is when I forget (or mistakenly enter) my password. You get three tries then you have to actually call and speak to a person in an Asian country. So far I haven't had any trouble but do experience mild panic when they ask my security questions. What WAS the name of my first pet? I wonder if your gadget is safer than our two factor verification.
I tend to take a layered approach. I keep my bank account sacred and only use my card that accesses it to occasionally withdraw money from an ATM. For everything else, I use credit cards and always have two different ones on hand. That way, if one gets destroyed, wears out or lost, it is fairly easy to change automatic billings while the replacement card takes it sweet time arriving. Only our credit card automatically pulls out of our bank account.
A lot of this may have to do with differences between our countries. At least here, credit cards are insured against theft while debit cards are not. I don't know how they do that across the pond.
Good luck with the bank and card.
My favourite spelling error was in an estate agent's house details. "Front: formerly laid out garden". We still bought it.
The issue you describe sounds like a chapter from some Kafkaesque novel. You're in a maze and no matter how hard you try to reach the centre you keep returning to the point where you got lost. I am only guessing but is your bank The Silicon Valley Bank?
When it comes to banks, I don’t know if I'd rather talk to a machine or a “human being.” If you need something to eat while Dave is gone, let me know.
With the banks in crisis as they are it makes you wonder if it would be better to keep the money under the bed. I heard of someone wanting to take £2.000 out of their own acccount and they had to go through the mill to get it, the bank made him feel like a criminal.
It's not much better to talk to a live local bank officer. Last time I did that, she couldn't understand the difference between posting an entry to my account to process, and clearing a check..
Lots of luck with the bank.
Trying to get things like that sorted out lead us down the twisted highways of hell.
I hope it's sorted out.
That sounds like a crazy process. On the other hand, I opened a savings account at a local credit union & opted out of getting a debit card for it. Then when I tried to log into their portal to check my balance (& stop paper statements) I couldn't because I needed a debit card to register. I had to physically go to the credit union to sort it out.
do businesses really save that much money by having these automatic phone answering systems or by using phone bank people in India (or wherever) instead of just an employee or two whose job it is? I hate having to waste time listening to all the 'options' none of which are ever specifically my problem.
My daughter had a go with her bank. An error had been made. She caught it. She called the bank. They admitted that an error had been made. They assured her that it would be fixed, the amount credited back to her account. It has been weeks, and she still hasn't gotten her money back. She calls, and complains, and they study the situation and agree that a mistake has been made, and tell her they will credit the money back. It is an endless cycle, and it still hasn't happened, as far as I know. She firmly believes that the phones are answered by Lizard People, a small group of creatures whose sole mission in life is to cause aggravation in the lives of humans.
Sorry for the mix up at the bank. I usually go to the bank in person when I have a problem but there aren't that many people actually employed inside the bank anymore so it often takes a bit of time. But I am retired so I have plenty of time!
Hope you've solved your problem!
I hope the new card shows up in the mail, even if you're not going to use it. I worry when things like bank or credit cards don't show up.
I', curious as to what the "coachs " sign covers up. and to think that the modern computer system is faster and more efficient than the paper and pencil system.
What an ordeal! That security device sound interesting. We don't have anything like that here (that I know of). I access my account on my phone with facial recognition. I have no idea what I'd do if that suddenly quit working. I tried to sign in on my laptop about a year ago and it says my password is wrong. So, if facial recognition quits working, I will probably have to deal with the same situation you describe.
God. Bureaucracy. Kafka wasn't just whistling Dixie. Ironically, getting an actual human - bureaucrat or not - to talk to you is a major achievement.
Once upon I had a pin sentry thing and it worked fine however I now use the same bank's mobile banking app on my phone to do everything. It seems a much more slick and easy way to manage that particular account. I was not aware that the pin sentry like a calculator was still used. On the note of speaking to banks with problems it is always the case that if one's query does not fit the regular frequently asked questions/queries it throws the system into turmoil and awkwardness and the result is the bank not being able to answer what appear to be simple questions.
I didn't get an order of checks which were supposedly delivered on the 17th. The site gives no way to report that which makes me extremely nervous. I'm now watching my bank account very closely.
Verizon (phone company) had to de-register my account and reregister it this morning. Their records were showing I hadn't logged on since 2018, which was completely wrong. All of this stuff is harder than it needs to be. The only thing they're consistently good at is collecting money.
The absolute lunacy of that situation with your bank is enough to make one's head explode. Hope you get it sorted. I can empathize with you, having listened to the situation Allison described above this morning over coffee. YIKES!!
I'm glad someone added the tiny little E. What bothers my OCD is that the crossbar in the H doesn't touch on the right side. I can live with the A.
Oh god I would be ready for the looney bin (is that expression politically incorrect now??) Dealing with our national revenue service after my husband's death for several issues did my head in. Electronic everything sounds so good in theory but I hate being so dependent on it because it's too often like you describe and if it's disrupted on a large scale we will all be up the creek. I do have to add that I recently had to do some stuff at my bank which required an appointment with a manager, and he was exceptionally helpful. I went in expecting a hassle and came out believing in customer service again. Pity it can't be like that for online and telephone interactions too. I hope your issue is truly resolved and you don't end up on a kibble diet!
Ah yes, the bureaucracy. And the computers. It seems everyone's computer . . whether it be the check-in people's or even the doctor's at the doctor's office or the banks or where-ever runs slowly and ofttimes seizes up. I always tell them "You know computers were invented to make our lives easier!"
I Picture These Perplexed Employees Rolling Their Eyes While "THIS AMERICAN" Explains Himself - Oh The Horror - Whats This Customer Service He Eludes To - All Will Be Just Fine If Olga Girl Finds A Just Because Biscuit Under Her Pink Blanket
If your card doesn't work try wiping off the magnetic strip with a folded tissue, sometimes it picks up microscopic bits from other card readers. We used to have to clean the card readers on our checkouts once a week by running a card through that was wrapped in a tissue, back and forth a few times.
I love seeing typos on stuff. It makes me feel a little less badly about the few I got through when I was editing (including the really bad one, pubic television.) I've had to do that dance with the cards and then find it someplace. So annoying!
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