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Banking nightmare

Yesterday in the early afternoon when I normally take a nap I thought I would see what was in my current account after a cash withdrawal. I saw a payment to John Lewis on line which I could not recall. I thought it may have been a late reference to an  earlier payment as, like many on the Rust, I do have the odd senior moment of forgetfulness.  When I looked again I saw I was over drawn. I duly contacted my manager. Another picked up her phone and I explained the problem. Further transactions not made by me were noted and the card cancelled. I was asked to ring the fraud department who would take me through these transactions to ensure authorised ones were not questioned. Here the nightmare began.

I held on for 7 minutes and was answered by a lady with a strong West African accent that made comprehension difficult. We went through a long series of questions to identify me. She asked me about the new transactions. I said these were discovered by the bank manager. Unless I knew them she could not help. In desperation I suggested she went into the account. More questions. She said I would have to call John Lewis to claim a refund as I had dealt with them before. This is almost certainly wrong. Without identifying the new transactions she could do nothing. In desperation I hung up and went back to my manager who suggested I attend the bank personally, authorised them to speak to the department and they could do the necessary.

A few points here. Fraud cost banks millions. Maybe billions. Customers are forever being educated about fraud and warned to act quickly. I did so. The Fraud  Department should also be able to respond quickly, helpfully, decisively. None of this happened. Like most calls to organisations these days it began with ” this call may be monitored for training purposes”. I sincerely hope it is.

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About Gerald Ingolby

Formerly a consumer journalist on radio and television, in 2002 Gerald published a thriller novel featuring a campaigning editor who was wrongly accused and jailed for fraud. He now runs a website devoted to consumer news. More Posts