I’ve never got on well with banks. I thought I had found a good one in FSharp, an offshore banking unit of the Bank of Ireland, but they were so good they couldn’t possibly survive and they didn’t. I also have an account bank with a rather odd outfit in Hong Kong (that I won’t give you the name of cos I’m sure the phishers would be out in force) which has recently been bought out by another Hong Kong outfit.
Anyway, I was very excited to find they had sent me details of my Internet banking service (even though I had written them several times asking to close the account) so I thought I’d try it out. The trick is that you need to call their 24-hour Enquiry Hotline to activate the account. Fair enough, except that for me it’s an international call, and I have to sit through an ad for some high-interest deposit service for the bank’s four or five elite customers before I can find an option that relates to my particular case.
Then, of course, I have to enter codes that the automated service doesn’t recognise. First six digits of my Hong Kong ID card? The first digit is a letter. Is that included? Turns out it doesn’t matter: The service didn’t recognise either. Bit of classical music and the lady machine informs me I’m not making any progress. But would I be interested in that high-interest deposit service for elite customers?
Frustrated, I then figured it’s a 24 hour hotline, so I must be able to talk to someone. Except with this bank 24-hotline doesn’t mean 24 hours of being able to talk to someone, because the service only works 9-5, weekdays (not holidays). Which it isn’t, at the time of writing this. Excellent. Who said banks weren’t the coolest thing? I’m all for online security but what about putting some staff in to help us folk who just want to see how big our overdraft is? No wonder people keep their money under a mattress.