Friday, 13 November 2009

Friday, 13 November 09

Right. Do you think this is a little strong?

I am writing to place on record my disgust at being charged £25 for going overdrawn, as I did, for a few hours on 14/10/09 by less than £6

The charges are due to debit from my account shortly.

I was assured by you at the time that, all pending transactions considered, my account would remain in credit. This turned out not to the case despite your repeat assurances.

I asked on three separate occasions to listen to the phonecall between myself and firstdirect - which would prove that I was given incorrect advice - and on each occasion I was told that this wasn't going to be possible.

In effect firstdirect played judge and jury in deciding to charge me.

Annoyingly, I did as you were expecting and gave up the fight. I imagine somewhere at firstdirect HQ, a staffer was rubbing their spindly fingers Mr Burns-style and declaring "ha ha Smithers, in the end we got him!"

Admittedly, I am not entirely bothered because I was credited with £100 for joining firstdirect when I did. Effectively this £25 isn't a change, it's just a way for you to gleefully claw back some of the money you initially gave me.

I'm sure it all ends up in the bonus pot to be given to someone who'll use it to buy tacky champagne to spray around a West Club club at bonus time.

I don't expect any sort of response, other than for you to smugly hold up your guide to the terms and conditions, like a school teacher with a hairy chin in a pressed skirt, and declare "well Mr Cox, we did tell you..."

However, I did want it placed on record that I object to the charge - £25 for going overdrawn by less than £6 for a few hours is the kind of business practice that would make lawyer with a baseball bat in a bad suit blush.

That said, I am a journalist by training and it's heartwarming to know that, as much as we and bad-suited lawyers are disliked, we are never going to be loathed to the extent that UK bank workers are now. Every cloud, silver lining etc. No offence intended...

Finally, having sent this at 11.16pm, the bolshy language and outlandish metaphors might suggest that I have enjoyed a fairly liquid Friday evening out, the truth is I am very much sober and am actually working a nightshift.

I couldn't let it pass without mention that I think the charge is unfair, wrong, outrageous but more importantly, completely contrary to what good business should be about.
Then again, if you were about good practice and being fair to customers, you would have gone out of business ages ago.

Sharing my thoughts has brightened my night. You're welcome to use this as a dartboard / loo paper etc.

It better be okay because I just sent it. Do you think they will tell me to fuck off?


Anonymous said...

Whilst I totally agree with you about banks, it is worth remembering that the BBC have given out 200 million of license payers money in bonuses to it's staff and we didn't do anything wrong to encourage them to steal our money....

Mind Of Mine said...

I really hope that you actually sent that!!

Bobby Cox said...

Anon: I don't know what the BBC has to do with firstdirect's overdraft policy?

Mine: I did send it... er - and haven't heard anything. Obviously. Er...

Mind Of Mine said...

Even though you sent the letter not expecting a reply, i am sure that because of some internal KPI system that you will still get one.

Jake said...

Respect, Bobby - I think what you sent was perfectly reasonable. I personally would have made my demands a tad more succinctly though, and possibly enclosed a clump of bloody hair to act as an implied thread/borderline insanity. Anyone will roll over if you play the crazy card.

I hate banks too. I had my credit card set up to automatically be paid from my current account the full balance each month at one point, then spent a shitload on credit and rang them up to say I wanted it changed to only take out the minimum payment, because I knew if they took it all, I would go overdrawn. Well, next thing I know they had taken the lot and I was overdrawn and was charged for that! Fuming, was not the word. I was then informed that they needed to 'investigate' and find the tape with the recording of the conversation where I stated this before they would refund the charges. Conveniently, they 'couldn't find the tape' so refunded me as a gesture of 'goodwill' - nothing like your bank treating you like a liar, as well as being incompetent!

Banks = Cunts.

Fresco said...

Your mail will probably be send around the office to brighten up the day of the bored firstdirect office workers.

We do the same when we get a funny complaint.

And yours is a really funny one. :-)

JUSTIN said...

Hilarious letter. Any response yet? I'm