My debit card expired today. Has my bank – smile – sent me a replacement? No.
I’ve been chasing them up for a week, trying to get some information, to no avail. Finally, I got a message – my new card had been blocked because they didn’t like the look of my credit rating. To be fair, it sucks, but it’s sucked for years, and it’s never bothered them before.
Anyway, my credit status should be entirely irrelevant – it’s a debit card, not a credit card – it’s my bloody money, FFS!
What really pisses me off is that nobody from the bank could be arsed to talk to me about this – they just blocked the issuing of a card that would give me access to – and I can’t stress this too much – MY BLOODY MONEY!
Then they had the brass neck to send a message saying that I should have my card in 5-7 days. That prompted me to reply asking them what they suggest I use to buy food?
That’s not an issue, I have ample food, and I also made sure I had money, as I doubted I wasn’t going to get my card in time. Thing is, though, they don’t know that.
OK, they know I took out £100 a couple of days ago, because I could see this coming, and I still have most of it, but as far as they know I could have blown it all on whores and booze. Ha! Chance would be a fine thing!
For all these incompetent fuckers know I could be broke and entirely without food – they couldn’t give a shit. And try using cheques these days…
So be warned – if you’re on benefit, and have a poor credit rating, and you bank with smile (or maybe with the Co-op Bank too – they own smile), you might suddenly find you’re penniless and you can’t actually get at – all together now – YOUR OWN BLOODY MONEY!
And they have a £100 cap on withdrawals – what’s that about? Other banks allow you to withdraw up to your balance limit, if you feel the need. The only way I can exceed the cap is to go to my nearest branch of the Co-op Bank – that’s in sodding Liverpool – it might as well be on the moon.
It is actually hard to get a bank account if you have no earnings (i.e., you’re on benefit), which is how I wound up with smile, but I’m seriously thinking of putting some effort into finding an alternative, as I clearly can’t trust the buggers.
I have money, and a friend has offered to lend me more, but as far as these asswipes are concerned, I could starve. They simply couldn’t give a shit.
The people to complain to are the Financial Services Ombudsman, and I certainly will, but be warned, if you’re on benefit, and have a poor credit rating, and bank with smile – you could be left totally without money, or access to money, and with zero warning. And that, by any measure, is totally unacceptable.
I did, for a while some years ago, operate a cash economy. I just banked enough to pay my Direct Debits and kept the rest, getting my benefit paid into a Post Office card account. However, queuing at the Post Office every Thursday became too much of a burden. And to be honest, living entirely on cash is massively inconvenient these days – the whole world runs on plastic, and I do too much shopping online to make it viable.
Oh, and despite having been overdrawn a lot in recent years, I’ve had no problems getting my debit card. Now, when my bank account is in better shape than it’s ever been – substantially in the black – the twats are getting antsy about it. It makes no sense at all.