You may be wondering what’s happened to Rants No 1 – the CT Scan and No 2 – the Cashless Catering Card which is indeed cashless. I just haven’t got round to writing them yet. And I am so cross after my visit to the building society on Friday that they’ve paled into insignificance and may not get written.
So, to the Alliance & Leicester.
I first fell out with them a few years ago when they opened the wrong type of account for the children. Similarities with snow coming up. I eventually spotted the accounts were the wrong type and went in to sort it out – this was in the days when the A&L had local branches. Bear in mind they had made the mistake and all I wanted to do was to switch from one account type with the A&L to another account type with the A&L
Visit No 1, staff member No 1: “You need documents X to do this. Money laundering, you know.”
Visit No 2, staff member No 2: “Oh no, you need documents X and Y. No, she shouldn’t have told you that. No I definitely can’t sort it out for you until I see X and Y. You might be money laundering.”
Visit No 3, staff member No 3: “You were told that, were you? No, you definitely need documents X, Y, Z and K. And you need proof that they live at this address. A utility bill or something like that. ”
Me: “But they’re children. They’re 8 and 10. They don’t have a utility bill. Or anything official that I can think of that shows their address. You already have their passports and birth certificates, my passport, my utility bill, and various other bits that I’ve forgotten.”
Them: “Well, we can’t change it without proof of their address.”
This was when I lost my temper and lay on my back on the floor and kicked my heels and screamed.
Me: “OK, I’ll close the accounts. Now. Give us all the money. Now.”
And we went up the road and opened an account, no problem, with another bank. “Oh, we don’t need all that for children” they said soothingly. “We just check the electoral roll.”
Despite the above, we’ve still got an assortment of accounts with the A&L. Mine are all in my maiden/working name, which is the name I use most of the time. Our joint bank account, not with the A&L, is in my married name. So, now that our mortgage deal has expired, we have decided to raid all our accounts and pay off most of the mortgage. The A&L has now closed nearly all of its local branches and only has branches in Edinburgh and as I was going into town on Friday for a Christmas lunch – well, two birds and all that.
With enormous foresight, I’d got GPD to fill in and sign a withdrawal slip so that I could empty his ISA. No problem that he wasn’t there and I could have forged his signature. Have all this money, they said. Lots of it.
Then to my accounts. I have two ISAs and wanted the cheques made out in my married name, which was not the name on the account. Would they do it? No. I emptied my wallet of all the various bits of ID I have but none was good enough. They needed my marriage certificate to do that – not something I habitually carry around with me.
So, I thought, cunning plan required. “Transfer the money from these ISAs into this joint savings account (my maiden name and my husband’s name) and then give me a cheque made out to GPD.”
“We can’t do that I’m afraid. We can’t transfer from a tax free account into a taxable account.”
??Duh??** “But you could give me a cheque and then I could give it straight back to you across the counter to pay in to the account.” I didn’t actually say this as I’d already been arguing with them for half an hour and was losing the will to live.
I did say: “But you can give me a cheque made out to GPD from the savings account.”
Them: “Oh no, he’s not here. We couldn’t do that. Fraud, you know.”
Please could someone tell me why, on a joint account that either can sign, one of the signatories can’t have a cheque made out to the other signatory?
Anyhow, I buried the one cheque I had extracted from them deep in my bag and rushed off to a sensible bank before they could take it off me again.
Now I have to make a special trip into town and go through this all again. I’ll take with me my Marriage Certificate, my Birth Certificate, my Passport, a utility bill. Perhaps I should take my collection of Enhanced Disclosure forms and my mother’s wartime ID card. The most annoying thing is that I could have done all this through the post without any big problem, other than having large cheques in the mail at Christmas. Let’s hope I don’t get mugged on the way to the bank; scope for major identity fraud if that were to happen.
And if it wasn’t so ****** complicated to open a bank account, I’d clear everything left out of the A&L and put it somewhere else.