Saturday, January 03, 2009


Though I was tempted to write about New Year's Eve in full detail, I decided not to elaborate on that, as it would not be profitable for an accurate picture of myself..... ;-)

Never mind, there are other tales to tell:

I already complained about HSBC's sending my mail to Australia (see blog entry in November). And I mentioned that they should have transferred my money to my Austrian account. This transaction should have happened about 3 weeks ago and still no sign of any balance increase.
So I finally gathered all my courage and phoned them...

A computerised voice asked me to enter my account number, date of birth, sorting code etc. and I already ventured to hope that it might only be a matter of minutes until I could hang up again, satisfied.

Wrong emotion.

Your account information cannot be processed. You will be attended to shortly, please hold...
*gruesome classical music commencing - repetitive - and interrupted every minute by an advert for the bank... for about 7 minutes*
Hi. What can I do for you? (A real person speaking)

I tell her about my problem and that I want to know where my money is. She asks me a few security questions (account number, date of birth, etc) and then takes a look at my account:

Let me just check your balance for you. ..... It's zero.
Right... so, where is my money actually? Because it's not here either....
I'll find out for you. Would you mind waiting for a few minutes? ...yes I would
No problem.

She then put me on a hold again. For about 10 minutes!
Miss H. Are you still there? Thank you so much for holding ...yeah well, what options do I have?... I will now connect you to a colleague of mine. So if you would hold for another 5 minutes.

*pop music now ,.... interesting... again for about 5 minutes*
Hello Miss H.? I've heard about your problem [...] can I ask you some security questions to make sure it's you? ...oh no, not again!
Somehow I missed out on something - it was 3 women all in all that all asked me for identification and stuff... the first 2 not very competent. This third one is nice, though. She is Scottish and her aspirations on certain consonants are so sharp that I get a lot of hissing sounds through the phone and don't quite grasp what she is telling me.

Excuse me, I'm afraid I didn't get most of what you just said....
*laugh* Allright, well [...]

...and she explains everything again, slowly.
The bank apparently forgot to send a request to my Austrian bank, which sadly is not a partner of HSBC's and therefore the whole thing was not processed.

Would you like me to do that now? Your bank might charge you for it, though. .. yeah, well, I don't really care - I just want all that to be settled, so pass it on!
That's ok.
Ok, Miss H., I'll send the request now and will call you back in a few minutes to inform you what's going on. Could you give me a contact number, maybe? [...] And is there anything else I can do for you right now?
Ah yes, there actually is: My address is not correct - you sent the last letter to Australia, but it is Austria :-)
Oh I'm sorry, I'll change that immediately. Anything else?
No, that's everything.
Allright, I'll be back with you in a few minutes.

So she called me back 5 minutes later to inform me that I'll probably get my money in about 10 days. I hang up, relieved.

Phooh.... done. Wasted half an hour and probably a lot of money for a comparatively small sum of British money that even decreased in value MASSIVELY since I left the island.... So, much ado about nothing really, but somehow it feels good to have settled that, anyway :-).

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