I received a letter out of the blue from Scott Miller, Head of Customer Services at Barclays. It’s a pro-forma and it included a new credit card, if it hadn’t, I’d have not read it.
Not so great I thought, so I looked this Scott Miller up on Linked In and found we had a number of people in common, so I sent him a linked in mail.
Over the last week I got a letter from you about my i24 card, which is now a Barclays Infinite Card.
I signed my agreement with another company but i24 transferred to you some years ago. Since the transfer, the original point of the card has been diminished to the point that it became just another credit card. I guess I stayed with you , because life is too complicated to change.
But your letter has prompted me to ask some questions.
Firstly , I am changing from mastercard to visa – I bought mastercard – what does this mean?
Secondly, I am going to have to change all my payment processes that depended on my using mastercard- this is very inconvenient – I did not ask for this – why must I do it?
Thirdly, what is happening to my existing benefits with i24 – travel lounge, insurance, cashback, concierge and is the amount I have to pay for Infinite the same as for i24?
I am sure that in my mail somewhere is the answer to these questions, but I don’t have time to read your unsolicited mail – whichI get every week. I want to be treated fairly and it may be that I am being treated fairly but I am confused.
I don’t want to ask questions to your Mumbai call operators with their telephone scripts , the call-backs that never come and their lack of accountability. I don’t have time to go through the complicated robotics to speak to the right person.
Instead I want to speak with you Scott Miller, Head of Customer Services and ask you what you think I will gain from having to switch to Infinite. So can you please call me on 07785 377768 or mail me at henry.h.tapper@gmail or simply respond to this linked in mail.
I am a keen blogger and have posted this mail to my site, I hope that we can conduct this correspondence in a pleasant way so that the more general issues I raise about TCF, the rights of customers and the capacity of us as individuals to deal with other individuals is maintained.
Perhaps we can also get linked in!
I haven’t heard back from Scott but I only sent this 5 minutes ago and it’s early in the morning. I will publish our correspondence as I genuinely don’t know what rights I have to what I bought or whether I am simply bound to accept whatever I am given (or hand back the card).
The interesting thing is that I don’t really see the point of retail banking going forward. PayPal is so much easier and I suspect cheaper. The reason I bought this card was I was told originally that if I had a problem I would not have to deal with an overseas call centre and that I’d get a personal service.
Those promises went out the window years ago, The new card- which looks identical to my First Direct debit card,was never part of the script.
Old skool banking
I’d like to think I was part of a banking revolution and that there was an upside to “infinite”, but Scott’s letter itemises only the payment protection insurance that all cards have by law. What makes me laugh is – despite me paying my bills by DD from my bank account, Barclays send me my cashback by cheque!
Here’s the latest one, together with a £50 note – just in case you don’t remember them either! (actually the note is really a serviette but don’t worry about it!
I had lunch with a nice man from the HSBC on Friday and we discussed the point of HSBC to retail customers. They have the excellent First Direct and I pointed out that First Direct do everything I want from a bank and more. I also pointed out how exasperated they get when they have to do things the HSBC way.
My conclusion is that big banking needs to become small banking. I love going to Metrobank, I look forward to speaking to First Direct and I very much hope I will be able to have a constructive conversation with Scott Miller to get answers to my questions.
If you have banking queries of this nature, I’d be interested to hear your views. Please post in comments so we can keep a little dossier. I am not saying Barclays is crap, but I suspect that what is happening to me, happens to a lot of people, and that we are made to feel like crap.
That’s not what should be happening, and Scott- I hope it’s something you can help put right!