Thursday, March 01, 2007

In the waiting line

Tomorrow marks three months since I first tried to close my bank account in the UK -- when I was still living in the UK. Since then, I've made at least five to eight phone calls -- always at midnight or later, thanks to the time zones. I've sent letter upon letter, completing increasingly ridiculous requests from the bank, including one which asked me to send a certified copy of my passport signature page because apparently I forged my own signature on the previous account closure letter. It's fantastic. Now, I'm being told I sent that to the wrong place, even though the last letter I received *and* the last person with whom I spoke told me to send it there. Oh, and apparently? I also have to cut my debit card into four pieces, shred my checks and return them to yet another part of the bank's nebula. And apparently? The fact that no one told me that once in the past three months, during which period I destroyed and threw out my checks because I didn't like having them lying around to tempt airport security checkers and passersby? That, apparently, is my own damn fault and means I need to write yet another letter explaning myself.

So, what do you do when your international bank refuses to close your account? Or when they try to send you to collections for mounting fees because your account no longer has money in it? (Hey, maybe because I was told to take it all out the first time I went to close it!) Anybody know a good lawyer out there? Hell, I'd settle for a consolation prize: a nice big bottle of whiskey to keep me company while I sit cradling the phone yet again tonight, trying not to think about how this might affect my credit, praying that just this once the person on the other end of the line actually has something useful to impart. If they don't, I guess I have to wait until next summer, when I fly back to visit CB and march into the nearest branch with my forty-fifth letter in hand and eighteen months of pent-up rage waiting to be unleashed on the nearest bank representative.

Seriously, this is ridiculous, isn't it? Or is it all happening because they can tell I'm American and want to make my life miserable? See, I know that's not true, but try waiting three months for an account to close and see how paranoid it makes you.


Anonymous said...

If only I were licensed to practice law...

That bank sounds like it is being run by a bunch of idiots!

~Your Stanford Chum said...

That is rididuclous.

They might be breaching your contract, if there's a term (sometimes implied) to provide a reasoable service etc. Look in the T&Cs for the overseas moving clauses, bet they'll be some.

Could threaten them with a negligence claim, unfortunately they've probably excluded their liability with an exclusion clause but this is still subject to a reasonable test, so if you sent them a letter saying this stuff, cite s11 Unfair Contract Terms Act then they may get their arses in gear...

Bet it's my bank! They're annoying! said...

eek, watch out for defamation. it's not my bank as it goes, they're probably all as bad as each other!

Mr Billygean just read over my advice and said "oh very good, when are you going to put it into english?"

hm. anything you don't understand?