Friday, 9 July 2010

@#*%^* NatWest! More spleen venting of a humourous nature...

I have the great misfortune to have arranged my business banking with NatWest's Direct Business Banking team. Unfortunately for me, I made a single mistake on the original application form and descended into a special kind of Hell unseen since the great plague of 1348.

If you're familiar with the Old Testament, having your business banking with NatWest Direct Business Banking is a bit like waking up one day and finding out you're Job. Bugger. Except that unlike Job, there's no reward waiting for me if I ever manage to crawl out of the misery they continue to subject me to. Double bugger.

All that will happen is I end up remaining a customer of NatWest Direct Business Banking. Triple bugger.

Anyway, when I last wrote of my ordeal I had visited the Kingsbury branch of NatWest and submitted a form designed to change the signing authority on my account. The current need for 2 signatures (my error) is the source of all my banking woes, and I needed to have this changed as soon as it was discovered. That was almost 2 months ago.

I waited to hear that all was well and that we could proceed with the next step (activating my online banking). I waited in vain. NatWest managed to lose that form, but said they'd search for it. Another 2 weeks slipped by...

...and then I received a call from NatWest to apologise profusely for losing my form. On the one hand, they actually called me this time. On the other hand, they lost my form and spent an entire month fucking around.

They can't find the damn thing, and I am now forced to submit the exact same form in the exact same way and hope for a different result.
As an aside, I have come up with a theoretical model that explains why it takes NatWest Direct Business Banking so long do anything. How is it that it can take weeks to simply change an address? After much thought I have the answer!

NatWest Direct Business Banking is a vast bureaucracy, staggering under the weight of huge amounts of paper bound up in gigantic bundles of red tape. The mass of this organisation is so large, the resulting gravity well actually slows time. It's employees enter their workplace, and do actually turn around forms in mere minutes relative to their own position in spacetime. Unfortunately for those us outside the gravity well of NatWest Direct Business Banking, time flows much faster (i.e. at its normal rate). 10 minutes inside the building is equal to several weeks outside. This is the only explanation I can come up with to explain their ineptitude.

Now the person handling my case (for it is now an official case) had told me to take a form into a NatWest branch and have them send it to the Direct Business Banking unit. But this person was well aware of the inherent flaw in this plan, and suggested we do something cunning.

I was not just to take the form into a branch and hand it over. This time I was to ask that they fax it to her so she would have a copy in case it goes missing again.

This time around I chose the Swiss Cottage Branch of NatWest because it looks like the bureaudroid that accepted my form at the Kingsbury branch never actually sent it on. I wasn't certain I would remain calm if I encountered her again.

The person I talked to at NatWest Swiss Cottage was a lot more helpful than one at Kingsbury had been. He had encountered other people suffering at the hands of NatWest's Direct Business Banking unit. He understood that it is a fate worse than a fate worse than death, and did what I asked. And apologised on behalf of NatWest.

I eventually recovered from the shock, hopped on the tube, and went home.

So I've submitted yet another form to this horrendous corporation in the vein hope they will do something right for a change. You never know. The form might actually be processed. It might actually happen in less than 10 days. Pigs might actually fly. Politicians might actually restrain themselves when it comes to their expenses.

Or perhaps not.


ellipsis dive said...

It is important to choose the best persons s and institutions when being in need of banking services in general.