Saturday, July 16, 2022

WEEKENDER: A couple of things, by Wiggia

He forgot his authorisation codes

I said I would leave the question of the incompetence of the NHS alone for awhile. I lied, the organisation can’t help itself as it is embroiled in multiple failures, but this week we saw both ends of the spectrum which highlight the disconnect between what we are told and reality.

Firstly the NHS as a whole was given the George Cross for its work during the pandemic. You can make your own mind about whether ‘all’ should have received the award, as only a relatively small number were actually on that front line in difficult circumstances; the rest, well I have spoken before, were at home for the best part of eighteen months, the evidence being surrounded by doctors and nurses from the local hospital was all too evident.

The neglect of all other diseases and procedures was always going to come back to the NHS and bite them in the backside. The waiting list for life saving operations being put on indefinite hold will have consequences for years, perhaps threatening the existence of the NHS itself. Nothing was more harrowing than the total neglect of a young woman who could not get to see her doctor for a year! The story is here:

This is not a lone incident: there have been many reports of similar cases. There is no need to say any more on this one, and in the wake of it all Dr Katherine Henderson president of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine said, following the reports that patients are waiting more than twelve hours in ambulances outside hospitals, “the health service is slowly collapsing.” We could have saved her the trouble, we already know.

But today's gripe is a more personal one, it is online banking and other online activities requiring passwords plural and memorable names, usernames, codes, second cousin's middle name, favourite car and numerous other items designed to confuse and make any mistakes almost impossible to remedy.

The mistake in this case and as has been in the past is not mine, it is the bank's Changes are made and you have to go through various hoops to prove who you are to use the new and ‘improved’ service. The service of course is not improved, it is simply made more tedious to access one's own account and if something goes wrong as in this case, you personally have to put it right: your time, your effort, your utter frustration for something you had no hand in... read on:

I have just had a couple of hours when I nearly lost it completely dealing with my bank.

The story is that my old phone became, according to the bank, incompatible with their latest app for online banking, the inference being I would have to buy a new smart phone to be able to access my own bank account - perhaps they should supply one? Just a note, I do not use the phone for banking as such, but you need to be connected to get codes to be able to buy online and these are sent to your phone; they all do this now.

Anyway my newish phone has the app and I have been using it for a couple of years. Suddenly with another update it refuses to accept the password I have used all this time. I made several attempts to rectify the matter and was told I had to transfer all the info from my old phone to the new one, despite it having worked fine for at least two years, and then to be told it would not work?

What a performance and I gave up, so the online banking has been parked; but I got a letter this morning saying they were not sending any more paper statements after July 19th - a couple days' grace then!  and if I still wanted one, you guessed it, I would have to go online into my account to change it, but I can't get online for reasons given.

So I thought I would try one more time and used several old passwords from yesteryear and bingo one worked, but the next stage required a further password and that did not work so I went the trodden route of password change. Christ I wished I had not bothered; I entered the new password twice and it then said I had to verify with an identity number given by phoning a number given to get the password finally accepted.

I phone, and as usual no one answers and I hang on listening to drivel about how they are being kind to people with no money and giving them bank accounts (perhaps a mobile phone as well?) and none of the options eventually given aligned with what I wanted, there’s a surprise. So I went for any other business; another long wait. I then go through various security questions with an operative in Delhi or somewhere which I don't have to hand only to be told she cannot solve my problem and will pass me to security.

Security eventually answer and I cannot hear never mind understand the Indian person at the other end; after my saying several times he is inaudible he bothers to up the sound and I can hear him but understanding is another matter, having to ask repeatedly can he say that again.

Needless to say we go through the security questions again but they are different and I do not have them to hand, but we get there, or I thought we had, until he said I will now ask a couple of questions for which I need a yes or no answer and only the first response will be accepted: the second question is can you give a transaction on your CC since the 26th June? My statement only goes to the 26th and I can't access online so cannot give an answer as I use other cards as well, so after all that I am back to square one as he cannot go forward because of my answer. I should have shouted, it would at least made me feel better, but was told I would have to take identification to my nearest branch and resolve the problem there. The nearest branch, as they have closed them all, is five miles away.

All I could say was that because the bank's system doesn't work I and other customers are doing the security work for them and I have had enough, f*** you all and put the phone down, it has gone beyond stupid now.

I have the same problem with my Halifax account: the app works but the codes for online purchases are never sent. I gave up on that long ago, yet if I use Pay Pal which I am loath to do, the transaction goes through without a problem or need for codes to be sent. Am I missing something here or is it all deliberate? My other card still works, but for how long, as I had trouble with that a couple of years back and there has not been a recent update. It won't be long now. I feel, before none of the bloody things work.

They also keep asking me to use online payments and stop using cheques to save the rainforest or something. I refuse but the cheque book gets thinner, and if they have their way will disappear altogether, then I will really be stuffed.

My wife who was a dept head in clearing at the bank laughs at all this. She was in charge of the first computerised clearing operation in banking in this country and now won't go near a computer and only uses, whilst still available, telephone banking. As she says, even in the day computer banking was risky and the bad guys are very clever, this is why of course the security gets ever more tedious and frustrating and the onus is put on the customer to do their work for them.

It is noticeable that HSBC has gone full woke and has blundered into backing the statement that the Halifax put out about leaving the bank if you do not like our stance on the rainbow people; and to think that these once revered organisations were once the foundations of our financial system and the bank manager, remember him, was a pillar of local society!

Oh and the sun has gone in... perhaps that is a rehearsal for when the lights go out…

1 comment:

Sackerson said...

Love that poor baby, what on earth happened?