This was one of those moments which did not come to light until I returned home and tried to start normal procedures in my life after a spell of oblivion, it transpired that various updates re banking, shopping, Google and other sites had updated their log on procedures and in the case of banks two had actually frozen my account making access unless I updated all the info and supplied new paswords and security information.
All well and good in this scam ridden world of internet shopping/banking, except my main bank account has now become completely unobtainable.
It’s catch-22 gone mad.
Every other site has with much time and effort been returned to its former self as regards usability, though even there the jumping through hoops necessary to get things moving again has been considerable as there is no doubt that the procedures are made more difficult every time there is a reason to upgrade the system; this is not for the customer's benefit.
Nowhere is that more obvious than with the banks. In a nutshell I have been trying to access my online account for six weeks! My mobile app follows the same course, no entry without a new password which cannot be obtained because the system stops it.
Apart from endless attempts to rectify the problem resulting in amongst other things a greyed-out final box that would allow me access, I have also had various attempts at circumnavigating the system; all of which ended up with the same result: no go, whether online or on mobile.
My phone calls have resulted in an inordinate amount of time explaining the situation, endless security questions which all end with a question of what transactions on what dates after the date given I can recall - obviously without access to my statement which I don’t have I can’t answer that so I am effectively blocked from further progress.
Add to that being cut off on two occasions after 30 minutes on the phone and you have a perfect lock out.
Being told I will have to go to the nearest branch, there are only two left in the city five miles away, with photo ID does not thrill me, especially as I cannot walk at the moment apart from room to room and cannot drive yet, and my wife does not drive any more either. None of this was because of actions on my part; as I have statements only available online I have no idea of my current position re available money.
It is easy for the banks, and they are all the same, so changing my account would not achieve anything other than making me feel better. This has been getting worse for some years. The real problem is the security the banks have is insufficient for the task so more security is asked for and this is put on the customer with layers of security questions so the problem becomes that of the customer; it is cheaper for the banks and odious for the customer.
There must be an awful lot of bank customers who are totally bemused by all this and the lack of branches just makes the whole process more annoying or as in my case beyond the pale.
My answer is to go back to telephone banking and paper statements, but I still have the same initial hurdles to negotiate before that can be achieved!