Saturday, 1 March 2014
Beaten by the banks
When I travelled regularly by bus to one of our local universities (I was studying French as a retirement hobby) I was often dismayed by the calm way the rest of the queue accepted the situation if the bus didn't arrive. I by contrast grumbled loudly, sent off letters of complaint and received free ride vouchers for compensation.
Sadly I now find that a similar placid acceptance is my response , or lack of it, to appalling service by the banks. I have a savings account with Lloyds. It pays a pathetic 0.5% interest but if I don't renew it at the end of each year this falls to an even more pathetic 0.2%. Lloyds appear to feel they have done their duty to me by sending me a reminder, but some two months before the year expires, presumably in the hope that I'll forget.
Fortunately I made a note in my diary so remembered, to be told that I didn't, as in the past, need to close and then re-open the account: it simply need to be "refreshed." In my former "missing bus" mode I should have protested vigorously, explained to the clerk that I realised it wasn't her fault, but would she please tell her manager that I found this unacceptably and that I expected the bank to look after me, a loyal customer for over 50 years, and not hope that through my forgetfulness they'd be able to make more money out of me.
But I didn't: I am now overcome by "bus queue" apathy and accepted the situation meekly.
Whilst some retired people lucky enough to have savings enjoy keeping a lookout for the highest rates and switching accounts in order to take advantage of them, I suspect that most are like me and would simply like to find a bank which, even if it didn't offer the very best rate, would treat us fairly and not place us on the back burner if we took out eyes off the ball. No such bank seems to exist, and the mutuals don't seem to be any better.
Someone with the energy of youth should raise a stink. Come on UK Uncut: Help the Aged.