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Accounting the days - shadows of echoes of memories of songs
j4
j4
Accounting the days
Alliance and Leicester are playing a game with me. Every so often they cock up something to do with one of the three accounts I have with them, usually something non-critical but sufficiently annoying that I have to sort it out. And every time, I ring up, and (sometimes after a fair amount of phone-shuffling and buck-passing) some pleasant young person sorts everything out efficiently and cheerfully, and goes the extra mile in a way that makes me think "Yeah! These people are all right!"

It was only just now (during a phone call so tortuous that I had to twitter about it to keep myself sane, in which I had to ascertain why they thought my current account had closed; if they didn't, why they'd disabled the linked savings account; why they'd sent me two COA letters changing my address from this one to, er, this one; and whether I could have a new card please because I've worn this one out) that I started to wonder whether they are cocking things up deliberately so that they can impress me by fixing them...

Then they offered me a free Financial Advice session, "to see if the accounts I've got are right for my needs". Since this is something I've been trying to research myself and never quite getting round to changing anything, this offer actually comes at exactly the right time. Hurrah! Alliance and Leicester are great. I'll give them the benefit of the doubt again, and forget about all the cockups (and the hold music, which is the worst kind of noodly liftmusic except for one tiny glitch where the track skips) until next time.

Now all I need is the time to take them up on their offer. Three days left in the current job. That's less than 24 working hours. Expect me to be even more busy and stressed than I have been recently anyway...
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Comments
crazyscot From: crazyscot Date: May 15th, 2007 06:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Beware! These "free reviews" are nothing but thinly-disguised sales pitch.

Repeat after me: All banks are evil and only want to make as much money out of me as possible.
From: (Anonymous) Date: May 15th, 2007 06:54 pm (UTC) (Link)
Agreed, although A&L's current account is actually quite good (pays 5% on balance up to 2Kish and has 0% overdraft), and they did (do?) offer a regular savings account paying 10%.

I recommend an icici savings account - they emailed me t'other day to say the rate was now 6.05%.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 15th, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
The regular savings account at 10% is a fixed-period fixed-amount thing that's linked to the current account, you get it for a year from opening the current account, you set the amount you're paying in each month at the beginning and can't change it after that. Which I was quite annoyed about because I went for quite a conservative account (thinking "if I end up earning more money I can put the amount up"), but hey, that's my stupid fault for not reading the small print carefully enough...

I think the savings accounts that I've got are now quite a bit worse than the current account. This is clearly daft.

Will look into icici though - thanks for the tip. :)
caramel_betty From: caramel_betty Date: May 16th, 2007 08:51 am (UTC) (Link)
Pretty much all the high-profile, regular-saver, 7-10% headline figure accounts are like that. I wouldn't feel too bad about it, as every time these come up on programmes like Money Box, they have to go into excruciating detail about what the accounts are *really* like.
j4 From: j4 Date: May 15th, 2007 07:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
nothing but thinly-disguised sales pitch

Well, yes. But they did say "no obligation to buy", and since the savings accounts I've got with them have long since dropped from the good rate I got them at, and various of their savings accounts have a better rate (though mostly only for new customers, natch), if they can pitch something at me that I want to get then I may well go for it.

Wanting to make money isn't necessarily evil. Advertising isn't necessarily evil. You just have to go into it with your eyes open, & be prepared to say "no" if they're not selling anything you want to buy.
half_of_monty From: half_of_monty Date: May 16th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC) (Link)
I had a savings review from the co-op once, which was meant to be `no obligation', but when I turned down their rather shit offer I was roundly told off and made to feel guilty. Hmpf `ethical'.
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: May 15th, 2007 07:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
They do this to me every time I go to Natwest.

"Are you aware you have an old-style account Sir?"
"Yes, that's the kind where you pay me rather than the other way round isn't it?"
"Er, yes, but, umm..."
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: May 15th, 2007 09:14 pm (UTC) (Link)

me too

with dear old Lloyds.

But I am less polite than you: I spell out that I don't want to buy services from a bank when other providers (like getting insurance from an insurance company) do it better and cheaper; and pay for the privilege as well.

My current game with Lloyds is to use their pre-paid envelopes to refuse their regular offers of credit cards and loans: I stuff the pre-paids full of the lot, including their original envelope, and mail it straight back to 'em. So I don't even have to burden my recycling box.
beingjdc From: beingjdc Date: May 15th, 2007 09:22 pm (UTC) (Link)

In fairness to Natwest...

They did give me a substantial credit card limit at 0% for six months, so I maxed it out and put the proceeds in one of their savings accounts. Umm.
vinaigrettegirl From: vinaigrettegirl Date: May 15th, 2007 09:30 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: In fairness to Natwest...

Ah. I didn't hear that at all, Minister.
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