You are in a maze of twisty passages

F#@* me that was hard work.

Just over 3 weeks ago I noticed that my bank account was nearly £200 short, I checked online and saw an ATM withdrawal somewhere in (I had to Google the town name) Romania. Of course I noticed this just after 6pm on a Friday and the disputed transactions phone line only does office hours so there was nothing to be done until Monday morning.

Monday morning I phone them, am told a replacement card will arrive in around 10 days and they’ll forward the details on to the fraud department who will contact me in about 2 weeks.

The new card and PIN took 2 weeks to turn up so I figured I’d give the fraud department a few extra days too and, having heard nothing, tried to phone them yesterday.

Following the same automated phone system as before I got to the end and was told by the automated voice that “we don’t deal with that, we’ll put you through to the right department and here’s the correct number for future reference”. Unfortunately the computer systems in the “right” department were down and could I call back in 2 hours. Repeat three times.

So this morning I brace myself and call the “right” number. Maybe these quotation marks are giving away the plot…

Sit on hold, think that this is a good sign and the computers must be back up today. Explain problem. Get told I need to talk to another department. Get transferred.

Sit on hold. Explain problem. Get told I need to talk to the fraud department. Get told that the right number to use is not the “right” one, it’s the first one I called, but when it asks if I still have my card I should say “no” not “yes” even though I do.

Get put through to the fraud department switchboard who wants to know how to direct my call. Tell them I’ve been told I need to talk to someone in the fraud department, apparently this isn’t precise enough but eventually I end up…

…back on hold. Explain problem. Apparently I need to talk to the fraud department as whoever I have been put through to by the fraud department switchboard doesn’t appear to actually work in the fraud department and only deals with debit card fraud not ATM fraud. Take a deep breath. Try to find my will to live.

Get transferred. To Howard, the first person who has told me his name. Explain problem. Howard takes my details and checks my account. Fraud have no record of me reporting anything. Weep inwardly. Howard apologises profusely. Howard says he will expedite this and to call back if someone hasn’t called me in 2 days. Confirm that the correct number to call is the first one I used, not the “right” one the system directed me to.

10 minutes later the phone rings. It’s Howard. He has looked into this, it’s obvious it wasn’t me withdrawing money in Romania. He is going to get the money reimbursed and it should be in my account by the end of the week. In fact, Howard can’t see any reason why it shouldn’t have been reimbursed when I first reported it. Howard apologises again, sincerely.

Howard is a very helpful man. And I should hopefully have my money back soon.

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