Abbey National Business: How I hate thee

Yes, I'm still with Abbey National Business. For the backstory on my hassles with them, see Abbey National Business and Vodafone: Two companies that just don’t “get it” and The last straw: Moving away from Abbey National Business Banking. Unfortunately, I haven't had a chance to move away because of the hassle it involves. Today, they reminded me why I hate them so much yet again, and why I should make the extra effort to change banks.

When I was in San Fran, they disabled the card on the account. (They still don't understand that I travel.) That's fine, I should have called them previously to tell them I was traveling to be 100% sure they wouldn't do this. That's not the worst thing though. Today (Sunday), I call them to have the card re-activated and I get a message telling me they're closed and I should phone back on Monday. Their telephone banking is closed. You cannot call them even to report a missing or stolen card. This is ridiculous.

So I call the main Abbey National number and get the rudest support person ever, courtesy of a cheap call center in India. He just tells me over and over "We do not deal with business accounts." I ask him, what if my card is stolen? How do I report it? He says "We do not deal with business accounts." Finally, he asks me for my sort code so he can transfer me to the business department. I tell him: "But you said that the business department is closed today." He asks me for my sort code again so he can transfer me. "But aren't they closed?" "I will check." I wait on hold. He comes back: "The business department is closed today, you have to call back tomorrow!" "But I cannot use my account because you disabled my card and I have to make a purchase." "We do not deal with business accounts." "But you're the same bank -- this is unacceptable." "We do not deal with business accounts!" "Can I speak to a manager?" "There is no one here to help you, they are all busy." "So I can't speak to a manager?" "We do not deal with business accounts!" "OK, what is your name?" (Hangs up.)

Lovely! Positively lovely.

How are these people still in business? I know, because it's such a hassle to change banks. Hassle or no, once I'm back from Singapore this is the first thing I'm doing. Bastards.

Monday morning update:

I call the "business" department (I wonder if they know what that word means) at 9am (their opening hour). I give all my account information and go through the security checks. The lady on the line finally asks me what she can do for me. I tell her I want to reactivate the card on my account since they disabled it when I was traveling. "Oh", she says, "that's a different department -- you need to call this number..."

I call that number.

I get another lady who asks me the number of the card. "Oh", she says (must be in the company script), "that's a business account -- I'm not dealing with business accounts today. Let me see if my colleague is available." Her colleague is not available. She takes my number and assures me that her colleague will call me back. I wait. Her colleague does call back in a few minutes. I go through and verify each transaction and they enable the card. Well, not immediately -- it apparently takes "a few hours" (what, is there a randomly-generated duration variable involved that they cannot give me an exact time at least?) GREAT! So now I have to wait "a few hours" before making this purchase that I've been trying to make since yesterday.

Abbey National Business, you are clueless.