So this morning I crawl out of bed at 7:30 like most normal people do on a Thursday morning. I get ready for work but notice something is up. My desk/girlfriend’s makeup table was missing a certain square shaped black leather wallet. No worries though it’s usually located on my other desk/drawers under my computer screen. Not there either. So obviously panic sets in rather quickly and I hunt around my house for about 20 minutes searching high and low for my wallet. In the end I concede defeat and head out to work walletless.
Upon my arrival I realised that I probably dropped it when I was running to my girlfriends car. It was freezing last night and I only had a shirt on for protection. So then I knew I had to do the inevitable. Contact Santander and cancel my debit card. Literally all my nightmares were just rolled in to one big ball-ache scenario. I’ve never had a conversation with their employees that ended “Thank you so much for your help, have a nice day.” Being someone who has worked in customer service for years, I know that’s not a good sign.
So I dial their number and press a whole load of number until I’m put through to an actual human in the right department. I tell him my scenario and think this should go smoothly enough. I give him my address and think all is sorted.
He asks me if I have any direct debits coming up. The only one that sprung to mind was mobile broadband for my girlfriend’s iPad. No biggie, sorted. He then asks when my last cash withdrawal was. I respond unsure and give him a whole load of times I used my card to pay for things. Turns out I failed a security test and my card won’t be re-issued but has been blocked.
He tells me I can call back if I remember otherwise take my passport and a bill/bank statement to my nearest branch and they can re-issue it that way.
Excuse my blatant apprehension to this but the last time I lost my card I did this and it didn’t end too well….for me. It was a rainy night in Ealing and I was trekking back to my apartment. I had my backpack slung over one shoulder, two shopping bags, an umbrella and my phone in my hand. I was bound to lose something and that something was my debit card. The very next day I set out to Santander and got a new one re-issued. I was told it would take 7-10 days. Two weeks later I walk in to the same branch debit cardless and enquire about my situation. The employee informs me that the card was indeed cancelled but whoever did it forgot to re-issue a new one. Funny that I thought to myself being that the person I spoke to last time I was in there was in fact the very same incompetent employee.
Fast forward February 2012. My bank card expires and I need a new one. I’m told that the bank just issues one as they have it on record that the card is about to expire.
I telephone their customer services team and enquire as to what the procedure is. They cancelled my card and told me an updated one will be sent out in the next 7-10 days.
Where have I heard this before?
Two weeks later and still no bank card I call their wonderful, efficient customer services team again and enquire about the whereabouts of my card. Their employee had no answer other than “no idea what’s going on here”.
So he ended up cancelling that card and re-issuing me another one. Answers on a postcard as to how long he said it should take to reach me.
Finally after a month of enquiring for an up to date debit card I finally received one.
Santander are full of surprises, not the kind of surprise where you walk in to a dark room and your friends and family jump out from behind a couch or fridge and yell Surprise! But more the kind where you sit on a wet couch and let out a shriek, only for your mother to rush in to the room and inform you that your niece wet herself earlier. Surprise!
Greg J Allman.