JUST what is going on at Virgin Money/Yorkshire Bank? Customers are being denied access to their own money, harassed and left confused. Two recent events, concerning my own accounts, leave me with grave concerns.
On Christmas Day, at 14.40, my mobile phone vibrated to herald an incoming text from Virgin Money telling me that one of my accounts was in overdraft and that ‘You may be charged for this’.
I was certain that this account was not overdrawn. I was in Switzerland at that time and about to hear the Queen’s Speech. Returning to the UK two days later, I went straight to my local branch – no longer very local, put my card in the ATM and confirmed that the account was not overdrawn and that the figures that had been in my head about the state of the account were accurate. Staff at the branch were less than conciliatory.
I got a mumbled ‘sorry’ and then ‘what more do you want?’ Well, to start with, a copy of the complaints procedure could have been useful.
It was suggested in the branch that if I had ‘the App’ then I could have checked my balance there and then. This was ‘a glitch’, they said, and it was thought that this ‘glitch’ had been repaired. I do have an ‘App’ – it is a piece of paper, a pen and a calculator costing £4.99 at WH Smith.
On their part, they have an expensive IT system staffed by highly paid geeks. The difference between these systems is that my pen-and-paper accounts do not harass and threaten aged persons on Christmas Day, theirs does and mine is accurate.
Now at nearly 80, I first joined the Yorkshire Penny Bank in 1944 and have never had any such treatment until the Virgin ‘brand’ came on the scene. This ‘brand’, I was told, was a friendly ‘brand’ to take the bank forward. It is not friendly.
On TV news, we find that people have been deprived of access to their money and then, on the following day, a letter arrives through my letter box concerning a matter from 2016.
Just what is going on? Firstly, who has taken over who? We were told by the bank that Clydesdale had taken over Virgin. The Virgin ‘fellow-me-laddie’ (not the bearded one) trousered more than a modest wedge and retired to a safe distance some months ago, since then we have seen the Yorkshire Bank infrastructure progressively dismantled.
My commiserations to those left without funds last weekend. Virgin Money is demonstrating that it is not fit for the purpose of managing funds. It is clear that the future is not Virgin but where does it lie?