On Dealing with Lying Cunts

As regular readers know, in August 2012 I was declared bankrupt. No fun, but well, I’m not going to rehash old ground on that score.

In February 2013, I opened a basic current account with Barclays, having explained my ongoing bankruptcy and telling them that as time went on, I would want/hope/expect to be able to rebuild my credit score etc. with Barclays. I was told that was no problem, that once the bankruptcy was discharged (which happened in August 2013, fact fans) I could start to rebuild, and could regularly check whether my account was suitable for an upgrade to a ‘proper’ (my word, not theirs) current account, with overdraft facility etc., and continue to rebuild my fiscal profile.

I’ve done that, and always been declined. Frustrating, but I kind-of understand why, with it being on the record, and the changing risk-profiles etc.

Three weeks ago – after three and a half years with Barclays, still on the basic account – I tried again, and was automatically declined, the classic “computer says no”, but decided to take it further. Spoke to a ‘lending manager’, who went through an appeal process and promised I’d be called back in the next 48 hours. Nothing for two weeks.

So last week, I went in again, having made an appointment to see the manager. I ended up dealing with an assistant manager at the branch, and he let slip that Barclays have a “six years from discharge” rule, so that I have no chance of a ‘proper’ current account until 2019. I will automatically be declined until that time – something that no-one at Barclays has mentioned at any time until last week. Even that ‘lending manager’ didn’t mention it, let alone the people I’ve seen before each time I’ve done this process.

I think it’s pretty shocking (and pretty cuntish – so absolutely standard for Barclays) to have a policy in place that makes no recognition of a customer’s good standing, lack of debt etc. for seven years (one year of the bankruptcy, and six after discharge) before even being considered.

It’s worth noting that I’m not actually looking for any credit – I’d like to be *able* to have an overdraft, but I don’t actually want one (if that makes sense) I’ve offered several solutions, including monthly or quarterly account reviews where I go into branch, and would be happy to do this. But Barclays simply say “Nope. Not happening

I wouldn’t mind as much if Barclays had been honest at any point, and said “You can have a basic account, but no chance of anything else“. I’d be OK with that. I wouldn’t necessarily have gone with them, but I’d have understood their process. Instead, it’s been three-and-a-half years of being lied to, of making pointless appointments to go in and see if the account is ready to be upgraded, and now feels more like they’re just doing it to take the piss and have a laugh at my expense.

I’ve complained formally to Barclays, which should be entertaining. (I was promised a callback for last Tuesday which still hasn’t happened, so I’m not holding out any expectations of professionalism or competence from them) I’m waiting to see what happens with that, but I expect there to be no resolution, at which point it’ll go further and end up with the Financial Ombudsman. Again, entertaining.

But I’m also taking it up with a few other places – including consumer-rights places, and Advertising Standards, as Barclays keep on bleating on about how they’re so great, so fair, so “future of banking”. When really, it turns out that (unsurprisingly) they’re just lying cunts who couldn’t give a rat’s fuck about people.


7 Comments on “On Dealing with Lying Cunts”

  1. Blue Witch says:

    That’s got to be worth £100, and an immediate ‘proper’ account, or you’ll be forced to go to the Ombudsman.

    Well – that would be my position. Before complaining/negotiating with anyone I always decide on the least I will accept.

    Seems Barclays are stuck in the dark ages, when it was legally 6 years before you could be considerd again for credit. That doesn’t surprise me at all for a bank that, frankly, in my experience, is firmly stuck in the last century.

    Good luck! Probably also worth approaching another bank to see if they will give you a standard account now (and, if so, ditching Barclays).

  2. Lyle says:

    Yep, I’m in the process of finding out about other banks/accounts etc.

    Barclays have offered £75 so far as compensation for pissing me about, but still won’t upgrade the account. The complaint is escalating up to the Ombudsman, that’s being done this week. (I only got the final letter from Barclays on Friday)

    My favourite from the letter (considering that the original complaint explicitly states “our six-year policy”) says that “they don’t have a policy of blocking the applications, but if the credit score marks bankruptcy, we won’t progress”, which is a policy in all but name.

    So yeah, there’s still plenty of fun to be had with it all.

  3. Blue Witch says:

    Well done 🙂

    You are almost the only person I know who is prepared to put the time and energy in to pointing out to the system just how stupid it is, and not to give up at the first knock-back.

    Most people will moan like mad to all and sundry, but not be prepared to try to make things better for others in the future.

    I’m extremely frustrated by how little most people notice what is going on around them, and how little they will do to secure their/their children’s futures against threats from all sides (especially development and environment).

    If anyone starts moaning about anything in my hearing now, I just say, “So, what are YOU going to do about it?” I’ve decided that I’m through with people who can’t be bothered to care, and I have been more than challenging or more than one occasion.

  4. Lyle says:

    Challenging, BW? You? Perish the thought. 🙂

  5. Blue Witch says:

    It’s a hard job, but someone’s got to do it – otherwise we might as well all live in a dictatorial state and just get told what to do.

    Why are we living in a world where people know/ care more about what is happening on their Twitter timeline or on their FB than on their doorstep?

    I really want to know the answer to this, and, as I know you use both, but still care/protest about wider issues, perhaps you could enlighten me?

  6. Lyle says:

    Not a clue. I’m not the generation that grew up with Twitter, FB et al., that feel it’s the best/only place to interact. But I’m also not the type of person to sit and whinge instead of actually doing stuff.

    In fairness, I don’t think it’s down to Twitter/FB – I think they only make people’s laziness and apathy more visible. I know I’ve got a bad perspective on people (although it’s borne out by evidence) and I think most just can’t be arsed. Even in the 50s/60s/70s when protest was more visible/active, there were still a lot of passive people doing nowt and just whining about how bad things were, without doing anything.

    So really, I think it’s just that the doers/complainers/protestors are always in the minority, they’re just a very vocal minority, and us doing that stuff means that the passive ones get to see the change without actually having to get off their arses.

    But then, as has been said many times, I’m a massive cynic.

  7. Blue Witch says:

    I’ve said before and I’ll say again, “It’s better to be a delighted pessimist than a disappointed optimist.”

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