NatWest - Security Inconsistencies

Thursday 12th May, 2005
Much to my amusement, I received a chip & pin code in the post yesterday. What's so amusing about that? It was for my wife! Tegan and I split nearly 4yrs ago but as far as NatWest Bank are concerned the former Mrs. Rose is still with me and is still an additional cardholder.

I cast my mind back a few years and remembered attempting to cancel the cards on our split. Whilst most card companies are quite happy to issue a card over the phone, on request, for an additional card holder...cancelling it is another matter. I was given all kinds of rubbish excuses..."what if she doesn't agree to the cancellation of the card" err....it's MY account. "yes but her card is valid too"...errr...who is the primary cardholder here? I retailiate explaining that they're issuing a PIN number and another card for someone that doesn't exist, doesn't live at this address...not even in the UK. There's huge security implications just, PLEASE, cancel the additional cardholder.

All the time at the moment I fall upon this pain in the ass hurdle. It's called "confirm in writing". They won't accept an email, won't accept a fax...you have to put it in writing. I went through security checks on the phone for account number, mother's maiden name, date of birth, postcode, first line of address before they would even speak to me but now, after full security verification, I have to confirm the change in writing.

I explained that there was no way I was going to be arsed to write a letter, print it, find an evelope, address it, find a stamp and then take it down the post box...not in 2005. There was no alternative so I just told them to go ahead and keep issuing cards for someone that doesn't exist and ended the call.

So, where is the inconsistency you may ask? Well, I immediately made a second phone call. "Welcome to Natwest, how may I help?" "Yes...I'd like to close my account please", "very well sir, I'll put you through to our closures team". After 2mins on hold I got through to the guy in closures who verified that my account was in order, no outstanding payments/balance/etc. and then agreed that the account was closed. "Just cut the cards in 2 and pop them in the bin and that's it".

NO WRITTEN CONFIRMATION? NO RETURNING THE CARDS? NO EFFORT.

So it's easier to leave the bank than it is to cancel the additional card holder. But then the fun phrase arrived "you can re-open your account any time in the next 6months just by calling us back". I guess i won't be needing the second account holder this time, hahaha.

If I could be arsed to write to them, I'd let them know the story above...I'm just hoping someone in their PR department finds this article via google.

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