On Banking and Security

My bank are really pissing me off of late… pissing me off to the point where I’ve actually setup a new account with a different bank with the intention of moving EVERYTHING away from them.

Today was the last straw; I was at work when I received a call from ‘David’, ‘David’ (and I shall put his name in inverted commas because I very much doubt that actually was his name) had a thick Indian accent and claimed to be from Alliance and Leicester. To proceed with the call, he asked me to confirm my account security and place of birth. Since I didn’t request the call and he was clearly using a fake name I refused to hand over the details until he could offer me confirmation of where he was calling from.

His answer? I can give you the phone number I’m calling you on. Yes… he honestly believed that by telling me the number he had already dialed that he would be confirming his identity sufficiently for me to give him private security information.

So we hit a stalemate, he refused to provide me with any evidence of where he was calling from, and I wouldn’t confirm anything until he could. In the end, I told him to put his request in writing.

I think as people become more security conscious this kind of situation is going to become more and more common and something needs to be done to fix it. Surely, if a company wants to contact me they should have a way to verify their identity? I think customers should agree a codeword with the bank so that we can verify *their* security when calling the customer.

Also… if they’re going to be making calls to customers, they shouldn’t try to mask their real names – that just stinks of attempted fraud and is going to do nothing but get my back up.

Alliance and Fucking Leicester over the last six months have turned into the hugest pile of crap. Their call center staff seem to be border line inept – it took three weeks and numerous calls to get them to update my contact details when I moved house and each time I tried to speak to a supervisor to get the problem resolved I would be placed on hold for ages and then hung up on. This is on top of the fact that they changed their fees from £25 per month for going overdrawn to £5 per day – with no notification whatsoever.

Suffice to say… I’m pissed off with them. I’ve had enough of their shit and I’m moving on… enough is enough.

Posted on
by Andy

About Andy

Andy Warburton is a web designer and developer from the UK currently living in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. When he's not building totally awesome WordPress themes or stuffing his face with Sushi, Andy can be found hanging out with his wonderful wife and child. You should totally follow me on Twitter

4 Comments – Join The Discussion!

  • I’m with you on this one, Andy! I keep getting calls from some third party contractor trying to sell me in surance on my bank account. And they keep calling, and calling, and calling. I have call display so I don’t pick up anything that comes up as “Unknown Name” but I know what their number is by now.

    That’s my biggest pet peeve – if you are my bank, or my cable company, or my phone company or whatever, why can you not tell me who you are when you call me? Instead they deliberately try to mislead you so you might be more likely to pick up the phone. When I do pick those up I make sure to tell them off for trying to manipulate my call display.

    By Megan on January 12, 2008 @ 8:05 pm | # | Reply

  • Andy, I don’t really care! You should just be happy that someone does want to talk to you.

    By SMOLE on January 22, 2008 @ 3:08 pm | # | Reply

  • hey there – stumbled across your site while googling for zenphoto tips… must say yours is about the cleanest wordpress theme i’ve seen yet.


    and yes, A&L are total c*nts.

    - from a fellow ubergeek.

    By Rory Sinclair on February 6, 2008 @ 1:09 am | # | Reply

  • Dude, you so know that if you required for a pass phrase for a bank account some asshat would use their wifes name or something obscene that would embarrass themselves (hey you’ve seen some of the same security questions and answers I have, so you know how dumb some people can be).

    The only way to solve this stuff is 2 factor authentication, providing it’s not those RSA tokens that we used to use for BT Wholesale (I’ve seen the ‘random’ number them produce predicted using a freely available software program).

    By AndyM on February 13, 2008 @ 2:52 pm | # | Reply

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