My wife lost her debit card for our joint current account just over 3 weeks ago, and she used the online banking facility to report it lost and request a new one.
New bank cards are meant to take around 4 working days to arrive. However around 10 days later there was no sign of it, and my debit card had also stopped working. It seems that Ulster Bank had cancelled both cards on our joint account.
So my wife phoned Ulster Bank to tell them that she had not received the replacement card, and asks for replacement cards to be sent for both of us. The customer service agent confirmed that cards would be sent out for both of us.
One week later (3 weeks after first reporting the card loss) my wife’s new debit card finally arrived in the post. But there’s no sign of my card, so I rang up Ulster Bank again, and found out that:
- My debit card should not have been cancelled in the first place
- There were two active cards on the account – both in my wife’s name – the one ordered online 3 weeks ago and a second one ordered on the phone a week ago
- There were no active cards in my name listed on the account
So it seems there were some serious failings in process within Ulster Bank:
- They wrongly cancelled my debit card – possibly a problem with their online card loss process
- They failed to cancel the first replacement card that was reported lost – leaving it active on the account – a problem related to the customer care agent on the phone who order the replacement
- They failed to issue a new card to me – leaving me without a card for 3 weeks – they didn’t send a new card when they originally cancelled my card, and again didn’t send a new card when asked 10 days later
I tried to point out these failings to the customer service agent, but she seemed unable or unwilling to capture the feedback. I asked if she could log a complaint or record my comments against our account, and get someone in authority to review them, and she said nobody reviews the account comments.
So it seems that Ulster Bank has no mechanism in place to learn from their mistakes and to correct them in the future. The biggest problem seems to be around the person that my wife spoke to after 10 days, who told her a number of things that turned out not to be true. That person clearly needs some training in order to perform their role correctly, but our feedback about their performance is clearly not going to be followed up.
I guess this is why people get so frustrated with call centres.
Anyway, it seems that a new debit card has eventually been ordered for me, and will arrive in 3-5 working days. So by the time it gets here, I’ll have been without a working card for a total of four weeks! The bank also insists that they need to send me a new PIN for the card, because I’ve been without an active card for so long!
I did ask if there’s any way that they could expedite the issue of the new card – based on the fact that they’ve made so many mistakes – and the answer to that was also no.
In fairness to Ulster Bank, they did resolve this situation to my satisfaction. They have an online complaint form on their website that I filled in, explaining what had happened and the impact upon me. And a couple of weeks later I was contacted by someone from their complaints department, and they offered me compensation for the inconvenience.