Barclays, adieu


Dear Barclays,

I have tried. I have tried desperately to be your customer. I had an endless patience. But now, it’s over.

I’ve tried switching Bank. From Lloyds. Three calls. Several tweets. Some DMs. Three appointments. You made the switch so difficult and complex, than I decided to give up. I’ll go to another Bank. Or I’ll stay with Lloyds. Let me tell you a few things.

First, getting an appointment was nearly impossible (I moved to the UK 8 months ago, so I couldn’t apply on-line). Three calls, some tweets, then finally I got a day and time (15 days later).

I went to the appointment, yesterday.  Confident that I was just a few minutes away from my new shiny bank account. Unfortunately some documents were missing. Proofs of my residence. In fact…

  • I had with me my other bank contract and card, with letters confirming my address – it was not enough
  • I had my company contract – not even taken into consideration
  • I had bills – it was not enough, all bills were older than 3 months
  • I had company payslips – of course not enough
  • I had the letter of HRMC, with date of appointment to get my National Insurance number – it was not enough

After the first meeting I had 2 other appointments, the last one this morning, trying to bring new documentation. “Unfortunately” I moved all bills on-line (I hate paper – I just can’t see paper in my mailbox any more – I have received more paper and letters in 6 months in London than in 3 years in Milan) and on-line/printed bills were not accepted. Old bills were dated Sept/Oct 2014, and because of Barclays’ policy all of them were rejected. The HRMC letter with a temp NI number was rejected because NI was not a permanent number – well, of course! By definition a temp number is not permanent ! :)

At the end, I decided to request a new appointment. I might get the NI number in the meanwhile, I thought. I got 15th of April as a first date.

OK. Bye, bye. I gave up.

I am not the first and I won’t be the last. Let’s try to see the story from an external perspective: it is simply ridiculous. And it’s not that I have no respect for Barclays’ security measures, but this is frankly just too much.

On the other hands, the positive side: a great marketing case study for my next conference speech (“Marketing lessons from the UK Banking sector – the case of Barclays”) !

Barclays, adieu. I did my best. It didn’t work out.

GC (@giusec)

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