Business account with HSBC? Don’t bother.

It’s not the first time I complain about HSBC now. For personal banking, the interest they give to your current account is dismal, 0.1% APR or something ridiculous. I tried to check on their website just now and I think they are trying to make it difficult for people to see their rates. You have to download PDF files before you can see the rates, and they make everything look so complicated. Used their credit card service before and to be honest with you, they are small in the credit card market. The bank is probably very lean and efficient. But as a customer if you have something you want to complain, they often come back to you with some incompetent “specialists” that are just poor. Take for example their credit card service. W had s transaction she wanted to refute but they came back with some mickey mouse “specialists” that have not even heard of chargeback. And you know what we have to explain to them instead what chargeback is. They then brought in in-house legal assistants and started denying our rights as consumers and very conveniently stayed away from the hassle, to save themselves work.As for business banking, they have a bunch amateurs working at the branch. I have deadline, given by the CAA, to secure a bond guarantee for my travel business within two months. Their so called commercial manager, a young chap, at the Reading branch is very well aware of that. They need cash deposit, fair enough, I provided them. I was reassured time and again that I will be able to get the bond certificate in about 2 days time once I have the money deposited in the account and have the application form sorted. However, I was called 2 days ago, after almost a month and a half of communication with that young chap, that I was denied by their “system”. He couldn’t quite put his finger on what exactly has gone wrong, when the full amount of cash is already in their account! How annoying is that?! It’s not as if I’m borrowing money from them, not a penny! You know what, he told me that he can’t do anything right now, as he can’t override the “system”. He could try again in three months time, but of course he’s aware that that’s not a solution, and it certainly doesn’t sound like he can get it right the next time either! How inflexible is the “system”, when even his senior manager can’t do anything about it. Unbelievable, like the decision from Rob Style to award a penalty to Chelsea today that never was, and which nobody can do anything about! Well done, that leaves me two weeks to sort out the bond.The “business specialists” may sound like they are always there to help you with your business when you set up the account with them. But no no, they are just good in setting up the account. When you contact them, almost 99% of the time you can only reach their voice mail. You’ll be lucky if they return your call the same day, if at all sometimes! Unbelievable. Often, they are only interested in trying to hook you into more of their service, like their payment processor. Contacting them via email is even worse! Don’t bother. It doesn’t seem like they check their email everyday. Asked the “specialist” who deals with setting up my account to get me some documents, like the mandate and signature specimen, when I set up the account, she didn’t know that she can just print them off their database. She gave me reasons that she had to go through their filing system in the basement, which is time consuming, and she couldn’t find the documents I wanted. The reason I knew she’s bollocks because after weeks of inaction from her, I decided to turn up at the branch when she was on holiday to try someone else. And his colleague did just that. Frustrating isn’t it. I hope that woman knows how ridiculous she is!I hope other banks are not as poor…

Limit to Royal Mail Postcode Address Finder service?

It seems that the way Royal Mail limit the number of searches you can invoke to the Postcode Address Finder service is via the use of cookies. What a loose way to impose the limit. Basically, as soon as users have used up all their 12 searches a day, they just need to clear the cookies, access the Royal Mail service again, and they’ll be given 12 more fresh searches! If the Royal Mail want to monetise the address finder service then this is such a lousy implementation. For people who have disabled cookies on their browser, you might even be fooled into registering with them, as they don’t warn you that you need to allow cookies to be set in your browser before you are allowed to use their free service. Very poor. Worst of all, my address is not even in the address database!

Cold calling

When I was about to leave the office today this moron cold caller called to my office phone telling me that my house, which is on one of their selected post code, is going to feature on their programme of some sort. Knowing that this is most likely a cold call, I hated myself for not keeping a copy of this anti-telemarketing counter script handy with me. Well, without the script, I had to make do with the material I’ve got in my head and try to keep her on the phone for as long as possible 🙂 She kept asking me if I’m the homeowner, presumably that is the first question on her script, even after I interrupted her a few times. Then I asked her what’s my post code, since she said that my house was chosen based on the post code. At the time, it was rather amusing to hear that she didn’t even manage to get my post code right. But come to think about it, she obviously called based on my office address rather than my home address. Anyway it was all too late as soon as I insisted that my post code is not what she claimed as she ended the call almost immediately 🙂 Not a wise move. Hopefully there’ll be more fun next time then.

Tennis grips

The lessons from BBC on how to handle the tennis racquet for different shots are excellent! I’m so proud that the grip I use for serving is a correct one, as I was trying to teach what I think is the right grip to W the other day. Unbelievable, I’m a genius :)We had a game yesterday and I’m so pleased that my forehand shots have improved. It’s incredible to see the difference, by just learning how to hold the tennis racquet properly. I’ve much better control on where I want to put to ball on the court. And you just know when you’ve hit the ball properly, from the sound, the feel etc. I think the grip makes a lot of difference on the amount of top spin that can be put on the ball, which somehow adds more power to the hits. Yesterday’s was the best tennis session yet for me. We are thinking of taking some tennis lessons soon this September. Let’s hope the coach has enough students to start the tennis class.

A midsummer night’s dream

We went to see A midsummer night’s dream about two weeks ago at an open air theatre near our flat. It’s absolutely brilliant! The venue is actually a protected ruin site and the atmosphere was just so amazing. It would have been the perfect night if it wasn’t so chilly. But I should not complain because the rain only stopped minutes before the play, so it could be worse.I was not expecting anything but the play was just so entertaining and light-hearted. The perfect play for summer. We had such a good laugh and totally enjoyed ourselves. It is one the most enjoyable Shakespeare’s play that I’ve ever seen and even C who is not usually into plays found it delightful.Sometimes, it really doesn’t take a lot to engage in more meaningful activities. Although what is meaningful to one may not be for others, it’s all relative. But it is such a good play that I think I would highly recommend to anyone.