Monday 18 May 2020

Day 63 of self-isolation - a long phone call

Three weeks ago, I paid the credit card bill. Or so I thought. Yesterday, I discovered that I hadn't, because it stopped working. On investigation, I found what the problem was.

Because of the virus, we didn't pay it the usual way. Instead, I went online to HSBC and paid it via online banking, for the first time. I carefully put in the right sort code and account to pay it to, but under "Customer reference" I just put "Barclaycard" and the last four digits of the card. It accepted that, and paid it to Barclaycard. I should have put in all 16 digits of the card number; I just wasn't thinking clearly.

Of course, when it arrived, the Barclays computer looked at it, and didn't know what to do with it. So it put the money into a "suspense" acccount, and a week later, it refunded the money back to my HSBC account. But I didn't know that, because I didn't look at the transactions (until today).

So I phoned Barclaycard last night, to try to sort it out. No chance; they close at night, because of the virus, they're short staffed.

So I phoned them today, at 1pm, and I sat on hold for an hour and a half! Covid-19, short staffed. And there must be a lot of people with real financial problems, not caused by a simple blunder like mine. After 1 1/2 hours, I got through to a nice lady who told me that she couldn't help sort it out, I'd have to phone customer service, on another number, so I did.

Two hours went by as I held on. Covid-19, short staffed. Eventually, I was able to talk to Mark, who checked things for me, and told me that the amount I'd paid had already bounced back to my HSBC account (I checked, he was right, I just hadn't noticed it). And he offered to pay the credit card bill from my debit card, which I did, and now everything is OK.

Except that I could have saved 3 1/2 hours if I'd noticed that the payment had bounced, because I could have just paid it again, but without making the mistake.

Or if I hadn't blundered in the first place.

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