Thursday, March 11, 2010

Don’t Be A Hero, Just Put The Money In The Bag

I’m considering a bank heist.

No, seriously.

Nothing too big. Don’t want things going moody on me and being put away for a long stretch. Just something small and tasty. An easy job.

And technically it ain’t robbery at all ‘cos it’s my effing money.

Let me explain. I have an account with the NS&I. Nothing too big. Nothing that requires an off-shore tax haven. I’ve barely used the damn thing. In fact, there’s so little in there I’m quite happy to share the amount with you. £159.94p. Most of that has come from collecting 1p, 2p and 5p coins in a jar and occasionally paying them in. It’s kind of been a rainy day fund but there’s never been enough in there to mop up a puddle let alone a rainy day.

After Christmas, having dipped into my overdraft yet again I decided I needed to consolidate my modest estate instead of having bits of tin floating about all over the place. Why not just put all my gelt into one place, I thought to myself. Let’s close the NS&I account and pay the balance into my bank account. It’ll get me out of the red and do some use for once. Finally there was a puddle it could mop up.

Do you think I can get my measly £159.94p out of the NS&I?

Apparently, I can’t just withdraw it over the counter. It’s not that kind of account. I have to keep £100 in there at all times. If I want to withdraw it all I need to close the account.

Fine. I’ll close the account. Hence I was given a load of forms to fill in and send off.

I fill them in and send them off. I wait 2 weeks. The form is returned to me. A note has been pencilled on it. “No bank book enclosed”. They want my bank book sent with the form. Fine. Except I don’t have one. I’ve moved house a couple of times since I opened the account and the bank book could be anywhere though is most likely propping up a flyover by now if you get my meaning. Brown bread, right? I ring them up. Explain this. Fine, they say. Just write “bank book lost” on the form. I do so and send it off again.

I wait 2 weeks. I then have more forms sent back to me in the post complete with my original form. Apparently the bank account details I supplied don’t match the ones they have on record for me. Can I fill in another form detailing the (to them) new bank account details? I duly do so. I send NS&I the same bank details that were on the original form except now they are written on the “change of bank details” form. I send all the forms off again.

4 weeks later I am still waiting. I check my bank account online. £159.94 has not been paid in. By this time I have hauled myself out of the red under my own steam but that is not the point. I want my money. I check my NS&I account online. I have no account it says. Great, I think. They’ve closed my account but have lost my money.

I ring them up. I explain all of this to the nice man on the phone. He checks. Oh, he says. We didn’t receive the change of bank details form. I’ll send another one out to you in the post. There is a bloodstain on the wall from where I’ve been banging my head.

So you see, I’ve tried all the legal routes. All the kosher and the straight routes. And they ain’t working for me.

So there is no alternative. I need a shooter. Nothing fancy. No automatic gubbins – as the Krays will tell you, they tend to jam. A nice Webley will do fine. And I need a driver. Someone who can hold their nerve and wait for the signal. Someone who’ll wait for me to vault the counter John Dillinger style and grab what I’m owed. Wait for me to walk out sharpish and get in the back. And then pull away smooth and inconspicuous like. Job’s a good ‘un.

Anyone interested?

Applications to the usual address.

P.S. Thank you to Jake Arnott for all the lingo.


32 comments:

French Fancy said...

I think there is nothing for it but to leave a new deposit - a smelly Tom nappy somewhere in the local branch office.

What a pain all this must be

Tammy said...

I could play the role of Bonnie!

lunarossa said...

I'm in if we could do the HSBC too. I spare you the detail but they are the vilest in the world. Beware! All the best. Ciao. A.

ArtSparker said...

If you do decide to forego the forms this time, I'd recommend stealing a Honda for the job - mine was stolen for this purpose, they are very easy to break into. Best of luck!

Steve said...

FF: that's not a bad idea. Force 'em to launder some dirty money! I like your style.

Tammy: are you sure you wouldn't rather be Butch to my Sundance?

Lunarossa: damn. The HSBC is the bank where I want to pay the money in. May have to stuff a matress with all my moolah Ken Dodd style at this rate!

ArtSparker: well, that's the motor sorted out then. Just need someone to drive it. Are you free next Wednesday?

Joe Bloggs said...

Heavey poohst, Steve - Eye fink Aye nose ware jaw comin'frown. Drivfs a mahn potty, yer? Sew dey once ya to kip up the bachN4rth, eh? Tellya; dare in leak wida PoeStuffIce. So yæhr, Heil bee ya shoulda ant drivfa - even dough Aint gutter chariot gnaw no führerarm, kwim?

Oopsdate: Nfangs 4 the invightNall - Oil do me beast to call off the grate hackers (rasp, saw, file, scrape, grind etc :)

femminismo said...

Good gravy! I understand your frustration. You just need to walk in and find the right (female) teller and flutter those dark eyelashes. Perhaps a mention of the children and a small tear in the eye. (eyedrops are handy for this) And, no, I don't get your drift about "propping up a flyover" or some such phrase. Or maybe I don't want to know. Good luck! NO guns!

Annie said...

I could be the slow getaway driver Steve. I've already got 6 points on my licence so do you mind if we stick to the speed limit? :)

Steve said...

Joe Bloggs: no firearms eh...? You're probably right. Gotta think of the carbon footprint after all. Maybe a couple of baseball bats would do the job?

Femminismo: my eyelash fluttering is rather undercut by me bins (specs) but given the hirsuteness of my eyebrows I could possibly flutter them. Not sure it would have the same effect. As for the flyover thing... it was popular for old style villains to dump bodies in concrete, ideally concrete that was going to form part of a motorway bridge. Charming eh? But a good eco-friendly use of natural resources.

Annie: you'll be telling me next we'll be relying on a SatNav for directions. Gor blimey, is this what crime has come to?

Owen said...

Steve, I think it is time for you to get that flame thrower out of the garden shed again... that thing is going to prove to be a good investment... there are things that need to be scorched off the face of the earth all over the place... unfortunately...

Good luck ! BTW, what's the salary for being the driver ???

Clippy Mat said...

eh?
YOu mean you can't walk into the branch, show some picture ID, close the account and remove what is YOURS?
they're the ones comitting the crime. that's bloody ridiculous. i will definitely ride shotgun on this one.
somebody hold my bag.
;-)

The Sagittarian said...

haha, I saw a movie just recently called Daylight Robbery...maybe you should watch it and learn??

Gypsy said...

I swear banks and other like minded businesses invent these forms just to prevent their customers from ever asking for or expecting anything of them like, say, service or something.


Our Social Security manage to turn it into such a traumatic experience whenever there is a need to get any money out of them. I swear most people would rather beg on the street than have to fill in 3 dozen forms in triplicate only to find the office have lost them all and they must be filled in again.


The monumental ineptness of these organisations is almost laughable. Funny then how they are responsible for taking care of many millions of dollars but they can't close a simple bank account and see that the customer gets the proceeds.
Freaking unbelievable.

English Rider said...

Walk into the bank and tell them you have an inheritance to deposit in a new account (murmur the words $100,000 under your breath). Unfortunately you cannot consider depositing the check from the Trust Account into the investment account that you wish to open, until you have in your hand the cash sum that is due to you from the closing of your old account. "Must tidy up the details, What-ho? before starting something new".

Selina Kingston said...

Oh I want to play!
You can pretend to take me hostage, and I can do proper screaming and everything, to frighten them into handing over your £200 (go on round it up - be really bad!) and then we could go and act out a couple of scenes from "Three Days Of The Condor"!! Yes??

Steve said...

Owen: I'd be worried about incinerating my money. I need something with a bit more finesse and delicacy. Maybe a blowtorch?

Clippy Mat: you'd think, wouldn't you. I did try that but no... you have to do the dance of the forms. You bring your sawn-off, I'll bring the handgun. Tooled up and no messing.

Amanda: I suspect the NS&I know it off by heart already.

Gypsy: I don't know why they just don't give me a pile of forms that just ask the question: are you sure you want your money? I mean really sure? You're absolutely positive? Maybe you ought to think about it...?

English Rider: I like how your mind works. Tuned in to criminal thinking. You can be in the firm if you like. Either that or become a bank manager yourself...! ;-)

Selina: I must admit I have never seen the film in question but anyone who can do proper screaming is welcome on the job. Nothing scares peoples into submission more than someone else screaming.

By the way, how much of a cut do you all want? At this rate my £159.94 ain't gonna be worth having!

Heather said...

holy mother of God! i can't believe that! I would find it a pain in my butt to drag myself to the actual bank rather than being able to do it online - but get there and then have to fill in forms to post somewhere else! I would have lost my patience a long time ago. sod the £154 - go for the lot, they owe you!

missbehaving said...

Oh God, my head hurts! What a load of crap and like we aren't all busy enough without having to fill in damn forms over and over and make phone calls and be put on hold, blah blah. Hope you sort it soon.

Nota Bene said...

Just call me Mr Pink

Steve said...

Heather: I did try and look online yesterday but after asking me to set up 5 security questions (which I'd never use again because I am closing the account) I finally got through the account's page to find they had no record of my account online in the first place. Thankfully it is still there in reality if not virtually.

MissBehaving: still waiting for the form to arrive through the post. Then I'll have to fill it in and send it back. Then wait again. I'll have accrued a fortune in interest by the time it all gets sorted!

Nota Bene: given the young 'uns nappy activity this week, just call me Mr Brown.

Rol said...

Don't forget the stocking over your head. I'm sure you can think of a few likely candidates who might be persuaded to donate their undergarments for the job.

Steve said...

Rol: I can indeed. But imagine if I got it wrong... I don't want to be known as the Y-Fronts robber. Besides which they might use CCTV footage to identify me by my nose.

KAZ said...

Once they have you - they just don't want to let you go.
It's probably in case you get rich one day.

Löst Jimmy said...

Dog Day Afternoon?

Steve said...

Kaz: the fact that Alan Sugar advertises for the NS&I worries me too. Maybe he's trying to hire me?

Löst Jimmy: The Long Firm more like...

Mark said...

Something gone wrong with blog list because it shows your last post as five weeks ago!

Perhaps Blogger needs a change of address form...

Old Cheeser said...

How f*cking annoying!! I could just see your story on that consumer affairs Anne Robinson programme thingy. Come to think of it, there must be some watchdog organistion for banks that you can go to, to complain surely ... and get some form of compensation? I did, when I had problems with my phone line last year and useless idiots BT cut it off...

Steve said...

Mark: I changed over my blog address some time ago (5 weeks!) - I suspect you just need to update your links to me! :-)

OC: I'm seriously considering it - it's cost me a fortune in stamps alone, I mean, it's not as if they issue SAE's with the forms!

Sir Smedley Blakemore.C.B.E,O.S.C. said...

Sir Smedley Blakemore.C.B.E..O.S.C

NS&I customer services manager

Dear Steve,


Firstly may I say on behalf of myself and all of our staff how much we deeply regret the unfortunate experience you have undergone with ourselves.Here at NS&I we strive for excellence in providing the highest quality service for all our customers but unfortunately these regretable incidents do occur.Please accept our deepest apologies whilst I, personally see to it that your situation is resolved swiftly and satisfactorily.Please feel free to contact me at anytime through your local branch or online so I can begin the process of a satisfactory resolution.

You will need to fill in forms A24,P38 & D51.We can then refund in full your £1.59.Thank you.

Steve said...

Dear Sir Smedley Blakemore.C.B.E..O.S.C,

I'm intrigued by the letters after your name. CBE I know but I am foxed by OSC. I'm guessing it's something like Old Stupid C.... and then I quite inexplicably run out of ideas. The forms are in the post (so, as you know only too well, they'll never ever reach you). Please ensure my £159,940.00 is paid into my bank account immediately. Or Sir Alan Sugar gets it.

A Write Blog said...

One reason I left the finance industry. It just shows how insensitive much of it is.

Steve said...

AWB: they finally paid up last Friday. Maybe they read this post? :-)