Barclays Bank


Okay, let me clarify. Yesterday I bought a motorcycle.

This beauty is a direct replacement for my 2018 Z900RS. Normally, I don’t buy privately, but an erstwhile colleague of mine fancied getting back into bikes. He liked the Z900RS SE and bought it at the same time I was buying my Guzzi. He rode it once, put 45 miles in the clock and didn’t bother again. So when he decided to sell it for a very fair price I jumped at it.

When I tried to pay him some money, my problems started. He did say afterwards that perhaps he should have warned me about making large transfers and perhaps I should have thought of it myself, but I didn’t. So there we were on a Sunday morning, trying to move money from my account to his and a mobile banking app that kept telling me I was exceeding my limit. I tried my business account and that allowed me to transfer the bulk, but again, I hit a limit.

His wife suggested using the internet, so I spent about half an hour trying to do the same thing with the Internet system. It did work eventually, but the whole system was hard work. In the end, I split the amount into three payments into two accounts, his and their joint account. I did try to call the 24 hour/seven day a week helpline only to discover that it was neither.

I took the bike home and shortly after arriving, I received a text asking if the payment was a pukka one and I responded in the affirmative.

So, a PITA, but all done and dusted. Oh, no, not so. This morning I received a call from Barclays fraud team. As I was driving, we ran into a problem. She wanted to know the answers to various questions to determine who I was. I couldn’t recall my landline number – at the time, someone was reversing towards me into a gap that didn’t exist, so I was somewhat distracted anyway. I don’t use it. Haven’t for years. Then she asked from my bank card details. As I was driving, I couldn’t respond. I repeated that I was driving, so couldn’t get to it and anyway, I’d looked at the account that morning and there was no fraudulent activity. Also, there was that hint at the back of my mind that this could be a scam, so I wasn’t too worried when she terminated the call, having decided that I had failed the ID check. As it was, the call was genuine. By this time however, they had frozen my account.

When I got home, I called the fraud line back on a number I had for them. I went through all the same hoops. At the end of which, I was told that I had to go to a branch to confirm my identity. So all those questions were a waste of time. Confirming that the transaction was genuine via their text system was a waste of time. I pointed out that they had closed the branch. But, no, they cannot do anything via the phone, go to the branch. You’ve closed the branch, FFS! Actually, I stopped short of swearing as he would have just hung up on me, but I certainly felt like it.

The nearest branch is in Bristol and it closes at three in the afternoon. I have managed to make arrangement for someone to cover me so that I can make the journey to sort it out. So I have to make time and effort to sort a problem of their making because they are too stupid, incompetent and intransigent to have a system in place to help me over the phone.

Sure, fraud, I get it. But not being able to sensibly resolve the matter without completely inconveniencing the customer is not an appropriate response. I am stuck without access to my funds because of their idiotic attempt to stop a fraud that never happened and if it had, it had already happened, so what was the point? Morons.

So, yes, I will go into the branch. I’ll get the accounts unlocked. Then I’m transferring the lot to another bank. Fuck ’em. Fuck ’em to Hell and back.


  1. You obviously have noticed that when governments are caught out by the ‘something must be done’ enthusiasms they pass barely coherent laws against a ‘Bad Thing’ which businesses form over elaborate procedures to prevent them being blamed.

    Meanwhile law abiding customers have to jump through flaming hoops to comply with barely coherent laws and over elaborate procedures – but the wrong ‘uns manage to avoid all that palaver by paying in cash or kind.

    Rules inconvenience the law abiding, but crims ignore them. Thus achieving nothing except annoying the law abiding.

    • ’Sure, fraud, I get it. But not being able to sensibly resolve the matter without completely inconveniencing the customer is not an appropriate response.’

      Spot on. The problem here is that, despite it being his money, Longrider isn’t the customer, as far as Barclay’s is concerned. That’s the government.

  2. Maybe the banks need reminding they are in competition with the traditional teapot on the mantelpiece, not just each other.

    Actually given their regulatory straitjacket they aren’t really in competition with each other of course. But the teapot, or these days safe, options are still there.

  3. Nationwide have treated me well. E.g. I didn’t even have a problems logging in from China and transferring money to a Chinese bank account.

  4. I’ve been with barclays since 1978 and to be fair to them I’ve never had any issues.

    I’ve transferred sums up to £7k directly without issues.

    No question though that it has become more involved with checks these days. There shouldn’t be any reason why this should be an issuefor.

    I suspect issue that do arise are more down to the general decay of competencies and attitudes to work rather than any fundamental flaws with systems themselves (although as these systems update, the competence entropy will get them to

  5. So far (saying thats probably scuppered it) Halifax have been good, i don’t use a phone for banking or paying at tills its all done from my desktop.

    Keep a fair float of cash around and pay for almost everything with notes.

    You can understand up to a point their being extra careful due to how many clots fall for obvious scams ie sending life savings to some clown in Nigeria whom they’ve never laid eyes on yet are apparently in love with.
    One size fits all is running this country into the toilet.

    • The being careful was fine. I get that and if they check, that’s good. However, I went through the process, confirming at least three times that it wasn’t a scam and at the end of it, the money went through. Then, 24 hours later, they kick up a fuss and lock me out. Horse. Door. Bolted. Ship. Sailed.

      I’ve sorted it now. I’ve set in motion a transfer to First Direct on the recommendation of my sister. I’ll also set up another account elsewhere as a backup.

  6. I can’t stop thinking about the guy who has enough disposable income to blow a shedload of cash on a new motorbike and then not bother to ride it.

      • On the argument about whether to pay more for something because you hope will last longer. I had a colleague called Phil you described the actual cost of something as the amount that you paid for it divided by the number of times that you get to use it. I now refer to it as Phil’s formula. £3,000 for one ride, not good. Still, as you say, you reaped the benefit of his foolish whim.

  7. There’s a parallel to the anti-fraud measures that make life difficult for the honest but the rogues still carry on. . . .
    If you need a new number-plate for a vehicle and go to a UK plate vendor, following the crazy law to prevent illicit plate supplies, you’ll need to take personal ID plus the V5C document for the vehicle to confirm that you own it. Alternatively, you just order one online as a ‘show plate’ and it will be delivered to your door, no questions asked, no documentation, often cheaper too. Guess what the crooks do. Bonkers.

  8. Always have accounts with two different institutions as a simple precaution. My wife and I have joint accounts with both RBS and Nationwide. (Nationwide are brilliant by the way). She uses the RBS account and I use the Nationwide account.

    I received a bunch of “credit card fraud” calls from RBS last week. A text message telling me I would receive a call from a particular mobile number. Claims that a payment had been stopped, (and when I looked I didn’t see any declined payments). And then a computer voice calling me and wanting to take me through security. Obviously, I immediately binned those calls.

    Turns out that it was all real though. The credit card really was stopped and so I called the number on the back of the card and eventually got through to somebody.

    What I don’t understand is why they make their genuine fraud response calls look as dodgy as they do. You can understand why some people will get fooled when the official response is no different to what you can expect from a scammer.

  9. When I was a kid, the stars were in different position in the sky, the government didn’t really interfere in anything.

    Then they started to and they are pathetic at it. Everything the touch they fuck up. Everything has unexpected, to them, consequences.

  10. “What I don’t understand is why they make their genuine fraud response calls look as dodgy as they do. You can understand why some people will get fooled when the official response is no different to what you can expect from a scammer.”

    This was my wife’s experience. There was some suspicious activity on her credit card and the card had to be cancelled and re-issued twice. It was all sorted out in the end but not before her having to field some very suspicious sounding phone calls from the card provider.

  11. Natwest stopped my card for reasons I won’t bore everyone with but I wanted to ask a question and got online to the ‘virtual assistant’ (which can NEVER help with your query). A real person came online. I still don’t know whether it was male or female from the name and it was so incompetent and so completely misunderstood my question that I began to wonder if this was a genuine employee. I hung up and phoned instead which will be my action of first resort in the future (and yes, I had to go into the branch – inconvenient since they’ve closed the two more convenient ones).

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