This message is for the intended recipient only

… so if you got it, that’s actually our fault but we can’t do anything about it.

I just paid my credit card, I got this rather nice email. Email has been suitably mangled to vainly hide the place issuing my credit card (although it’s really not hard to work it out if you’re moderately intelligent)

Spot the logical inconsistency, win a prize* I really like the bit where they refer to me as an ‘it’ at the end.

* Prize not real, prize not valid in countries where breathing oxygen is permitted. Limit of zero per entrant.

Dear You (although at the end of this message we refer to you as an ‘it’),
Thank you for your payment made through Leading Brand Supermarket Credit Card.
Payment was submitted on xx/yy/zzzz aa:bb and will take 4 working days to reach your account.
Payment amount £ooo.oo.
Best wishes
Some Bloke
Marketing Director, Place that owns most of your life
Many internet users have recently been targeted through bogus e-mails by fraudsters claiming to be from their bank. These e-mails ask customers to provide their internet banking security details in order to reactivate their account or verify an e-mail address.
Please be on your guard against e-mails that request any of your security details. If you receive an e-mail like this you should not respond.
Please remember that, for security reasons, apart from when you create them at registration or when you change your Internet Pin or Password, we will only ever ask you to enter random characters from your Internet PIN and Password when you logon to this service.
We would never ask you, by e-mail, to enter (or record) these details in full and we would therefore request that you do not respond to e-mails asking for this information.
[Calls may be recorded]
Please do not reply to this e-mail as the mailbox doesn’t accept incoming messages. If you have any comments or queries, we can be contacted via our website at Redacted.com.
Supermarket Personal Finance plc. Registered in Scotland No. 12345. Registered office: Address of a mailbox where there aren’t actually any people present.
Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority.
This e-mail message is confidential and for use by the addressee only. If you are not the addressee, please return the message to the sender by replying to it and then delete the message from your computer.
Internet e-mails are not necessarily secure. Whoever Personal Finance plc does not accept responsibility for changes made to this message after it was sent.
Whilst all reasonable care has been taken to avoid the transmission of viruses, it is the responsibility of the recipient to ensure the onward transmission, opening or use of this message and any attachments will not adversely affect its systems or data. No responsibility is accepted by Whatever Personal Finance plc in this regard and the recipient should carry out such virus and other checks as it considers appropriate.

Where has my Egg VISA card gone?

Ages ago I signed up for an Egg.com VISA card for a trip to the US. Since then I’ve used it for various random things before signing up for a Natwest VISA and pretty much ignoring the Egg one. At one point I reduced its credit limit to £300 (the lowest it would go) and put it in a box for safe keeping.

I tried to cancel it yesterday, only to discover Barclaycard now appear to have bought Egg’s VISA card system and that I now need to do all my dealings with them. Fair enough, a letter or something might have been nice, but whatever.

Tried to visit Barclaycard’s website to see what’s going on and it seems I should have received a new Barclaycard because my Egg one is now invalid. Well no, I didn’t.

Do you know how impossible it is to get anywhere with Barclaycard’s customer service system if you don’t have one of their cards? The immensely patronising automated phone system explains three times to me about typing in my “long number from the front of the card” or pressing ‘1’ to open an account.

Eventually their system gave up and put me through to a moderately helpful human who was completely unable to find me on their system. Seems I have no account with Egg and no account with Barclaycard.

… then he put me on hold and the line went dead … Oh well, I was bored anyway (have you noticed how when this happens they never call you back? And you never get given any form of ID to contact the same human you had last time?).

If I suffer mind-crushing boredom next week I’ll root around amongst my stuff to see if I can find an Egg card and see if the “long number off the front that starts with 4263” (I know what a credit card number looks like, I’m not a moron!) is magic enough to work on them.

If not, I guess an admin cockup has worked in my favour! That’d majorly suck if this was my proper VISA card I actually used though.

Natwest Credit Card Late Payment Fees – and how to get rid of them

My bank has a problem. I have a credit card with them, and I pay this card off each month using a standing order. This payment arrives on the 3rd of each month. Natwest are so pleased at this they thank me for making an early payment. And then, at the end of the month give me a £12 late payment bank charge.

“We’re pleased you’re paying early!… and you haven’t paid this month so we’re charging you 12 quid and sending out a letter”.

Even better, they know about this problem. I just rang customer services and explained the problem, the very nice woman on the phone said “I see… oh… oh god, let me get my supervisor” in a very concerned tone of voice, which is always reassuring. She’s seen something on her PC and it’s made her a bit worried.

It seems that if a payment arrives in your account on the billing date (3rd of each month) then “The System” doesn’t notice, churns out your statement and triggers a late payment fee and letter. Sounds like a nice case of a database being read while being updated at the same time and old data being used.

So… if you have mysterious entries on your statement that show early payments on the 3rd of each month, and then a bank fee on the 28th of each month give them a ring, the number is 0870 333 9091 and you need option 3, your credit card and a cup of tea for the boring wait. Be nice to the callcentre staff and remind them that they know this is a problem. Also remind them to refund your bank charges.