Today’s life lesson – always make sure you leave the house with some money.
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.