Today I am upset.
You can perhaps feel the fury from there. Those little vapours of warm, red mist emanating from your laptop screen…that would be the anger.
Why am I upset?
HSBC and their telephone banking would be why.
W and I headed out at 9am this morning in order to get a few essentials from Tescos and some groceries from Aldi for his lunch.
For those of you who also may have ventured out this morning in Bristol you will know that today just happens to be freezing cold. Bone-chillingly cold infact. Just to add to the delight my two year old son also already has a streaming cold and a propensity to throw his gloves away every third step.
Still, needs must so we begin our trek up the hill to the shops.
On eventually reaching Tescos we struggle around the aisles, trying not to bump into too many people with the buggy, and I do my best to prevent W randomly pulling stuff off the shelves and sneaking it into unsuspecting baskets. Anyone’s basket will do it seems. We finally head for the till.
After ringing everything through and stacking up the pram, whilst trying to stop said 2 year old from escaping the store, the very nice lady informs me that my debit card has been declined.
What? It is only about £15 and I am pretty sure my account still has THAT much left in it. I ask her to try again.
So now I am embarrassed.
I can feel the stares from the waiting queue behind me willing me to just hurry up and get out of their way.
I simply do not have the energy, or the will, to unpack all our stuff, make more of a scene, and try and control the boy whilst doing so I relunctantly pay with my credit card and we leave.
We still have the Aldi shop to go so on the way I decide to ring my bank, HSBC, and see what the problem is. I am always reluctant to ring 0800 numbers from my moblle due to the enormous costs per minute but I really have no choice as Aldi won’t accept credit cards and I can’t get any cash out as my debit card apparently won’t work.
And he does need some lunch.
After a few minutes I get through to a girl who, after making me repeat myself several times, finally says there is a fraud issue with my card and she will put me through to the appropriate department. At this point I ask her if it will take long and she ASSURES me that it won’t.
We arrive at Aldi still on hold.
We hover outside and wait.
And we are freezing.
After almost twenty minutes, conscious of the escalating costs of the call, my poor little boy’s streaming cold, and the increasing numbness in my fingers I call it a day, hang up and head home, minus the necessary shopping for his lunch.
On arriving home after warming the boy and myself up a bit I grab the landline.
Now I am cross.
I call HSBC again, explain the situation AGAIN, and once again I am put on hold while the new lady tries to get through to the fraud department.
She does however have the decency to come back to me every few minutes and explain that she is still trying to get through.
After 14 minutes of waiting I finally get to speak to the fraud department, for about ten seconds. The battery on the handset of the landline has run out whilst we were kept waiting.
I resort to the mobile again. Back at the beginning I explain AGAIN to yet another new lady the situation and that I would be grateful if the fraud department could call me back.
And I hang up.
To be fair, they do ring me back ten minutes later.
Apparently the £30 I tried to spend upgrading on PicMonkey was suspicious. At least I think thats what she said.
She has also promised to refund the cost of the mobile calls.
So, that just leaves me with a hungry two year old with a streaming cold and another trip out in the cold to get through.
UPDATE: I have just received a call from Dan at HSBC customer services. As well as apologising for the inconvenience caused this morning he has offered to place £25 in my affected account to cover the cost of all my calls and, on discovering that I am pregnant, is also sending out a baby hamper by way of congratulations. Just brilliant.
So here, rather happily, endeth the rant.