Anyone who has followed my last two posts will know that I have been having a great deal of trouble gaining satisfaction from my bank. This morning I received another e-mail informing me that the “smart” form could not be actioned because there were some discrepancies in my answers. Back to the phone I returned. The first person I spoke to passed me to another department, telling me that they would be able to fill the form in for me. The second man either had a hangover, had had a bad night, or hadn’t got out of bed yet. He was patently disinterested and ultimately downright rude. I was remarkably contained and firmly polite. Jackie would call this quietly terrifying. He told me he could see what was wrong and said that I would need to fill in two more forms. I informed him that I wasn’t going to and that the previous person had told me he would be able to do it for me. With a curt “I’ll do it for you. Thank you. Bye.” he hung up.

I opened my account at what was then the Westminster Bank in 1960. Sometime in the next six decades a merger changed the company to NatWest. As technology has taken us over customer service has been put out to grass.

My two nearest branches have been closed. Jackie drove me to Lymington so I could see a real person. After a 30 minute wait I only had time to explain what had happened before we were due to leave for a lunch date with Helen, Bill, and Shelly. I was promised a phone call between 4.30 and 7.00 p.m. and given the card of the helpful ‘Personal Banker/Techxpert’ who gave me the undertaking.

Our lunch was taken at Tyrrell’s Ford Country Inn, a well maintained very comfortable example of what Jackie calls “faded grandeur”.

My mains choice was well cooked fish, chips, and mushy peas; Jackie’s was a plentiful ploughman’s lunch. I couldn’t resist a most toothsome blackberry and apple crumble and custard for dessert. Jackie chose salted caramel ice cream. I drank a Ringwood beer; Jackie drank coffee. No further sustenance was required this evening.

The spacious lawns were well mowed; rhododendrons were in full bloom; the ample fruit of heavily laden sweet chestnuts swept the grass beneath them.

On our return along Derritt Lane we passed a field containing a derelict farm vehicle. Ivor’s comment below reveals that this equipment is Canadian. While I was photographing it Jackie pictured

a weather vane and a dandelion clock.

I didn’t receive the phone call, but I did earlier receive a standardised e-mail containing this wonderful sentence: “We would be looking to issue you a temporary credit by 6pm the next working day, pending investigation.” I have no idea who actually initiated it.


  1. I can surely sympathise with you, Derrick. Dealings with the bank are far from pleasurable. Customer service simply does not exist. The New World Order wants everything digitized and impersonalized. Sympathy and humanitarianism do not have a place in an Orwelian society. The lunch treat, however, must have leavened the leaden tenor of the day!

  2. The faded grandeur of your luncheon location looks like a splendid place to put the banking woes on hold for a short while.
    I do hope you are sorted soon.

  3. This is yet another example of black and whites being much more expressive in conveying the forlorn mood than the colored photos of the same subject.
    I don’t even want to comment on your banking obstacle course, other than to wish you lots of luck and lots of patience, Derrick.
    Please tell Jackie that “faded grandeur” looks grand to me! I would have enjoyed having a meal there.

  4. Arh! Banking. Took me close to a month to get in contact with my Citi group financial advisor. Notorized forms to do with my mother’s will had to be redone several times. One time because the paper had to be signed on the side and not the bottom. I understand you frustration. ?

  5. aha the bank saga –

    The last time I had to go into an actual bank was around 4 years ago when I was trying to draw down my Kiwisaver (gov’t super) and each time, I still had the wrong forms; the wrong JP’s signature. I finally found a way through and a relative in the know forwarded the missive of the whole shebang, to a higher up the ladder than the teller or local bank manager, and the bank then phoned me the very next day (actually phoned me) and apologised and credited me with $100 for the inconvenience. It took nearly 6 months of wasted time…

    You certainly live in a wonderful landscape that isn’t being torn down to build a zillion houses…at least may that continue to give you respite from other non-green entities!

  6. I had a feeling after drooling over your fish and chips and then looking at the gorgeous photos, you were going to close with no word from the bank. Ugh! So frustrating…I’m sorry, Derrick. I hope you report the rude chap!

  7. I see the name on the derelict farm machinery is ‘Massey-Harris’…. over here we have old farm tractors with the name ‘Massey-Ferguson”, one wonders if they are related Derrick …. hmmm. on Googling into the subject, Wikkipedi came up with this information,- “The company was established in 1953 through the merger of farm equipment makers Massey-Harris of Canada and the Ferguson Company of the United Kingdom. It was based in Brantford, Ontario, until 1988. The company transferred its headquarters in 1997 to Buffalo, New York, before it was acquired by AGCO, the new owner of its former competitor Allis-Chalmers. Massey Ferguson is one of several brands produced by AGCO, and it remains a major seller around the world.

  8. “Faded Grandeur” made me laugh. And, at 57, I can sympathize. LOL It looks like a lovely place, and the meals look delicious.

    So sorry about the banking nonsense. So frustrating!

    1. They are all closing branches down and I have no confidence that any would provide better customer service. If this is not resolved very soon I will be taking a picnic into the branch and settling in for the day. Thank you very much, Rosaliene.

  9. That fish looked as though it had been marooned on the chips. I hope that it got down safely.

    I sympathise with your bank frustration. I had a searing time trying to get Scottish Power to explain the basis of the bills for the Archive Centre which they couldn’t or wouldn’t do. They then said that I couldn’t leave the contract in spite of having sent me a letter saying that I could. This sort of thing makes you long for quill pens and a manager who was a member of some sports club that you were in. Keep smiling.

    Excellent pictures today to make up for the nonsense.

  10. I’m sorry to hear that your bank is still giving you such a hard time. “We would be looking to issue you a temporary credit by 6pm the next working day, pending investigation.” We would be looking . . . ? An exercise in weasel words for sure.

    I love your photographic study in delelict farm machinery, the header photo being my favorite.

  11. Sometimes I think that in this new world of technology the banks are well left behind…they’re really not online or technology friendly…so many troubles…
    Fortunately there are so beautiful venues for dining ??

  12. Your recent accounts of your banking troubles have left me grateful beyond words for my situation. I use a local bank; it has about two dozen branches in various towns around the area. My branch is three blocks from home, I’m on a first name basis with the various tellers, and if I need something particular, the manager’s always willing to help. I usually walk in for anything complicated, but even during the pandemic restrictions, she had me just drive up to sign some papers.

    And — can you believe it? — I get a Christmas card hand-signed by all the staff every year. So take heart! The good world’s still out there. Now, if we could only find a similar bank for you!

  13. I hate that you have to go through this mess with the bank, but I admire that you have been “remarkably contained and firmly polite.” Technology has become a barrier to customer service, but I hope you will soon be able to get the service you deserve and the issue will be resolved. In meantime, the keep taking your beautiful photos and enjoying the comfort of good food and excellent company.

  14. Wow – you have been with the bank a long time! And whew – I can only imagine the changes you have have seen !!

    And I like Jackie’s phrase –
    faded grandeur”

  15. The customers, unless one happens to be a ‘high net worth’ individual, are the derelicts of the newfound interaction system that is downright dystopian. The ‘faded grandeur’ of Tyrrell’s Ford County Inn is breathtaking. Those are priceless photographs.

  16. sorry about the bank mess but i do hope you got due credit! lunch looks delicious and the place splendid. you took beautiful photographs of those old farm tools. 🙂

  17. Those are beautiful photos of a fine autumn day, Derrick and Jackie. I am sorry about the customer service being so poor. I have experienced similar things some places. It is very frustrating.

    Wishing you both a better day tomorrow.

  18. Apart from the bank it sounds like a good day.
    I loved your black and white photos.

    Your meals often tempt me to have the same, today it will be fish and chips!

  19. We are with an industry credit union, gave the big banks the flick years ago. But I just hung up from a government department in a great temper, and they wanted to me to stay on the line to do a customer satisfaction survey! As if they would have taken any notice of my “constructive criticism”. grrrr
    I hope all the right refunds take place. Like Liz says, that sentence is long on words and short on specifics.

    1. There are no unqualified specifics in that whole e-mail. Thanks very much, Gwen The appalling experience is the same the world over when the machines run things. Thanks very much, Gwen.

      1. I changed to the Co-op. I’d assumed that my money would be transferred, which it wasn’t, so got stung when my regular direct debits came out the first month but since then I’ve been very pleased. Does this answer your question?

  20. UGHS on the banking stuff. 🙁 That is so very frustrating! 🙁

    Glad you got to balance that time with some positive good times out and about, a nice lunch, and taking some amazing photos! The B&W photos are fabulous! 🙂

    HUGS for the UGHS!!!

  21. I’m sorry about your banking problems, and I have no idea what that e-mail is supposed to mean. All that frustration does put a damper on the day. I’m glad you got a break amidst faded grandeur with a delicious lunch. I particularly liked your black and white photos, and I was quite taken with Jackie’s dandelion “clock.”

  22. Oh my – good customer service is a thing of the past. What a vaguely-worded email. Yesterday I received a note on my door that Fedex was sorry to have missed me. No package at the door or in the mailbox. They gave me a code to enter online which resulted in a message that my package was delivered, and signed for by a crudely spelled version of my name. I called and after several transfers, was notified that my case was “under investigation.” To be continued…

  23. I am sorry for your banking issues. For me since an update the online banking will not work. I get frustrated and tired of dealing with an incompetent IT guy who has told me that it is fixed. Luckily it is at the old bank where only a loan and bank account is located.

  24. Camping out at the bank seems like the only way you’re going to get this idiocy resolved. Perhaps send them an invoice for your time.
    Lunch, however, looked delicious. : )

  25. Time for a new bank, right? I love your photos of the dilapidated machinery and you “toothsome blackberry and apple crumble” made my mouth water!

  26. Good luck with the bank. I have had similar issues lately but they were my fault for coming unprepared. The rudeness is never called for.
    The faded grandeur looks lavish and delicious–
    and that sounds like a good poem title

  27. Not sure any bank is much better these days. I can’t complain about mine this week, but they have messed me about in the past.Hope it all gets sorted.

    The machinery photos are excellent and I love the faded grandeur. Looks like a good day all round, apart from the bank.

  28. As I have worked for several banks I can totally sympathise with you. Retail customer service is a nightmare in most banks and only private banks offer a good service to customers as most retail banks are fully digitalised in their dealings. I am just finding out now about your problem as I was reading your posts in the reverse order so I guess I will find out in your previous posts that someone siphoned some money away from your account. Normally banks have a duty to reimburse you in case it is clear that you have not given your banking password and other details to a third person. You would normally not have to actively prove that someone stole money from you. It is normally their job to investigate and find out where the attack on your bank account originated from and whether it was something that could be attributable to you.

    1. Way back in June the scam was blocked and my card changed. I was told that would be the end of it, but it wasn’t. I believe it is now. You must do what I do which is work my way through posts from the reader which makes for the reverse order. Thanks very much, Geetha.

  29. That lunch looks wonderful. We really sympathise with you about the bank, having faced their dull witted behaviour from time to time. They go out of their way to be obtuse. Banks may be obtuse but life still has rhododendrons. So not all bad then. These ones are a particularly pretty colour.

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