Ok so the headline is a bit like a tabloid newspaper, but it’s pretty close to the truth. It all started around mid March when we went to the Natwest branch to order $750 from the company account for the trip to New York for the SES conference. The transaction went as normal, popped my Bronco current account card in the machine, entered the card pin number, asked for $750, confirmed the exchange rate and agreed to be charged £591, was given a slip to confirm and went back a few days later to collect them. All very simple!
Well it was until a week or so ago when my accounts lady Janet, came up to me and questioned my sanity and whether I had actually used the Bronco bank card to order the dollars on as it hadn’t appeared yet on the bank statement. I was about 99% sure that I had used the business card, but maybe I’d pulled out my personal Natwest card by mistake? I then checked our personal accounts, but no transaction on those accounts either. Hmmm … the only thing that I could think of was FREE DOLLARS!
But there was something not right as banks don’t give away free money, and it was no doubt going to be charged onto the account at some point. I had planned to speak to someone in the bank the next time I was in to see what had gone on, but on Friday I was filing about 18 months of paperwork with the kids helping me and I couldn’t believe it. (Let me explain as a side note, that there are some things I’m good at and some things I’m not. Filing bills and paperwork when they come through the post at home I’m not good at and they end up piling up in a tray for ages until I get round to it.) Anyway the kids were helping me with the filing and Miles took an interest in his bank statement. About a year ago I set up a monthly standing order which pays in to the kids Young Saver accounts for their future so Miles was checking out how much he had. As I carried on filing Miles asked me in a confused voice, “Why has £591 come out of my account?”
You should have heard the “What!” that echoed out of my mouth. I was gobsmacked and had to recheck his bank statement a couple of times… and there it was, the missing £591 for the dollars. I couldn’t believe that we had actually found it, and that Miles chose that bank statement to look at, and I couldn’t believe that Natwest has stolen money from my 9 year old. How on earth can a transaction that was done using the Bronco card end up coming out of Miles’ account… WTF!
Today we took a trip to the Natwest branch to see the manager. He was apparently having his lunch and was too busy to come and speak to a long time business customer who was about to close a couple of large accounts. So we ended up speaking to a customer service rep who was very confused what had happened. After waiting for ages there was finally a resolution.
Basically a really stupid human error when the transaction was done, and a really stupid Natwest software system which she demonstrated to us. What happens is that when my Bronco bank card goes into the machine it displays the details for Bronco with mine and Dave’s names on the account, but when you go to the system where they order currency it comes up with the accounts tied to my name personally, so my current account and the kids Young Saver accounts. How crazy is that, that my Bronco bank card gets to the personal accounts as well as the kids. So that’s how the dollars got ordered from the wrong account. We got the money moved back into Miles’ account before we left, and even though they were very apologetic it still doesn’t quite make sense how screwed up their systems are.