Visa

Customer care…AGAIN!

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Without doubt I am getting old and grumpy – the onset has been slow but sure. If I am honest I make no apology for it – we are far too accommodating in this country over poor service. We really should learn to complain about bad service and complement good.

How about spending the money on customers rather than adverts........

My latest ‘spat’ relates to Barclaycard, I have like most people had a Visa card for years. I have been lucky in that I have not had to contact them much in that time, I manage it on-line and always clear it at the end of the month – as you should!

However yesterday I discovered that my card appeared to have been cloned, I had hired a car in Rome earlier in the week and unfortunately it was not by my hand! So, obviously feeling somewhat worried as to what else might have been purchased with the card I phoned Visa. The initial response was good, the call was answer fairly swiftly and my concerns were noted and I was asked to hold while I was put through to the fraud department.

It was at this point that it all went down hill!

Now I would expect fraud to be something that was considered to be important to Visa, but I had to hold for 20 minutes before my call was answered! I also received no apology for the delay, the report was dealt with efficiently, but come on – twenty minutes!

All I can assume is that fraud is very prevalent at Barclaycard – perhaps it’s time to find a better credit card?

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Now that is real customer service!

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Recently as a family we spent a few days in London. This involved eating out a few times which is all part of the ‘London experience’. On the basis that I am currently trying (and managing) to lose some weight we went for a known quantity in terms of restaurants – Nando’s. They have excellent dietary information on their website which enabled me to eat within my daily allowance – all good so far!

After ordering the food the payment unfortunately all went ‘pear shaped’, the visa terminal was having none of it and kept kicking out my transaction. So after numerous failed attempts the manager was called and then finally it appeared one successful transaction was made and the manager was happy.

Just incase the transaction had hit my account more than once the manager gave me his card and asked me to let him know in which case he would credit the difference back. A nice touch that I was impressed with.

Roll forward a week and checking the account at home the transaction had indeed been duplicated, time to ring the manager! A quick call was met with lots of apologies and a promise that my money would be debited to my account shortly or I could drop into the restaurant to sort it. After realising I was in Nottingham and he was in London we agreed to a BAC’s transfer and all was arranged – or I thought it was!

Then a few days later the manager phoned me out of the blue to say he had spoken to his accounts department and it was a nightmare to set up the transfer because of their accounts system – so he was going to transfer the money from his personal account! He assured me he could and would claim it back from the restaurant, but what a great act of service to the customer – Nando’s will certainly be on our list of restaurants in the future!

The managers name? Gabor Gombkoto.

The branch of Nando’s? Kings Cross.

Would I get the same level of service outside London – say in Nottingham? I would love to think so, but probably not! London is so much more cosmopolitan than other UK cities. There are so many restaurants that customer care has to be great. Plus it was a non-British manager, my experience is that on the continent they know how to treat the customer!

Nightmare trying to buy 3 Oyster cards!

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Next week is the half term holiday, so we have decided to spend a couple of days in London – plenty to do and a bit of a break without breaking the bank! My wife hit upon a great idea to make the visit run a bit smoother – getting Oyster cards for London Transport.

The cards can be topped up on a ‘pay as you go’ basis and the credit lasts for a couple of years, so it is a no brainer. They can be ordered on-line and delivered by post, so we would have them ready for our visit if we ordered them a week or so before. So on Sunday evening we went onto the Transport for London (TFL) website to order 3 cards (Sam being 13 is still only £2 a day so we do not need one for him yet).

So this all seemed pretty straight forward, two cards were ordered in short order and then we started setting up the third – only for the purchase to fail at the payment stage. It told us the address didn’t match the credit card details (it did) or that the name was wrong (it wasn’t), so please contact your card provider.

So off I went on the phone to India (Visa call centre), a very unhelpful gentleman who was intent on talking over me told me it was not their problem and they had 15 approved payments! Having tried to get him to answer my actual question -” is there any reason why Visa are not approving my purchase” – I eventually asked to speak to a supervisor. He apparently was busy but would call me back within 3 hours – that was 3 days ago so I don’t hold out much hope! That is customer service at its best – NOT!

Anyway next stop was the TFL help desk, who were very helpful (well done TFL) but apparently their system is very sensitive to fraud and more than two purchases is classed as fraud! I was told to wait 24 hours and try again. OK, but why doesn’t the website have this little nugget of information on it? It would have saved me a call to the gentleman in India and a lot of stress!

24 hours later same problem, so I rang and tried to buy a card in ‘person’. I gave the very helpful lady at the end of the phone my account details (including security passwords) so that a new card could be added to my account. Surely this should be easy, I couldn’t be classed as fraudulent here could I?

Errrr… yes I can – purchase failed again! Please try again in 24 to 48 hours – or buy one on the platform when you arrive (exactly what we were trying to avoid!)

Now I am all for secure systems, I have had my card cloned once and don’t want to go there again. But surely stopping credit card fraud is down to the card provider and not the retailer? I will now wait 48 hours, but if it fails again will have no option other than to join the queue I was looking to avoid in the first place!

UPDATE 22.10.10

Well today I tried again having left it more than 48 hours since my last attempt to buy the card. Unfortunately it failed again, I have now given up and will order daily passes for my daughter to use while we are there. I have no intention of joining the queues for cards in London!