July 4th 2013
47 Milsom Street,
Dear Sir or Madam,
In a couple of days I shall be going to Burma.
You may be wondering why I tell you this?
It is because on June 5th I decided to double check that the travel insurance on my premier account would cover me for travel in Burma.
I had to admit to several pre-existing conditions which lead to their conclusion that they would not cover me – not even with an extra premium.
This makes the travel insurance highly profitable to the insurer as they, I assume, get a premium from you and yet don’t have to provide cover. Nice work if you can get it.
However it makes the insurance as useful as a cordless parachute to me. I got cover elsewhere.
This did however make me wonder what I was getting for my £25 per month? Especially as I recall the insurance had been a big selling point when I took out the account years ago.
So, I thought about it.
I decided to come into the branch to downgrade the account. It would seem it should be a simple procedure. But no, I was told it could not be done in the branch but was “very easy to do online”.
I went online yesterday to do this. It seems I could upgrade my account but not downgrade it. Now I don’t know why that is – although I have a suspicion. It would seem to me, in my simple way, that choosing the account and extras you want to pay for really is a simple matter with today’s IT, but apparently not. Not for Lloyds anyway.
This led me to make a phone call. After wending my way for over 4 minutes through various menus I eventually got to speak to a human being. He was very nice and did his best to be helpful. However, after another 16 minutes he decided he could not do what was needed but he would pass me to someone who could. He also explained that this person would first have to downgrade my account before he could upgrade it.
It seemed a little convoluted but hey, who am I to argue with the process geniuses at the bank?
Anyway it transpired that this second person could indeed downgrade the account but that then I would have to go online and apply for an upgrade.
So to get a silver account at £9.99 a month (which still includes the chocolate teapot insurance but……) instead of a premier account at £25.00 a month…………. I have to apply for an upgrade after you have given me a downgrade but cannot, it would seem also fix me an upgrade to the required lower value account. I did not enquire about what Lloyds means by apply but, to me, apply implies the possibility of rejection. Thus if I were rejected I would have downgraded but not to the account required and would then, presumably, be unable to upgrade again to the account from which I had downgraded.
Is this all making sense to you?
It isn’t to me! But then, as I said, I am a simple soul.
It is at this point that I gave up.
I thought: “I’ll write a good old fashioned paper letter, signed by me, to the bank manager which instructs him or her to change my account to the one I want without me having to do any more work for you or visit the branch or go online or make a phone call. That’ll do it.”
Well, we’ll see won’t we?
As you may know I am off to Burma. I hope that by the time I get back I shall have a nice letter saying you have changed my account from a premier to a silver.
Well, we’ll see won’t we?
Richard D S Hill