On 29 Mar 2008, at 8:12 PM, <bazder(a)ntlworld.com> wrote:
The fact that your bank phoned you to check on the transaction tells
you that it will be OK.
I have had this happen,from my credit card company when I have
purchased something which they have noticed was not my usual
thing....they have specialists working with them to keep on eye on
this sort of thing.
In fact, their computers are programmed to spot and report
uncharacteristic transactions, and staff will ring to check on them.
My wife was recently in the US and South Africa over a six-week period,
and the bank called to see whether transactions originating in
Milwaukee and New Orleans were in order; I reassured them, and said she
was also going on to Cape Town, and they must have noted that because I
got no further queries from then on.
I have only used PayPal once or twice, and it worked fine; but I also
got a "phishing" message supposedly from them in the usual terms, i.e.
telling me my account would be frozen if I didn't visit their website
(via a bogus link helpfully provided), and when I e-mailed (through
their genuine website) them to tell them this was happening, I got no
response; but then the same thing happened when I got one from the
First Third Bank in Chicago. And this despite my e-mail address
looking like a US one (and being in fact on an Atlanta-based server).
Turning to the attitude of Archives staff, my own limited experience
(admittedly nearly six years ago, and I know how things can change in
shorter times than that) was of unfailing helpfulness and courtesy on
the part of the counter staff, and considerable knowledge of what was
in their collection, plus a willingness to show a newbie how to
navigate the version of NAAIRS that resides on the computers available
to the public in their office, and promptness in supplying the files
requested. The same goes for bank front-line staff, within the
limitations of the training they receive for that role (limitations
which I, as a former back-room boy in a bank's Head Office, fully
appreciate!). But try to communicate with them on the secure "Contact
Us" link on their website, and all you get is a cobbled together
confection of standard paragraphs that say nothing and say it very
badly. Moreover, if you try to press them to s fuller reply, the
chances are 100 to 1 against you scoring the same person again, as also
when you ring their call-centre -- even if it isn't in Bangalore or
somewhere like that. Such centralized workplaces are staffed by
low-paid workers who are doing (to them) crashingly boring work. As
the saying goes, if you pay peanuts, you get monkeys! AND they have
probably had a Time and Motion guy through insisting on a minimum
turnover of enquiries per hour regardless of complexity or otherwise of
the subject matter. It's no wonder people get pissed off with banks.