Supposing you were to be speaking on the phone to your bank, and they said “Would you like to upgrade your account from type X to type Y?”.  You establish that there’s nothing to be done other than that they make a change on one of their screens and your monthly fee goes up slightly in exchange for a raft of services.

Several days later, you log on to your internet bank and go to make a bill payment.  Your bank has recently sent out a security keypad thing, where you stick your card in the top, type in your PIN, then enter some numbers from the internet banking screen, and finally when the little pad thing shows you some other digits, you type them into the internet banking screen.  This makes the payment happily happen, and we can all assume that we’re all who we say we are and life’s lovely.

Only today for some reason the number confirmationny thing failed.  It’s a bit weird, but not inconceivable that I might’ve mashed one of the wrong buttons… so I try again.  Bzzt.  One more. “Sorry, but your account has now been locked and you have been deregistered from internet banking”.  Hmm.

Phone customer services – dial, dial, dial, hold, hold, hold, explain, explain, explain…  they unlock the account again, and then say before internet banking can be used the card has to be unlocked as well using certain types of ATM.  Convenient.  I briefly floated the suggestion that the card reader might be pooched, but this is apparently so unlikely it’s not worth pursuing.  Anyway, the ATM thing happens, and now we can get on with the business of making that pesky payment.

Type, type, type, ENTER.  Code incorrect.

Type, type, type, ENTER.  Code incorrect.

Having played this game before, I go straight back to dial, dial, dial, hold, hold, hold, and am then afforded a rare but satisfying opportunity to speak with a customer service representative.  After some head scratching and patronising advice, the lady looks on the system and says “Oh, it says here you’ve had a new card issued.  That means the old one won’t be valid for internet banking confirmation any more”.  New card was news to me… “Yeah, a new card’s automatically issued when you upgrade your account”.  Seemed strange that was never mentioned to me… “Oh no, they probably won’t know that.”  But they knew I was getting a new card, right? “No, probably not”.

Rewarding, isn’t it?