A WARNING TO LLOYDS BANK ACCOUNT HOLDERS TRAVELLING IN INDIA
Credit and debit cards in India
Well I haven’t written anything recently not because I’m feeling lazy. I’ve actually been busy with the hostel that I wrote about in this post, but because there hasn’t been much happening on that front that would interest anyone too much I’m leaving that for a progress report entry.
However I now have a subject and that subject is banks (may they rot in hell) and banking practices.
I have the misfortune to have a Lloyds account. British people will know who Lloyds are but some of you that read from other countries wont know that Lloyds Bank are one of the biggest high street banks in the UK and fairly well known around the world.
Before leaving for India I went into my branch of Lloyds to make sure that my Lloyds debit card would work while in India and that I’d be able to pay for my dental treatment with the card. The account manager there assured me that the card would work in India however there might be the odd security check. This would take the form of a phone call to make sure it was indeed me making the payment/withdrawal.
No problem I thought.
How wrong I was!
Telephoning Lloyds Bank
So far Lloyds Bank have refused my card on every occasion I have tried to use it in India. Sure it works online but don’t even bother trying to use it in an ATM. Well of course not being able to withdraw my monthly cash is a tremendous pain and total inconvenience. Not to mention that I then have to call Lloyds Customer Service to have the card reinstated.
I have now made five calls to Lloyds Bank to have the card made functional again. This usually follows a lengthy trip to the ATM machine. By lengthy I will say that to travel 80km to Delhi from where I am is a round trip of 11 hours. That’s India – get used to it.
My average call to Lloyds is 33 minutes while they go through their security procedures. So far they have compensated me £150 for calls and inconvenience. Free money. But all this is at the cost of the investors and share holders.
Lloyds have not once bothered to call me to ascertain whether the transaction is genuine. They have called my sister with whom I left some administrative rights on the account. What use is calling someone in England? The answer is: it’s no use at all! It seems that Lloyds are too “cheap” to contact the account holder because he’s out of the country.
Lloyds Bank racism
I have been told by Customer Services that my card keeps getting declined because of fraud prevention. Now we aren’t talking thousands of pounds that I’m trying to withdraw but £100 once a month! I was also fobbed off with the excuse that it could happen in the UK. I admit that this is possible but in my case it is happening every month and every time I use the card in an ATM. I wonder if there is anyone in the UK that has their Lloyds debit card refused on a monthly basis? I think not.
My most recent call to Lloyds Customer Services, on the 1st of November 2017, elicited the response that Lloyds refused my card because I am in India and that there is a lot of fraud in India. Personally I see this as corporate racism. There is a lot of fraud in Spain too but the card doesn’t get stopped there.
I have also been told by Customer Services every time they lift the ban that the lifting lasts a week and then the security defaults back to the original state. So, reading between the lines, this is going to happen every month. This means that my Lloyds account is effectively totally useless.
Foreign travel flags.
My account was flagged as foreign travel in India from day one. They know I am in India. The Lloyds Bank mobile banking app shows that I’m travelling in India. Every time I have called Customer Services they lift the ban and tell me that the card is useable again.
The account manager again informed the IT and Security Department on about the 24th of October that the card was being used in India. One week later it was declined again.
We are encouraged to live in a “cashless society”. Will someone explain to me the use of a debit card if it doesn’t work?
Lloyds Bank security
To me it is patently obvious that the IT and Security Department of Lloyds haven’t got a clue what they are doing. I’m told that this is a “security measure”. I wonder whose security they are talking about? It certainly isn’t mine. Being stranded in New Delhi with no money certainly isn’t secure for me. What would be the situation if I had a medical emergency and I needed cash to resolve it?
Of course the security Lloyds Bank are talking about is their security. Their security to use my funds for their investment purposes and they don’t want to jeopardise that facility with the outside chance that my £100 withdrawal may be fraudulent.
So, what to do? Well I’m now fed up with contacting friendly but powerless people in Lloyds Bank Customer Services. I have withdrawn all the funds in Lloyds Bank and transferred them to another of my bank accounts that at least seem honourable, able to follow instruction and have a security system that works.
I have also draughted a letter to the British Banking Ombudsman. I feel that Lloyds Bank need to be brought to task over this and for the corporate racism they practice. They are morons. India is an up an coming industrial nation and if India has any sense they will blanket ban Lloyds Bank from any business in this country.