Money Nous: Girobank provides the human touch

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GIROBANK gets a pat on the back, for finally doing the right thing for an elderly reader in Dorset.

Several weeks ago we highlighted the predicament of the reader, who wanted to pay off the full balance on her Girobank Visa card by direct debit from her Girobank current account.

Girobank did not offer the full repayment facility as standard, but agreed after we contacted them that they would arrange the service.

The reader thought her problems were over. But then she received an unintelligible letter from Girobank, which she thought confirmed the facility, but she was not sure.

She gave them the benefit of the doubt. She started to use her card, for the first time although she had actually had it for some years.

This week she got her first statement, which showed a pounds 12 annual fee, which was triggered by her use of the card. A newcomer to credit cards at the age of 71, she did not understand that there was an annual fee, and could not remember being notified of it.

She was completely confused. We contacted Girobank again. Immediately they arranged for a customer services representative to telephone her at home to sort out all her problems and queries.

The reader was delighted to have a human voice to deal with instead of impersonal letters no doubt generated by a computer.

Financial insitutions could do themselves a power of good if they realised more often that customers want to be treated as individuals.

If you want to highlight an annoyance in your financial affairs write to Money Grouse, but if you have found a helpful financial institution or a smart way of dealing with your money, write to Money Nous, at the Independent, 40 City Road, London EC1Y 2DB. Please do not send SAEs or original documents as we cannot guarantee to deal with every letter personally.

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