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Monday, April 16, 2007

bank of ireland

I'm just sitting here, waiting and watching the clock. I'm waiting for 1am to come around.

I need to contact my Bank. Bank of Ireland in Carrigaline. The problem with being here in Canada is that to get in touch with any business at home requires you to stay up until the wee hours of the morning.

I just checked out the Bank of Ireland Website and it turns out my branch isn't open until 10am (2am Canada time)! Just brilliant! Banks in Ireland are really a joke. How come they manage to stay stuck in the stone age. This is 2007. Take this for example:

Earlier this year I wanted to change my billing address to Canada so I could buy stuff on-line and get it sent to my billing address here in Canada. Like buying iPods or other things off websites. My branch told me that I had to submit this request in writing. An email wouldn't do. A fax wouldn't do. I had to write the request in a letter and post it. Taking the 2 weeks for it to get to Ireland and another 2 weeks to process it, I felt it wasn't worth it. Especially since I'll only be changing it back about now.

Another example: My friends are with AIB. They offer their on-line customers the ability to transfer funds to an international account, so they could send themselves money over the web, no worries. Bank of Ireland on the other hand... "Sorry, we don't do things like that on-line". The request has to be written and posted into the branch. They can then transfer the amount once they confirm that it is you making the request (this process made harder considerably as I'm about 7,000Km away). Repeat as necessary for each transaction.

Why is the Irish banking sector so power happy and feel they can do what they want? They have banking 365, but all their operators seem to like referring me to my branch to answer questions. So going back to the opening times; they are open 36 out of 168 hours a week (21% of the week)! Opening at 10am gives all their employees a lovely lie-in and they can avoid the rush-hour traffic. Then closing at 4pm must really cut into their drinking time down the pub, after all they don't have to be back at work until 10am the next morning!

When I get home I'll be considering moving my SSIA money to anywhere else but there! Not a happy camper here.

Thankfully I have my new addiction to Desktop Tower Defence to keep me company for the next hour thanks to Ambrand... ya bastard!


  1. Yeah I'm with BoI as well and they are a little, well lets call it "reluctant" to embrace online banking. You can bank online, but they dont want people to do anything more than shuffle money around their own accounts. If you want to do anything strange like access your funds or view SSIA accounts they sulk and refuse to help.

  2. Anonymous16/4/07 12:56

    Write the stock letter in Word (or your other favourite word processor), and email the file to your folks or trusted friends back home for printing, "signature" (send them a JPG of the signature stip of your credit card), and hand delivery.

  3. I eventually got through at 2am (10am Irish) and they would look into the request I asked as they didn't know at the time. They were going to call me back, but I asked for an email, considering i stayed up till 2, i wanted to enjoy my sleep!

    7am (3pm Irish) came around, I had a quick check of my email via my PSP from bed, and no sign of any response. I gave them another call, again they couldn't help at that time so I asked for a call back... and as of yet... no reply.

    Looks like it's bed time 2am again for me tonight!

    As for the printing at home and image of a signature, I offered this suggestion to them before, because I have my signature scanned in in high-res for other stuff, but they said no. I physically had to sign it.

    "Computer says no.."

  4. In Sweden all banks open at 10:00 and close 15:00..! You have a whole extra hour! :)

  5. Has BOI caught a dose of the Ryanair flu or something?

    I'm a BOI business customer and I've been 'dealing' with the stone age system that is BOL for two years now. I think i can say hand on heart that it has never been a straight forward and time saving exercise to execute even the most simple of banking tasks.

    Today however, takes the biscuit.
    It appears that the support centre staff have taken a leaf out of the Ryanair book when it comes to dealing with customer issues and complaints. Agressive, rude and slightly mentally challenged when it came to listening to my problem, the girl at the end of the phone INSISTED that it was my fault the new passwords wouldn't work and cost me an hour arguing that i was wrong. The end result was that their prehistoric and unnecessarily complicated ( it must have been designed by a committee of IT challenged suits) system was at fault but after it had completely screwed up my afternoon and the problem is still not sorted.

    If only they had applied the same level of bureaucratic jumble, double talk and aggressive client management across all of faculties, they would not, i propose be hinging be on the precipice of bankruptcy.


  6. Maybe ring up customer service and explain this or go in and talk to your local bank manager?