On the stroke of midnight 1st July, the NatWest locked my account. I found this out, also on the stroke of midnight, as a Kindle preorder failed to process.
On logging in to my online banking account, I found out this was to force me to give them my mobile number for 2-factor authentication – despite the fact that when I rang customer services last month to enquire when my replacement card would be sent, their system recognised my phone number.
They don’t actually have to take such a heavy-handed approach, but the NatWest will never not take up an opportunity to lock my account. I can’t ring them now to complain, because my rolling PAYG contract, which I usually top up by £30 every three months in an O2 store because, surprise surprise, they lock my account when I do it online, has run out of money because, thanks to COVID-19, I can’t get into Nottingham to do it. And now I can’t even top up online because… they’ve locked my account.
Additionally, I can’t just log in and give them my phone number because they’re demanding I use the card reader authenticator they sent me a decade ago, and have never once before required I use. Since this was, y’know, ten years ago. I have no idea where it is, so they said they’d send me a new one.
Four days later… no sign of it yet.
So yes. I’m fucked. I have all of £10 in my PayPal account, that I won on the Postcode Lottery of all things, that will go as soon as one of the monthly debits comes in. I can’t access anything else. In the middle of a global pandemic. While I’m a full-time carer to a disabled person.
Because the NatWest have been, yet again, frankly stunning in their incompetence.
Although it shouldn’t be a surprise, coming from an organisation that once encouraged me to use a credit card to pay off my overdraft.
I’m at a loss, I really am.
Although I have a Ko-Fi, I always feel… weird and twitchy asking people for money – that kind of all-over skin-creep, like the thought of someone prodding tiny needles into your shoulders – and anyway, I had to step back from social media for my mental health. I’m not about to return solely to beg for money. That’s just insulting.
Let’s hope I can get it sorted by the 8th, or the home-delivery shopping I booked half a month ago (yes, it really is that hard to get delivery slots still) won’t be arriving.
(Incidentally: yes, I have contacted them by email. You can only do it through a contact form, and only once you press send does it say they won’t bother actually answering, but they thank me for the positive feedback. Because they’re an embarrassment.)