Last time it happened we were in Sydney at the start of our trip up the East Coast of Oz.
We went to a cashpoint (ATM) put the card in, entered the Pin and got bombed out.
We spent the subsequent weekend with no cash. Just like Royalty.
On the Monday we phoned home and after a very long phone call we got the cards reinstated and everything worked fine after that.
Before setting out on this trip we notified Lloyds bank that we were going away and completed the relevant section on line. So we were pretty confident the problems of 2013 wouldn’t be repeated.
How wrong we were.
My first trip to an ATM in Jaipur failed to deliver any cash but as the system is slightly different I wasn’t too concerned though after 4 attempts I realised something wasn’t quite right.
Each cash point has a uniformed guard so it feels quite safe.
However, that evening I used the same card in a Restaurant and it went through OK.
The next day I tried an ATM again this time with Jaki riding shotgun to make sure I did it right. Duh!
However, even with Jaki’s superior brain power and 10 years experience in Financial Services we came away empty handed.
The last day in Jaipur we visited a textile factory where we watched them printing designs by hand using wood cut printing block’s. Mr Wedlock take note, if Keith gets a whiff of this your employed for life. Afterwards we were shown a range of Scarves, Pyjamas and Bedding which they had for sale and our group purchased almost everything in the warehouse.
Jaki bought some stuff for Georgia’s Christmas present which we had shipped home and I had a shirt made in Indian style (Kurta). I also bought a pair of trousers (off the peg) to go with it. This was delivered to our hotel at 10 pm that evening so from measure to delivery about 6 hours.
We did some hard bargaining on the price whilst the salesman continued to try to encourage us to buy more. Eventually the total bill including 5000 Rupees shipping was 26000 Rupees. Suddenly we realised just how much we’d spent.
Fortunately there was still some wiggle room and we got the total down to 22500 which with hind sight was still way over budget but by now we were committed.
So, I tried to pay using one of my card’s, which was declined.
Jaki then tried her card, which was declined.
They then produced a different cash machine and miraculously my original card worked this time.
Back at the Hotel Jaki decided to tackle Lloyds so made a call to them using my mobile phone. It didn’t go well.
There are some security questions you have to answer (so not only do you have to know your date of Birth, address, passwords, account number etc) like, what was the last amount you spent on you card at Tesco in January 1947 or something just as daft.
It was at this point Lloyds told us that an amount of 22500 Rupees had been taken from Jaki’s account which was strange because I had a receipt fro 22500 Rupees drawn against my account. It appears we’d now payed for these Items twice.
By this time I could tell Jaki’s patients was running a bit thin and she was giving the poor guy a hard time. He in exchange was keeping her hanging on for long periods in stoney silence whilst he ‘did things’ on his computer.
So after 74 minutes on the phone Jaki’s cards were un-blocked) even though we were assured they hadn’t been blocked in the first place. To resolve the double payment issue we had to go back to the textile shop and get them to fax through some information to Lloyds.
Jaki did explain that they may not have a Fax machine, the information may be in Hindi and there was a 9 day holiday starting the following morning. But Lloyds very helpfully insisted this was the only way to deal with the situation!
Then it was my turn.
I was asked how much I’d spent at ‘Cabot’ on a certain date?
I didn’t even know what ‘Cabot’ was till Jaki explained.
So I was given a multi choice security question instead ;
Did I once live at:-
18 Frm Gv or 47 The Brk or 175 Chr Rd
I chose Chr Rd which was correct!
We went through the same routine as before with Lloyds assuring us they hadn’t blocked the card but then offering to un-block it just in case?
At the end we had been on the phone for over 100 minutes and at £1.80 per minute that was nearly fifty quid!
They assured me they would pick up the tab and offered an additional £25 compensation if I dropped the complaint against them.
I thought there were at least three?
The proof of this particular pudding was whether the cards would now work in an ATM, and fortunately they did.
So, if i understand the situation correctly and often I dont;
We notified Lloyds that we would be in India and would be using our cards.
They didn’t block them but mysteriously they wouldn’t work.
They un-blocked them (even though they weren’t blocked) and then they did work.
They paid the same amount twice (for goods purchased) on two separate cards at the same time for the same amount to the same person but couldn’t cancel one of the payments.
Dose that sum it up?
After over 30 years with lloyds were gonna change banks when we get home!