Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Identity Madness

My father, now in his 96th year, took a bus into the neighbouring town to transfer some money from his Nationwide Building Society account.
He has done this many times before when that branch was previously the Portman Building Society.
In the spirit of the times, he was asked to prove his identity.
He produced his bus pass which includes a photograph. This was not sufficient so he walked to his bank at the other end of town and they provided him with a bank statement.
The Nationwide also refused to accept this, saying they needed something with a signature on it.
He then conceded defeat and returned home, having made a fruitless journey and with his arthritic knee much the worse for wear.

He'd provided photo-ID.
And a solicitor recently accepted equivalent documents from myself as proof of identity.
He had told them he was over 95 and had made a special journey. But still they turned him away as a possible criminal. If he were indeed a fraudster he would surely be the oldest fraudster in Britain.

In case you wonder why I am blogging about this rather than speaking to Nationwide myself, it's because by now my father will be hammering away at his ancient typewriter and sending a strongly-worded letter to Nationwide Head Office. Despite his age, he's more than capable of fighting his own battles.
But it dissipates some of my own anger to put this into the blogosphere:
Nationwide are stupid, cruel, heartless bastards.


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