Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NatWest's Death March To Self Destruction II

Day 8 of NatWest's ongoing death march, and NatWest sent the following email to their hapless customers this morning at around 07:48:
"Dear ****,

We know that our current technical issues may still be impacting a number of our customers as we work to clear the backlog.

To make it easier for our customers experiencing difficulties accessing cash we have made the following arrangements. All our current account customers who have an RBS, NatWest or Mint credit card in good order can now:

* Withdraw up to an additional £100 over their limit on their credit card, with over-limit fees or charges automatically waived or refunded

* For Cash withdrawals on their card, cash advance fees as well as one month's worth of interest on the transaction will be waived or refunded
For all current account customers we will:
Automatically waive or refund overdraft fees and charges on current accounts for customers who have been impacted
We are making these commitments today and there is no requirement for any customer to take further action to benefit from these changes.

We appreciate this has caused an unacceptable level of inconvenience, and to help further we are again extending opening hours in over 900 NatWest branches from 8am until 7pm today.

For further support, please call us on either 0161 931 9959, 08457 77 77 66 or 0800 656 9639. Alternatively, for the latest information and answers to common questions please visit natwest.com

Yours sincerely,

Chris Popple
Managing Director, Retail Banking"
On the NatWest site Stephen Hester (CEO of RBS) is expecting the problems to last all week, as branches are going to remain open longer than normal all week:
"The problems of the past few days have caused disruption and inconvenience for our customers as well as for many customers of other banks. 

I am very sorry for the difficulties people are experiencing. Our customers rely on us day in and day out to get things right, and on this occasion we have let them down. This should not have happened.

Right now my top priority, and the priority of the entire RBS Group, is to fix these problems and put things right for our customers. 

This is taking time, but I want to reassure people that we are working around the clock to resolve these problems as quickly as we are able.

I also want to be clear that where our customers are facing hardship or difficulty we can and will help them. Our staff have already helped thousands of customers to access cash and we will continue to provide this service on a 24 hour basis while we work to resolve the problems. 

I also want to reassure customers that no one will be left permanently out of pocket as a result of this, and again, they should contact us directly about this.

We have doubled the usual number of staff in our call centres, and for the first time ever we will open 1,200 branches across the country on a Sunday from 9am to 12pm. We are also extending opening hours in over 1,000 branches on Monday 25th June from 8am to 7pm, and on Tuesday 26th June to Friday 29th June from 8am to 6pm.

Once again I am very sorry for the inconvenience."
Customers of NatWest should be warned that various criminals are now trying to take advantage of the chaos, and are sending out phishing emails.

As to what caused the glitch rumours abound that it was caused by software upgrade implemented by an outsourced IT function in India, NatWest are currently denying this. At some stage however, they will have to identify and explain exactly what when wrong and why it went wrong.

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