Dear Bank of Ireland

Update 13/05: After an extended period of phone tag, I finally closed the account having accepted a €40 refund on the erroneous charges. The balance won’t come close to covering the time and frustration I’ve expended dealing with this idiocy, but I just want shot of it. Of course BOI will learn nothing from this.

CC: Richie Boucher, CEO; Mark Cunningham, Business Banking; Tim O’Neill, Branch Network; Group Credit Operations; Douglas Branch; Customer Care

Dear Person That Wouldn’t Or Couldn’t Type Their Own Name,

With reference to the attached letter, I would like to confirm that I’ll be paying every cent of the direct debits Bank of Ireland erroneously withdrew from my account, despite clear instructions not to overdraw said account when I converted an overdraft to a term loan several years ago. Amusingly, this was at Bank of Ireland’s insistence, with numerous tiresome phone calls.

I had already made one payment before the “official” you “assigned” to continue harassing me, left a message on my answering machine. I rang him shortly afterwards to inform him of this, but his phone rang out. I tried again later but I was directed to voicemail, where I left a message with my name and phone number. He didn’t call me back.

This is a somewhat ironic example of why I left Bank of Ireland in the first place. My “Business Advisor” in your branch in Douglas rarely if ever returned phone calls, and when he did it was hard to get past excuses and attempts at distraction from his inaction almost embarrassing in their weakness and transparency. When he did finally complete requests, he invariably got them wrong.

The customer service staff in my branch almost equalled his levels of competence, particularly when it came to something as complex as updating an address. I moved several times while a customer at this branch, and they never – not once – got it right. Of course while going through the stress of moving, having your bank statements land in the hands of the next random tenant is just what you need.

Speaking of statements, I haven’t received one for the account now since the 1st of March. I remember that one because at the end of another long-winded and ill-informed phone call from someone in BOI in mid-February, I was promised that a statement would be sent out immediately, so I could check the balance and clear what I actually owed Bank of Ireland. It wasn’t.

Until I receive an up to date statement, I’m afraid we’re at a bit of an impasse, since I don’t actually know what I owe you at this stage. I made a second payment of €100 a few days after the first, which leaves about €60, but I’m not paying a penny more until the overdraft charges have been removed from my account, what with the aforementioned instruction not to overdraw it and all.

I’m not sure I’ll fare much better at communicating with the written word, but I’ll stick this up on my website too, and perhaps it’ll get to you via word of mouth. Your bank is in good shape at the moment, and has the respect of the nation for the competence it and its well-trained, clever executives showed during the property boom, so I’m sure it’ll be a lovely bit of PR for you.


Yours in anticipation,
Adam Beecher

(See how easy it is to type your name! You should try it, it’s fun, and accountable too!)

4 responses

  1. Shower of bollixes I’d the same problem wit Patrck st, they were useless in there if you gave ’em anything to do that wasn’t in the manual. Look at you blank like.

  2. Hi Pat. My wife had the same problem with Patrick Street; she stayed with BOI but moved the account to Midleton, they’re much better there. I moved my business accounts to AIB Blackpool and although the customer service there can be a bit disorganised sometimes, they’re a breath of fresh air compared to BOI Douglas. The business advisor I have there is pretty much the opposite of the people I had to deal with in BOI Douglas.

    EDIT: BTW, the “official” mentioned above – I’ve removed his name, didn’t realise it was in the online copy – called me on Friday and told me that he’d sent out a statement to me, so I said I’d call him today when it arrived. Guess what…?