This is a strange case of Security Correctness going bonkers:...
Mainly because I've been stranded in foreign countries in the past without without cash, I now have several credit cards, as well as three current accounts, one of which is with Northern Rock.
The Northern Rock account is, like me, relatively middle-aged. It used to be an interest-bearing current account in the 1980s, but is now a very basic chequebook account with an associated Visa debit card.
The account pays little or no interest and Northern Rock has - wait for it - just one ATM in the UK, at its headquarters in the North-east. As a result of this incredible flexibility (ooh, sarcy -Ed) I only use the account for online betting transactions, keeping a float of around £300 or so in the account to cope with my fiver each way on the 3:50 at York. Well, you get the picture...
The card stopped working yesterday. The reason? Northern Rock had mailed out a new debit card seven days prior, and automatically places a stop on the old cards seven days after the new card is mailed.
And what happens if you don't receive your new card? You're knackered, that's what, as the old card is killed for security purposes. And you'll only discover this when your card stops working.
And get this, a new card can take two weeks to arrive after it has been ordered. If this were my primary current account, I'd be well chuffed as Northern Rock branches are few and far between, so cash withdrawals (which are limited to £250 per day) would be a nightmare.
At first I thought the seven day security lock down on replaced cards was peculiar to me, as I use the account for (fx: whisper) betting purposes. But no, it's the bank's standard card security policy.
And what does Northern Rock have to say about this rigid seven day maximum overlap between cards security situation?
Not even a whisper of an apology. Words like stupid, ignorant, and parochial spring to mind.
And hey, I'm not talking about Microsoft for once...