Banking has become an unlikely source of entertainment – under the You’ve Gotta Laugh rule. For years Paul and I have had a joint account with the Co-op Bank, and annually run through a rigmarole when his Dad kindly sends a sterling cheque as a birthday gift. The Co-op would accept the cheque, filling in several forms in triplicate but not giving us any form of receipt, until we’d receive one in the post some weeks later. The money would clear in the account a few weeks after that. Then the rules changed, raising the minimum amount of sterling allowed to be deposited, and the Co-op wouldn’t take the cheque. So, Paul opened a sterling account in order to be able to bank these cheques. By his next birthday, the minimum limit had gone up again. Begging to be allowed to deposit the cheque, Paul was told “Send it back and tell them to write the cheque for more money or make a bank transfer”. Eventually one kindly bank manager understood the concept of a fatherly gift, took pity and allowed it “just one time” – no more birthdays for Paul.
Having a Co-op account was always tricky as they were a little behind with most things. On our first attempt to use PayPal, they asked what it was. Initially it was rather sweet to hear bank tellers exclaim “Ah! It’s an Enjoy account!” as if they’d discovered a rare form of butterfly. Now we know to speed things up: “Could I pay this in please, it’s an Enjoy account”. When the Co-op merged with Hellenic last year, we thought things might become more efficient. But we’ve been laughing all the way between banks…
When is a Hellenic Bank not a Hellenic bank? Most of the time, it seems. There are buildings that look exactly like Hellenic Banks, bearing great signs declaring HELLENIC BANK, but at the front of the queue transpire to in fact be Co-op Banks, and vice versa. Or they are actually closed down, and the building three doors down with no signage whatsoever is now the new Hellenic Bank.
Last week I deposited two large cheques into the account with no problem. I then asked to withdraw €50. Do you have any ID, I was asked.
Like me, my actor friend John tends not to carry his passport everywhere with him. Recently he was frustrated on reaching the front of a long Bank of Cyprus queue to be told he needed to prove his identity. Just at that moment, the TV screens on the wall showed the advert John had filmed for the bank, showing his smiling face in close up. They cashed his cheque.
Recently both Hellenic Bank and PayPal decided to increase their security measures, introducing a system where an individual code is sent to one’s mobile phone by text whenever a transaction is made online. So, last time I logged onto Hellenic internet, I clicked Yes to have a text code sent to me. With appalling timing in the other room, Paul did the same to make a PayPal transaction. My phone beeped with a message ‘this is your one-time password’ – and I duly input it into the Hellenic page – and got locked out and told to visit a branch. Then my phone beeped again, with the same message and a different code – from Hellenic, the first one having been from PayPal.
Next morning, having located a real Hellenic branch and made it to the front of the queue, the clerk told me to “Go online, and in Google put How Do I Unlock My Hellenic Account”. Yup, that was my official instruction from Hellenic Bank staff. Back home, I found the page and was asked to input some digits from my passport. But it’s a joint account, so which passport? I tried both, using up all my Tries, neither of which worked, so I was locked out once more.
Another morning, another branch, and a helpful chap who went into the system and found the passport number we’d used when we opened the account, two passports ago. Back home, after six steps including two one-time pass codes sent to my mobile (each one doubly checked to ensure it was from Hellenic Bank) , I received the joyous message that I had successfully reset my password. Hoorah! So, I go to log in with said new password …to be told the account is locked. …
Jezebel is one half of GrooveJet Media. Jezebel along with Paul, as well as being performing musicians themselves, have a project studio offering recording and production services to singers, duos, bands, film and video industry, radio and TV, as well as guitar tuition and custom made backing tracks. Our event production side presents various shows both of our own and in collaboration with or providing support for others. Groovejet Entertainments provides work for other musicians and entertainers, and provides venues with suitable acts. The Wedding Groove supplies individual DJs, singers, musicians, bands or whatever the happy couple desire for their wedding party. Visit the Groovejet Media Facebook page to find out more: