How banks deal with the clocks changing

Received a reply from the customer Advocacy team today, yet again via email. It’s just to tell me that my complaint has been reopened and I should expect a response from them within 28 days, so by the end of May 16th.

The email also lets me know that despite my complaint being reopened, I can still refer it to the ombudsman so long as it’s within 6 months of the date of their final response (18th April 2022).

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Received a reply.

Don’t have time to go into details right now, but they’re partially upholding the complaint.

They’ve compensated me for not looking at the complaint properly the first time. £25.

But again, they’re mistaking a pending co op charge early as being cleared again. They really don’t want to find fault in the clock system here, that much is clear.

A Co op order was placed on April 5th of April. A Tuesday. Didn’t clear until Friday, at which point my account was in credit.

I wonder if there’s a second complaint that’s been uncovered here in how monzo both treat, and present pending vs cleared transactions.

They also then directly reference the transfer to my PayPal pot on taking me overdrawn. However the date in the report is one day before the day in my feed. Which is the issue and they’re just not acknowledging it!

Next steps, I suppose, are to go to the ombudsman and take the effort to go back in time, before Co op did online shopping, where I incurred overdrafts fees as a direct result of the clock changes.

I feel like I’m dealing with Virgin Media here. Specialists that don’t actually understand their own rules and processes. Makes me wanna pull my hair out!

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Don’t. Your hair is precious. Believe me.

Cries in balding at 20

But good luck; keep us updated!

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Submitted a complaint to the ombudsman.

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Guys, I’m done.

The customer advocacy team got back to me the same day and via chat this time.

What’s irking me is how in each response, they change what’s at fault and blame something else.

This is the third Co op order they’ve tried to blame now. This was one I kept track of though because I suspected this would be the next one. It cleared on May 1st. Was still pending on April 30th. Also tracked the one prior for @Carlo1460. And I updated folks when the status of that changed from pending.

Next they highlighted a different PayPal transaction. It highlights the same issue though, because it’s yet a second example of this clock issue.

Finally. They blame me/my device for living in a different time zone to them. Of course it’s not their clock that’s out of whack. It’s mine. That’s straight out of the Virgin playbook.

I’m not going to get anywhere with these people because they don’t understand how their own system works. And if it’s confusing enough for them, imagine what it must be like for your more typical customer.

There are two issues here that Monzo need to rectify in some way and I’ve highlighted these in my complaint to the ombudsman in terms what I want the bank to do to put things right.

They need to remedy their internal clock. And they need to provide greater clarity of pending and settled transactions in terms of both the balance and showing you the difference between when it was made and when it was settled. Monzo are an outlier by not using the settled date on their statements. And they’re an outlier when it comes to the time zone they’re living in.

The utilisation was reported to the reference agencies too. I’ve also stated I want this discrepancy resolving too.

Here’s their reply:

And here’s my final response to monzo on this matter:


We’ll see what happens with ombudsman.

Oh, and here’s the PayPal transaction they’re talking about this time. Note the time.

Maybe they’re confusing it with another I made at 7pm on the 7th :man_shrugging: (Whenever I buy something with PayPal Credit I move the same amount to my PayPal pot for safe keeping for four months).

My feeling right now is I want to close my account. I’ll sleep on it. But three different customer advocates failing to understand the nature of the complaint, and each finding something different to blame for justifying the charges. None of which line up with the date of when the interest charge showed up in my feed.

It’s not an experience that sits well with me. Surely, they can see exactly which transaction is responsible, so no need to throw darts to see which sticks. Surely they can then look at that transaction, and if the time is between 11pm and 12am realise that possibly supports my theory and take a deeper look. :exploding_head:

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Complaints are probably thinking along the lines of this person can’t know better than our backend engineers or have a reasonable issue otherwise it would have been built to accommodate, and a ‘computer says no’ situation.

Hopefully you get someone competent at the ombudsman but I do wonder if finding will get fed back properly, it’s probably a huge project, the type that somehow gets further down the queue.

Also if someone from monzo is reading and passing on, I’d like to reference an earlier post from me that monzo bank statements also need to specify that transactions are in UTC year round.

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Support is, sadly, badly lacking. They only seem to have a superficial understanding of how their systems work. “Customer advocacy” (a slightly patronising and seemingly incorrect title) is no better.

I had a case where they told me that pending transactions are included when calculating whether you’re in your overdraft. I complained. They rejected the complaint, explaining that they’d consulted specialists and that I was wrong.

It was only when I mentioned it on here that a kind Monzonaut referred me to the exec complaints team who looked into it, taking a long time to do it. They reluctantly upheld the complaint, but rejected my suggestions about being much clearer about how things work, and showing the balance before/after pending payments in the app. I think they gave me a few quid.

The product is excellent but is so let down by support.

And the people working in Monzo support are also being let down: this is clearly a systemic thing rather than an individual thing. I feel sorry for them.

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I’m sorry to hear this, it does look like the ombudsman is the way to go from here.

I wouldn’t even know who to tag to take a further look but that may cross the line of interfering with the complaints process.

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Yes, to be honest I doubt there is anything you can personally do at this stage but I’m sure @N26throwaway appreciates your attempts to help with this. It’s a shame that a lack of technical understanding and an unwillingness to investigate from the complaints team has caused this - also not being helped by the reticence of COps to acknowledge that it could be an issue at Monzo’s side and the persistent assumption that it’s a customer error from the beginning.

Frankly, it feels as though everything that could go wrong has gone wrong in this case. We can only hope that Monzo take this more seriously when they are approached by the Ombudsman. The clocks really need changing.

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Im not back to work until Monday.

I wonder if @AlanDoe or @Dan5 know any back end engineers who will understand what’s happened, and possibly reassess this in full*. :pray:t3:

*No promises anywhere here :sweat_smile:

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I actually hope the issue raised by @N26throwaway is dealt with by the Ombudsman as it raises wider issues about Monzo’s systems/support.

I would be concerned if someone here escalated it within Monzo and “fixed it” rather then forcing Monzo to acknowledge the wider issues this case creates, which I hope the Ombudsman will do.

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It sounds like @N26throwaway has had a really poor experience but, if monzo have a way of sorting this out, then I think it’s a case of, “better late than never.” There’s no reason any monzo staff should leave things to the ombudsman to sort out.

(Note that I’m not trying to discourage @N26throwaway from escalating his complaint. That’s entirely up to him. My point is that monzo shouldn’t just give up trying to resolve customer complaints.)

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I would be more concerned that if Monzo fixed it now it would look optically like it requires effort on the forums to get it done.

It has to be done “as if” he were any customer, forum or not. So actually if Monzo fix it now then it wouldn’t sit right with me.

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Contrary to the Monzo tone of voice (which sadly feels a bit performative these days) I just find customer service to be lacking empathy. It’s all about explaining how things work (often incorrectly) rather than putting themselves in the shoes of the customer, understanding their pain points and doing something about it.

This example is one that, I think, would be fairly easy to resolve. It’s totally fine for Monzo to run on UTC (in fact I think it’s probably a good thing) but a line of code to charge customers at 2300 UTC between specified dates would be customer focused. Having the app show the actual time, rather than UTC would be again.

And if a technical change is undesirable or impossible, there are other measures that are possible. Be really clear in the terms and conditions. Train staff properly. Write it in the help pages explicitly.

These things do Monzo such damage, yet they just seem deaf to them. Maybe they just die at the chat interface (if you can find it, that is)?

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I kinda get where you’re coming from, but I think that not doing something because it’s been discussed publicly is so much worse. That just feels bloody minded at that point.

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I think support/elevated support/customer advocacy just don’t understand what they mean. They have tried to explain multiple times with data/proof, but Monzo are still sitting on the “Of course our clocks are right” point of view.

Being a forum user shouldn’t impact getting things resolved, but just like how Peter got an answer to his problem via here, sometimes someone who knows/can deal with it, will see it or escalate it properly.

Everyone is equal, but sometimes you need to use the resources you have available. And in fairness, they are not trying to use the forum to fix this, just note the situation.

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I can see both sides of it, it’s more of a niggle I would have. I don’t like it when those who shout the loudest get what they want (although a justified loud voice in my opinion!)

I take a similar approach to those who complain on Twitter getting different treatment to those who would complain via telephone or letter for example.

I don’t blame anyone using Twitter or forums or any means to resolve an issue. My issue is with the companies appearing to give preferential treatment.

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This isn’t someone ranting on Twitter - I don’t like that either

This is a regular forum user raising a slightly obscure issue on an official forum. Nowt wrong with that.

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:laughing:

I think from a slight difference in wording from @Revels it looks like I’m saying @N26throwaway shouldn’t be pursuing this via the forums or anywhere. I’m not saying that at all, totally understand the issue and back what’s been done.

My point is that at this point it’s got to the point of raising a complaint with the ombudsman. Someone mentioned Monzo now resolving it and I would actually rather they didn’t so as to let the ombudsman look into it to assist all users rather than Monzo fix it for one customer due to a forum post.

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I totally agree with that given the many examples we’ve seen of support often giving confused and unhelpful responses which don’t actually address the problems of the customer. There needs to be more of a focus on understanding the customer and less on aggressively closing tickets as fast as possible.

I agree with you. Basically, they can either change the clocks or they can make it much, much clearer that they are using UTC and not “U.K. real time” all year. Where I don’t agree with you is that it would be perfectly fine for them to continue on UTC all year round. Although they could simply do this and improve the messaging or implement extra code as a kludge to affect charging structure, I think it would be much more desirable to just change the clocks. I really think that any other option would be a mistake.

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