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Virgin Money and UTI: a study in inefficiency

On Wednesday the 16th of May, I was having a beer at Banana Jam while waiting for the railway boom to open, and messing about on my laptop, when Adrian pointed out the Virgin Money website. After idly checking it out, I filled in the application form and sent it off, to see what would happen - there are no fees, so it couldn't hurt. I don't really need another credit card, and don't plan to use it, but what the hell.

Two weeks later, I was informed that I had been approved, and that my card would be delivered to me by a courier, and I should have some form of identification ready to receive it. A few days later, I got a phone call:

Hi, is that Mr JD Hitchcock? This is Nametag from UTI on behalf of Virgin Money. I have your card, and I'd like to make arrangements to deliver it to you tomorrow. Can I confirm that your address is in Fourways, Johannesburg?
When I filled in the form, they asked for my work's physical address, so I gave them the address of the head office in Johannesburg. Anyway, I corrected them, saying that I worked down in Cape Town, and they said:
Ah, okay, I see. I will make arrangements for the card to be couriered down to Cape Town, and we will contact you when it gets there so that we can deliver it to you.

A week later, I got a phone call:

Hi, is that Mr JD Hitchcock? This is Nametag from UTI on behalf of Virgin Money. I have your card, and I'd like to make arrangements to deliver it to you tomorrow. Can I confirm that your address is in Fourways, Johannesburg?
I explained that I was in Cape Town, not Johannesburg.
Ah, okay, I see. I will make arrangements for the card to be couriered down to Cape Town, and we will contact you when it gets there so that we can deliver it to you.

About a week later, I went up to Johannesburg for a week, to do some work at the head office up there. While I was there, I got a phone call:

Hi, is that Mr JD Hitchcock? This is Nametag from UTI on behalf of Virgin Money. I have your card, and I'd like to make arrangements to deliver it to you tomorrow.
Now I was feeling like an idiot, because after making a fuss about them getting it down to Cape Town for me, I was in Johannesburg when they wanted to deliver it. However, the call continued:
Can I confirm that your address is in Fourways, Johannesburg?
They cocked it up again. What a relief! However, as it turned out, my schedule and their schedule wouldn't allow them to deliver it to me while I was up there (I was on a course for much of my time), so I resorted to my old tactic of telling them that I was in Cape Town.
Ah, okay, I see. I will make arrangements for the card to be couriered down to Cape Town, and we will contact you when it gets there so that we can deliver it to you.
Cool, man.

About a week later, when I was safely back in Cape Town, I got a phone call:

Hi, is that Mr JD Hitchcock? This is Nametag from UTI on behalf of Virgin Money. I have your card, and I'd like to make arrangements to deliver it to you tomorrow. Can I confirm that your address is in Fourways, Johannesburg?
I explained that I was in Cape Town, not Johannesburg.
Ah, okay, I see. I will make arrangements for the card to be couriered down to Cape Town, and we will contact you when it gets there so that we can deliver it to you.

Look, I'm going to cut this story short. The fifth, sixth and seventh times, when they phoned to ask if they could drop my card off in Fourways, I explained that I was in Cape Town, and said that they had phoned me four/five/six times before, and that I had had exactly the same response from them each time. When I told them that this was the nth time they were phoning me, they started getting a bit embarrassed, and said they'd elevate it to their supervisors, so I thought that things might start happening.


Today, I received a phonecall:

Hi, is that Mr JD Hitchcock? This is Llewellyn from UTI on behalf of Virgin Money. I have your card, and I'd like to make arrangements to deliver it to you tomorrow. Can I confirm that your address is in Fourways, Johannesburg?
Now, I know I should have been keeping track of their names, and the dates, but I wasn't. I'm pretty sure that I've had this Llewellyn guy before, though. Also, from email/instant messaging logs, I have managed to nail down four previous dates that they've phoned me:
  • Wednesday, June 13
  • Thursday, June 21
  • Friday, June 29
  • Monday, July 9
So, today was the eighth time they phoned me. From now on, I shall keep a detailed record of my correspondence with them, and see how it goes.

Frankly, I don't actually want the card. I don't need more debt, it would just be a useful backup to have. So, I'm not at all annoyed that they haven't given it to me. I'm more faintly amused by how badly they're screwing it up. What could be happening is that every time the card gets to Cape Town, they check to see where it's supposed to go, find my work address, and send it back to Johannesburg. I don't know. I'm debating not telling them how many times they've phoned me, and just saying "no, Cape Town" each time, to see how long it takes them to sort it out. Maybe I need a hobby.

More details as events warrant.

Update: Here is the second installment, and here's the final chapter in the saga.