HSBC security nonsense

As has been widely reported, HSBC have rolled out a new security system for personal Internet banking. The requires you to have an Internet Banking ID, a memorable passphrase and a PIN for a small one-time code pad.  I already carry one HSBC token around with me, I have no wish to carry another. The new system is cumbersome beyond belief.  Here’s why:

Worst case logging on to my HSBC business account:

  1. Enter username that I chose.
  2. Enter password that I chose.
  3. Press button on RSA key, enter number into web browser.
  4. I am now logged in.

Worst case logging on to my HSBC personal account:

  1. Enter account number.
  2. Entry sort code.
  3. Enter date of bith.
  4. Enter 3 arbitrary characters from my security number.
  5. Obtain Internet Banking (IB) number.
  6. Enter IB number.
  7. Enter passphrase.
  8. Type a different PIN into OTP pad.
  9. Take number from OTP pad and enter into browser.
  10. I am now logged in.

At best, this process can be shortened to start at step 6. HSBC recommend not writing anything down, your IB number is “IB” then 8ish digits not in any way related to your account number. When setting this up I was asked to set two security questions and answers.

Select from drop-down “father’s middle name”

> John

< Error.

Select from drop-down “pet’s name”

> Lili

< Error.

> Lililili

< Okay!

Aaarrrrrrgghh. So I now have to remember incorrect answers to security questions.  Sure, that’ll work.  I contact HSBC:

Me> Can I use my HSBC business banking token for my personal account?


Me> Can I revert to not using this token at all?


Me> I will close my account if you cannot turn this nonsense off.

HSBC> Sorry, nothing we can do.


After 16 years with HSBC, I am no longer one of their customers.


There’s a hole in my door, dear Renault – part 2

So I arranged to take my car in Saturday to have the bit-of-plastic-on-the-driver’s-door fitted. I turn up, chap at the desk expected me and was very helpful.

Him> Ahh yes, part’s right here, shouldn’t take a mo to fit, I’ll just get some tools.

Me> Super thanks.

<fx>fiddling with the door happens</fx>

Him> Just going to make a phonecall, this isn’t looking how I expected

Me> It doesn’t look like a door with a well understood piece of plastic missing, I didn’t say.

Me> Uhh, sure.

<fx>phone call happens</fx>

Him> Sorry, but it looks like I can’t fit this part.

Me> You can’t fit this part.

Him> No, I think the inside door panel needs to be removed.

Me> The inside door panel needs to be removed, you think.

Him> Yes, and I’m not qualified.

Me> You’re not qualified. Super. Thanks.

I still have a hole in my door.

Meanwhile, 75cm toward the rear of my car….

You may recall that Renault Romford mistakenly did work I didn’t ask them to do, then insisted I pay for said work or I couldn’t have my car back.  I decided to take them up on their offer to simply undo the work and put back the faulty door mechanism and then give me a full refund.

Me> I’ve decided to take you up on your offer to simply undo the work and put back the faulty door mechanism and then give me a full refund.

Renault Romford> We can’t, we’ve thrown the old parts away.

Me> You’ve thrown the old parts away. Can I have a refund?

Renault Romford> I’ll need to call customer services for you….

I’ve had no call from Renault UK Customer services today, I left messages, Yvonne’s been a bit busy.

Still, nice to know I’m dealing with a reputable professional company, and not some east-end railway-arch crook.

There’s a hole in my door, dear Renault

My nearly-four-years-old Renault Clio was due a bit of tender loving care.  The rear door lock had stopped being able to lock the doors, a small piece of plastic fell off the front driver’s side door and, the one that tipped it,  the driver side wing mirror was shattered; someone hit it in a car park – thanks!

I booked my car in to Renault Romford, dropped it in before work, and waited for a call back letting me know what everything was going to cost.  The call arrived and the suggested shopping list was a little longer than I expected.

  • Rear engine mount starting to split – £103.00
  • Front disks and pads should be replaced – £245.60
  • Coolant and brake fluid drain and refill – £49.99
  • Air conditioning service – £79.99
  • Replacing the bit of plastic that fell off – £7.76
  • Replacing the mirror – £27.87
  • Replacing the rear door handle – £365.68 – wait, what?

I totally accept that most of the stuff in that list falls under the categories of “normal wear and tear” and “you broke it”, but things like a door handle should reasonably last the lifetime of the car.  It’s not like it’s even the most commonly used door.  Had this been the driver’s door, I might have grumbled a bit but understood.

I asked Renault Romford to replace the glass, replace the bit of plastic and service the aircon, explaining that I would sort out the brakes etc next month and would call Renault UK Customer services to talk to them about the rear door handle.

Renault UK customers service have still not contacted me, despite Tweets, emails and a telephone message asking them to do so.

I got a call yesterday saying my car was ready to be picked up, and that I owed them some £450.00.  I was confused.  They’d changed the rear door lock, despite me very explicitly saying that I was going to talk to Renault customer services about it.  Opinions were exchanged, we agreed this was most likely a misunderstanding.

I went to pick up my car this morning.  The car would not be released to me unless I paid in full.  In other words, I have paid hundreds of pounds for parts and work I didn’t ask to be done.

Insult to injury?  Hell, yes.  The didn’t replace the tiny piece of plastic that fell off the front door, one of the three things I did very specifically ask them to fix.

THERE’S A HOLE IN MY DOOR, DEAR RENAULT.   And I’m hundreds of pounds out of pocket.