Barclays "Suspend"​ My Life, Stranding me in Europe. The Dark Side Of Working Remote Kodogo

#1
In this moment as you’re reading this; I am stranded ‘abroad’. Upon awakening today; I begun each day as I would any other, with a beautiful Chai Latte and catching up on emails and correspondence received during the night. This is one routine that I must adhere to whilst collaborating with a remote team whom at are situated across multiple time zones, I do this daily; without fault or deviation.



It wasn’t until I attempted to access my mobile banking, that any instance of routine, work or social play was catapulted into oblivion. A message greeted me upon trying to access my financials via the Barclays Banking App. “RG21R - Sorry your access to this account is currently blocked…..” At this point I wasn’t concerned. I had never seen this particular error or security warning; but I had seen others and I assumed it was a security precaution. It’s part of banking life when you work remotely and travel extensively for clients and I had presumed that this instance was no different.



Before calling the number provided, curiosity led to make a second attempt to log on, this time however via the Barclays Bank online web. On this occasion THE application greeted me with a secondary warning; this time however it had a different reference code “1176” - Again offering a number to contact for a resolution.



Up until this point; I hadn't considered plausible worst case scenarios and if I had, the reality that awaited me would have been above and beyond my worst nightmare. It is a area that I was concerned little about and this whole situation had been little more than an unproductive and valuable waste of time. Oh manÂ…how wrong and naive I had been.



Upon contacting the first number offered to me for support and guidance on the issue, I got put through directly to the General Customer Services Team - After passing security checks and providing all relative information I was informed that their department could not help me as my telephone banking had be suspended alsoÂ…I was advised they could transfer me to another department; but that I could potentially wait up to 20 Mins and I was welcome to call back at a more suitable time.



Instantly I accepted the option to be transferred and as expected; I was diverted to a new line and placed on hold. Being forewarned about the wait awarded me no position to complain; so patiently I waited. Placing phone on speaker, I sat down to busy myself with elements of my day, that at the time I deemed more important.



So….Barclays Bank…..“20 Minutes” passed. Nevertheless I continued to wait patiently…whilst might I add paying premium call charges due to roaming and international call. 30 Minutes soon passed. 40….50…..At this point I hung up, having no faith that the other person on the end of that phone, in a ridiculously understaffed support environment and decided to explore the digital route…



Online Web Support. 2 Hours, 3 phone calls, [inbound this time as I refused to be placed on hold again to pay premium charges] and repeated department transfersÂ….and that chat transcript suddenly became PDF gold. It was a complete shambles and evidently no one knew how to resolve the issue. The people on the corresponding line were deeply sympathetic to my situation but no one could provide any insight or resolution.



Simply stating that their systems wouldn’t allow them to dig deeper into the account to discover a resolution and that not even the fraud support team had access to the details of the suspension. “Your banking assets have been suspended pending review and we are under no obligation to tell you any further information”. This was the message that was relayed to me. Pointing me to a terms and conditions of banking law.



So here I am, stuck ‘abroad’, thousands of miles away from anywhere I could survive without money, with no solution, no time line for a resolution and in fact no insight into WHY this is happening. They left me in the dark. I was told it could be 2 days, but the person on the other end of the line sympathetically told me it could be 28 days.



Further research however led me to google which has an article posted in multiple newspapers saying that one individual lost access to his financial wellbeing for 3 months before they finally closed his account and returned his funds. In fact it would appear that Barclays are infamous for this. As pages upon pages of google search results were littered with Barclays messages. No other bank appeared more.



So my entire nomadic existence and remote freedom that I work tirelessly to maintain has been ‘FROZEN’. and my fate and wellbeing has been jeopardised by Barclays PLC. Today working remotely took an unfamiliar turn. Maintaining excellent business while working remote and controlling a team is and never will be a straight path. This however is one obstacle I cannot find a way through. Barclays Bank has essentially took control of my life and in doing so my business.



Barclays are apparently under no obligation to explain their actions to customers. Thanks to the closed review processes, customers like me will often never learn what offence they are supposed to have committed. In this case, Barclays claimed they are required to withhold information by law. But upon speaking to the Financial Ombudsman, this is merely an excuse used by banks to avoid explaining their actions.






“The bank is behaving as though suspicion is falling on the account holder. It can behave as though it has no duty of care towards this customer because it has none.”


This highlights the disastrous consequences of a lack of a duty of care in banking, and why we need to legislate for one urgently. They are holding me hostage and have locked down my assets and I there is absolutely nothing I can do to regain control. I am at the mercy of Barclays Bank.






“The Financial Services and Markets Act says firms should ‘treat customers fairly".


Shouldn’t the Act be amended to specify what constitutes a ‘reasonable’ duty of care to ensure banks act in the best interests of their customers? My case highlights the disastrous consequences to individuals when they don’t.



I asked to speak to someone who was actually "reviewing" my account. Oh no, that's not allowed. They are shadowy figures sequestered away in a dimly lit office in Canary Wharf somewhere and no one is allowed to know who they really are. Excuse me for being cynical but I have just spent my entire day fighting a lost cause.



Among the questions I'd have liked addressed were:

Why in such cases, is the first response not to call, text or email the account owner and verify any potentially suspicious activity instantly with them or at least make them aware there is a problem?
Why do Barclays not provide a true reverse charge number for international cases, such as is provided by all the major credit card companies and many other banks?
Why do Barclays not have somebody available 24/7/365 to deal with international EMERGENCY cases? Tonight I will document myself sleeping rough for I refuse to stay in accommodation that I am uncertain that I can pay; at least not without a timeline I could use to evaluate when a resolution will become available and MY MONEY returned (and it is unlikely I will sleep at all) because no-one was available to deal with the problem.
Why did the Barclays customer service team give, at best, incorrect and at worst deliberately misleading information about the phone contact number when dealing with my case?


So the lesson I can share with you all todayÂ…is that if I one you decide you'd quite like to be treated like a potential fraudster/criminal when attempting attempting to run a business or order a meal, then Barclays bank is the bank for you. If however you don't want to be prevented from spending your own money on essentials like food, transport and shelter then I would suggest not using Barclays bank for your current account. However who knows maybe I can scrape a deal and get my hand on one of their bikes?! At least that would solve my transport woes.



OhÂ…on another noteÂ…Barclays did ask me if I could report to a local branch!? This was after explaining to 10 different employees at Barclays; that I am stranded in Europe. Yet they think itÂ’s acceptable to ask me to somehow teleport myself into a local branch in the UK - Okay Barclays, I'll hitchhike a plane will I??



So it appears that I am going to get a whole new perspective of living remoteÂ…LetÂ’s hope the weather isnÂ’t too coldÂ….Lets hope it doesnÂ’t take Barclays PLC 28 days to rescue me from the misery they have created.



I have since learnt that in the majority of cases the account should be free within two weeks. In a minority of cases the account will be frozen for up to about six weeks, perhaps slightly longer - all whilst a bewildered customer suffers in silence.



To make matters worse for consumers, the new Criminal Finances Bill includes a proposal that would allow a court to extend the ‘moratorium period’ by up to a further six months (an additional 186 days) which would mean that an account could be frozen for up to about 32 weeks without a ‘restraint order’. This is not yet law.] Where a ‘restraint order’ is obtained the account will remain frozen after that.






“Not all who wander are lost...”


This is a quote I LIVE byÂ…however in this moment, I am not just LOST, I am CONFUSED, UPSET and somewhat DISILLUSIONED as to how this type of act is legal.



BARCLAYS - I AM A PERSON, A HUMAN BEING....NO MATTER WHICH ARTICLE OR ACT YOU OPERATE UNDER. You've made me feel like a CRIMINAL WHEN IN FACT I AM A VICTIM.



So whatÂ’s next in the life for this nomadÂ….Your guess is as good as mine as temporarily I am no longer the master of my fate...but hey at least McDonalds has free WIFI...

#2
HAs anyone indicated why your account has been frozen ? If not then it could be something like money laundering investigations, in which case Barclays have no control and cannot tell you anything about it either.

#5
"Work remotely and travel extensively for clients..........."



You're not a hit-man, are you? That would explain large amounts of cash hitting your account at irregular intervals.

#6
Haha. These replies are hilarious. The reality is that I portrayed a story and the somewhat comical aspect of that story was obviously a little too much for some.



On a serious note however; 'all of my eggs' weren't in one basket. My business account was suspended, my personal account suspended, my savings account suspended, my credit cards suspended....How many baskets does one business need? Maybe you could enlighten me?

#7



"Work remotely and travel extensively for clients..........."



You're not a hit-man, are you? That would explain large amounts of cash hitting your account at irregular intervals.
Originally posted by Shakin Steve


I wish. Unfortunately it's not quite as interesting.

#8
I thought this was a scam at first, purporting to be the relative of a deposed king who desperately needs our help in getting 99 squillion Ugandan dollars out of the country.

#9



On a serious note however; 'all of my eggs' weren't in one basket. My business account was suspended, my personal account suspended, my savings account suspended, my credit cards suspended....How many baskets does one business need? Maybe you could enlighten me?
Originally posted by Kodogo


I can't be bothered to waste my time reading what in all probability is a made up story, but on the point above, were all of these accounts with the same bank? If so then your eggs were indeed all in one basket.

#10



Haha. These replies are hilarious. The reality is that I portrayed a story and the somewhat comical aspect of that story was obviously a little too much for some.



On a serious note however; 'all of my eggs' weren't in one basket. My business account was suspended, my personal account suspended, my savings account suspended, my credit cards suspended....How many baskets does one business need? Maybe you could enlighten me?
Originally posted by Kodogo


It was all too much for me to bother reading.



But when I go overseas I have products from four different banks in my wallet.

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