LloydsTSB - cannot use debit card abroad

Discussion in 'Finance, Property, Law' started by OldSnowy, Sep 18, 2008.

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  1. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    A long story - I've been a satisfied customer of Lloyds for many years. My money goes in every month, and bills come out. It works well enough. However, earlier this month I was in Germany, and tried to get some cash from a cashpoint on a US base. It didn't work. Well, no big deal, thought I. Then, that evening, loud call from Missus, the bank fraud people had been on to her, my card had been used in the USA, and was blocked. Only I (not her, despite it being a joint account) could unblock it. After a very long (and therefore expensive) call to them that evening, they unblocked it.

    I'm off soon to Afghanistan. To avoid the same thing happening again (and in a place where mobiles are not allowed) I went to my local branch, to warn them. They cannot do anything - I must call the special number....... I did so, and was told that it is not possible to put any advance 'unblock' or warning on my account. In short, the first time I use any card - debit or credit - outside my normal 'pattern' of spending, it will be blocked, until I (NOT my wife) call to get it cleared. This is, apparently, an improvement on the previous, manual system, where they used to put a not on the file, saying "Smith is abroad for 6 months, expect odd things happening on his account" (Unusual for me being nothing spent on beer for a change).

    The customer services person said it was the same for all banks - but I know this to be bollox, as my son was in Germany last month, and all HSBC needed was a call to them before he went, and all was fine.

    Well, after 25+ years with Lloyds, when I get back they can stuff it. I've complained, but a fat lot of good that will do me.

    So, a warning - DO NOT bank with Lloyds if you intend to try to use any plastic - even Debit Card - outside the UK, where 'phone coverage is poor.
  2. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    I had the same problem
    Spent about $30 trying to explain to a dozy welsh bit that I was in Allamarah Iraq and couldn't just nip out to a cashpoint and use it as she was requesting to prove it was me despite giving secret passwords,and personal details
    I was so annoyed I left Lloyds TSB and opened an account at the Halifax.....................

  3. Or perhaps you'd be right in thanking your bank?? What if you had your card cloned, and someone was stealing your cash?

    It takes a long time to recover stolen funds, sometimes months. A lot longer than it takes to call them up and clear the matter.

    The advice you were given is wrong. They can't stop the security "flag", but they can put a note on your account to stop it being blocked. I always call my bank before travelling. Just in case.
  4. Conversely, when my card was cloned and used in Norway, LloydsTSB picked it up sufficiently for me to receive an unintelligible phone-call from a computer that cut off after 5 seconds, but not enough to stop the money being lost to the account (although since repaid to me).

    Card fraud is big bucks (and funds terrorism esp in Sri Lanka) so I can see why they need to be cautious.

    Have a good trip OS (what job are you doing?)
  5. I've had absolutely no problems with using my debit card in sunnier climes. However, they did stop it when I was on holidays in Thailand but I rang up, raised holy jihad with them and also got them to recompense me my mobile telephone costs from abroad to sort out the mess (£1.50 a min).

    I've got it on my account that I travel abroad frequently and I very very rarely have issues with Lloyds.


    I will PM you the LloydsTSB Forces number later this evening. Speak to them-they're more switched on to Forces issues than the local branches as I have found out.
  6. Happens to me occassionally and it really is fecking annoying.

    Top tip (Barclays anyway).

    DO NOT ask for the fraud people because they can't do anything, particularly if you haven't got your telephone banking sh1t with you.

    DO ASK for the Debit Card people as it is ONLY they who can unblok the fecking card.

    Smudge I take your point but when your are in Belgrade, Sofia or some other sh1thole at cnut o' clock in the morning with no cash its not really easy to be that objective. And pre-warning the B(w)ankers doesn't seem to help.
  7. Go Nationwide and you don't pay charges on foreign withdrawals. I have an account with them for travel and one with Lloyds that gives free travel insurance (if you keep 30% of the GDP in the account at all times). PM me and I'll give you the sort codes, account numbers and mother's maiden name.
  8. I've been to Sofia. Did some work at the MOD HQ there. It's a shithole of a place. The work we did in Varna with the Navy was far more agreeable.
  9. acl

    acl Old-Salt

    I bank with 3 different banks, to keep different eggs in different baskets. When I go abroad I only ever use Nationwide. You don't need to ring them to let them know you're using your card abroad and they don't charge you for using them, it's completly free.
    You will have a max daily withdrawal limit of £300 but you could withdraw money everyday should you need large amounts.

    I've never had any issues with a cloned card or accounts, but I never ever let my wallet be out of my sight or share personal details with anyone.

    I take secure banking to the next level, due to fraud. You can never be too cautious nowadays and thanks to my paranoia, I've never had any problems. I recommend people to do the same.
  10. OldSnowy

    OldSnowy LE Moderator Book Reviewer

    Thanks for all the useful comments so far; it is obvious that when Lloyds told me that "all Banks are the same" over this, that they were talking out of their arrse.

    They'll get their comeuppance on my return - if they don't go bankrupt in the meanwhile............
  11. Never had a problem myself. My only problem was when I spent an absolute fortune in one day prior to an Adventure Trg Ex. I phoned from a shop to clear the drama.

    Old Snowy, I can only imagine the drama may have been caused by you using your card "in Germany" as it were, and then using it "in America" in a time frame that the computers know can´t be achieved.

    It can happen on NAAFI sites too, where a sale in the shop is recording "in UK", but cash out of a machine at the NAAFI door is recorded as "in Germany".

    Simple expedient, dual bank accounts or swap the head of household to your wife.

    I haven´t been affected by this yet mind.
  12. I first had this problem a few years back with Woolwich, it was understandable as the country I had used my card in was less desirable than say, Germany for example. Since then Woolwich has become Barclays and I have continued to have this problem every year at some point.

    Its not a drama in the UK, happened in July. Straight in to Barclays to unblock it.

    Now whenever I go abroad I plan for it to happen, ensure I have my telephone banking details that I require and they unblock it. Lets face it if they didn't block it and some one started emptying your account over 24hrs you would be well p1ssed.
  13. Spoke to Barclays business before spending a fortnight in the Alps with work, they were great and thanked me for telling them, logged details including dates on my account - no problems at all whilst out there.
  14. Cant see the problem to be honest. Just had exactly the same problem using card abroad. Phoned the Lloyds anti fraud number, got straight through to an English person in England and after a quick security question, et voila card sorted. Much rather that than some Albanian scroat spending my flying pay without my knowledge.

    Its half of one and six of the other really. Minor imbuggerance to unblock card once youre initially abroad or get your account cleared out by johnny foreigner?
  15. Its such a feeble amount its probably the only country you could spend it in :D

    I know mate, you just wanted to tell us you are a pilot :D