Monday, 25 November 2013

In which I take agin Marks & Spencer

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a middle aged lady in need of food and cardigans and suchlike fripperies must attend her local branch of Marks & Spencer, It's a comfortable place for the MAL, we feel safe there. Oh sure I also worship at the other altars, to whit John Lewis, Emma Bridgewater and The White Company (The Holy Trinity) but good old M&S, bastion of middle England and the MAL and I go back a long way. It's not exciting but it's safe.

I buy pants there, I love my (now very old) sofas, I have had insurance from them, food is a given and my only credit card is from there. There cannot be a room in my house that doesn't have an M&S purchase in it.

But we have fallen out, I have taken agin them in a big way. If you read that their profits have taken a nose dive, you can explain to all your fancypants FT reading friends why, in fact, feel free to go on News at 10 and tell the nation, nodding sagely and whipping off your MAL reading specs in a sexy manner to make your point, let your inner financial expert loose.

Now I know you will be hugely surprised that despite being married for nearly a whole year now, I still haven't actually managed to change my name across the board, I know you're shocked now, me being a failed grown up! As I am terrified Mr auntiegwen will leave me if I don't change my name to Mrs Adventures, I have grasped the mettle, I got not 1 but 2 replacement marriage certificates and began a frankly terrifying round of efficiency. I am now Mrs Adventures in all 3 of my bank accounts, the council tax people, work, the tax office, the DVLA, the library, do you need to have a wee rest now? Is my efficiency wearing you out? Most probably scaring you, I expect. The very last people to hear the long ringing peal of my wedding bells were M&S MasterCard.

They wished me to send them a copy of my marriage certificate, I did so, by very special mail, as it was a very special certificate. I heard nothing, I don't fret, I expect they're very busy fending off criticism of their Christmas advert/new season clothing range/diminishing quality/insert other of your choice here.

Whilst I am still being very what splendid and efficient but this time at work, they call me and ask me to call them back. I do so, I am a compliant sort of auntie mostly, I speak to someone in the call centre who tells me I am about to receive a mailing meant for someone else, not to read it but send it straight back, I agree, slightly puzzled. This mailing never arrived. A few days later I get another call from them, again I am being very what splendid and efficient and they leave another voicemail. This time I get a real number to phone, a direct extension to a real person with a name, this is most unusual.

I ring to be told that M&S were changing not just mine but another lady's name on their credit card and they sent my certificate to her and hers to me. But the M&S lady assures me that the lady who got my certificate had sent it back and had signed a disclaimer that stated

I confirm that I have returned all of the information sent to me in error. I agree not to make use of, or retain any of this information

How reassuring.

Now as of yet I haven't got the other marriage certificate, it was sent recorded delivery so hopefully it can be found.

Mr auntiegwen is furious, I want to say he is incandescent with rage because I love that expression, he's not quite that mad but he is mightily pissed off that I am having to trust someone I don't know not to use either of our details not to mention our mothers as both of them were our witnesses. There is a frightening amount of information on that certificate, our names and DOB, my former name, our mothers names including maiden names which are a very common security question and both mothers addresses also. He has also taken agin the fact that I have to sign a disclaimer saying I won't use the other person details either, he finds that the height of cheek.

In the letter they sent me telling me this, there is only 1 sorry, I think there should be lots of sorries and lots of we will proactively register you all with CIFAS and pay for this so all sorts of hoops and what colour are your grannies pants have to be gone through before people can come and steal my identity.

Warning
If you steal my identity then you have to have all the bits of my life I don't like/can't be arsed to deal with/am afeared of as well as my good credit rating.


Instead of leaving me to Google and fret and Google and fret and Google and fret.

Shame on you M&S, the auntie is cross, the auntie is very, very cross and is about to compose a very "Outraged of Market Harborough" type letter.

13 comments:

Andy said...

I'm more worried about your identity being stolen than mine. I would imagine there are Russian mafioso organising a benefit as we speak to fund an alternative identity for me because they think I could do with a break.....

auntiegwen said...

Andrew - please stop it, people will think you need a break from me. My wifely track record's not the best...

Andy said...

Oh you are not even of Isthmian League (yes I googled it) standard when compared to the Premiership bastards who are apparently making it their aim to turn my life into a passable representation of the Jeremy Kyle Show at the moment. So, for the record, I'm quite happy on the wife front thankyouverymuch.

K Ville said...

To be honest I wouldn't sign a 'I will not' letter. I'm too stubborn. I would tell them that if I was that kind of person that would then signing a 'I will not' would not stop me doing so. So signing it means absolutely nothing, so sue me you incompetent arses. And that is precisely why my life is a customer service shouty fest.

I would also say reassuringly that the other mrs m&s is also as stressed as you about it. She too is a middle everything lady who doesn't know how to sell your details to Romania and is too distracted by Facebook to google it. Don't stress, most people are genuine and honest. You could ring your bank and talk to the fraud department that you are worried your details may have been compromised and ask them to change their default security question to something else. Although infairness if someone was dead keen to steal your identity wouldn't they just read it at the records office? Basic default security questions are shit. My answers are all 'wrong'!

Gigi said...

Holy hell - really?!

I'm thinking that most people are basically honest and you should be fine - but this is a huge security breach and they should be falling all over themselves to make it right.

Ayak said...

They should at least send you a gift voucher :-)

I avoid M & S when I visit the UK. It brings back bad memories. When my son was a toddler he would have a meltdown in M & S. No other shop just M & S. I have no idea why

Nota Bene said...

Hang on. Were comments 1,2,3 you two having a domestic? Anyway, in my usual gentle fashion I would a) threaten them with the county court b) write to the chief executive Make a long list of all the things that are now vulnerable to being stolen/defrauded give it a value, multiply by 57.832 and demand a cheque

Little Red Hen said...

That is truly shocking.

libby said...

Noooooo......you should do what NB says.....p.s. when shall we have a xmas drink? can you manage one? xx

Curry Queen said...

I think the others are right - there should definitely be some compo coming your way. And I love the way you and NDC communicant via your blog. Reminds me of a certain Shah!

jonstorey said...

I wish some bugger would steal my identity.....!!

Looking for Blue Sky said...

Yep an M&S goodie basket in compensation arriving on Christmas Eve might be good :)

But yes, I have similar worries, and yet my DD1 laughs when I carefully shred every envelope that has a name on it...

blueskyscotland said...

I Used to shop at M&S all the time every 2nd Saturday in the main branch in the heart of the city centre then along came out of town supermarkets with cheaper clothes, food and other products. It's been years since I've been near one so not surprised the profits are down never mind any bad service issues.They must be finding it tough just to stay afloat as I honestly expect to see them appear as the next high street casualty soon. A Bridget Jones endorsement can only go so far.