So for the past five years, the bank Lloyds TSB have been sending me text updates about someone else’s bank account. They do a service where you can choose to be contacted about any changes via text, and I’m assuming someone made a mistake when giving their number and accidentally wrote down mine.
It started out as a text every other Monday with a balance and any money coming in or going out. And then every once in a while I’d get a phone call asking me to confirm a new direct debit or verify a payment. All information about someone else’s account, all being sent to me on a regular basis.
I’ve spoken to people at my local branch about this at least three times. The first two times I was basically ignored - one woman asked me repeatedly if I was sure it wasn’t my account even when I told her I didn’t bank with Lloyds, even insisting I gave her my postcode so she could check (I think she thought I was younger than I am, so therefore an idiot). The third and last time a different woman sat down and spoke to me properly, said she was going to sort it out and then didn’t. I got another text the week later.
The texts were annoying but they were an inconvenience I could handle. I was baffled and somewhat outraged by Lloyds seeming indifference to the fact they were regularly sharing someone’s private information with a stranger, but I just carried on deleting the texts as they arrived and ignoring the calls.
Today however, Lloyds called me twice within half an hour, text me between the calls and, after I ignored the second call, left me three identical voicemail messages, each at least a minute long, consisting of a section of automated questions about this random person’s account.
I was pissed.
So I went to the internet and tweeted angry messages about how Lloyds TSB has been breaching at least one of its customers’ security for going on five years and has repeatedly done nothing to stop it. I wasn’t even finished with my tirade when their account responded and told me to DM them my number so they could stop the texts - and to contact them again if they continue.
It seems if you want a company like Lloyds to get something done all you need to do is threaten their reputation on social media. I got better service from the person on the other end of the screen than I had from anyone in my local branch. Perhaps if I’d shouted about privacy breaches in front of their doors, it may have been resolved sooner.