This is a small gripe and a warning for those people who do the UK National Lottery online as I do from time-to-time as the less contact with "people" in person the better.
You will have to pay a small sum of money if you happen to have funds in your online account and your debit card number changes. It’s not a lot; but it also seems to be not entirely fair if you ask me. Which you didn’t. The reason for this is outlined below:
1. If your debit card number changes then you won’t be able to add or remove funds to your account.
2. If you have money in your account then you can’t change the debit card number.
This is a problem. On the face of it, point 2 appears to be to prevent someone else logging in and transferring cash out. Which would be fine until you factor in point 1. If your card changes but there are funds in your account then you can’t change the card number until those funds are removed … which you can’t do because your card number has changed. Classic Catch-22 situation.
This means you will have to phone up a not free phone number and talk to a customer service person. After listening through a long-winded automated system. And there’s a special warning with regards to the automated system: even though you want to change your debit card number on no account should you press the option to "change your debit card number!" Why? Well, because rather than take you to someone or thing that can change your debit card number – as you might guess (you fool!) – you will instead be read back the same information you found online before you resorted to phoning in because it doesn’t work and you will then be returned to the main menu options where you will have to listen all over again and this time wait for the "for the love of zombie Jesus please put a human on this damn line!" option instead. And even that’s not a fun experience as you’ll need to still go through all the steps to setting up your new card online while on the phone so they can override the error messages. Several minutes on a not free call to change your debit card number. Just so you know.
And, if like me you think "well, there’s only 5p in the account so I’ll just close the account and open a new one as that will be both cheaper and faster" then think again. You can’t close the account and, even better, you can’t open a new one if it suspects you’ve already opened one before.
It’s supposed to be easier to play the National Lottery online. To a point it is, but this issue with debit cards and account balances is the result of a poorly-designed system.
Suggestions for improvements:
1. Put the process of changing the card online. Keep the same security questions and checks but take out the need to phone up.
2. How about the first option on the phone being "If you’ve read the instructions online and your answer isn’t there or it doesn’t work and you really don’t want to waste time and money by pressing buttons simply to hear the same instructions you’ve found online being read back to you like you’re a child then press 1 and you’ll be connected to a human?"