Ballad of Barclaycard

Katherine’s a good friend of mine, and we were recently talking about the effect of disengagement on customer service. Katherine told me the tale of her ongoing Barclaycard experience. I shan’t go into all the details, but the story is a catalogue of lost paperwork, waiting for the contact centre to answer, failed promises on call backs, and a breakdown of trust. At one point while Barclaycard were searching for (another) lost debit mandate, Katherine was advised by them to pay her monthly credit card bills twice, just to make sure she didn’t incur any debit interest! As far as I know – the matter is not yet resolved.

Regular readers may know that when I recently heard of a similar story involving BT, a short song helped a friend and BT customer to a swifter resolution. Who knows what will happen this time? Are you listening Barclaycard?

Verse 1:

I sent you my debit mandate, and you lost it

I sent another, then another, to be sure

Then you said that I should pay you twice

While you try to find it

So I won’t incur any interest

Are you sure?


I’m lost in the call centre of incompetence

You’re a big company can it really be that hard

I’m asking you to reinstate my debit mandate

I’m going off you very quickly Barclaycard

Verse 2:

Now the months go by and still you keep me waiting

I pay you manually, don’t trust you any more

I dread to think what you are doing to my credit rating

With all these errors, it’s probably gone through the floor


I’m lost in the call centre of incompetence

You’re a big company can it really be that hard

I’m asking you to reinstate my debit mandate

I’m going off you very quickly Barclaycard

Author: Doug Shaw

Artist and Consultant. Embracing uncertainty, sketching myself into existence. Helping people do things differently, through an artistic lens.

9 thoughts on “Ballad of Barclaycard”

  1. Hi Doug,

    It’s Sara here from the Barclaycard PR team. Firstly, we think you’ve got a real talent for songwriting! Secondly, your friend is obviously having difficulties with Barclaycard so we want to help. We followed you on Twitter and asked that you follow back so we can send you a direct message. However if you would prefer us to leave this alone then we will respect that. Just wanted your friend to know that we’re here to help if they need us.

    If we can help please follow us back on Twitter and we can DM you,



    1. Hi Sara – thank you soooo much for getting in touch. I will follow you on Twitter and I’m sure we can connect the right people – sort this out and then sing a nice reprise together!

      Cheers for now – and thanks again for the contact


  2. Hi Doug, I’ve just sent you a DM with some contact details, if you can send over a bit more information that would be great.



    Ps, not sure my singing voice is up to a reprise but I play a mean tambourine 🙂

    1. Hi Sara – I’ve passed on your details and encouraged my friend to get in touch. On the subject of encouragement, I’m encouraged too by the way this is evolving. Several people have commented to me via other channels over the weekend about the Barclaycard response so far, like me they are encouraged, and broadly positive. Thanks again for your time so far.


  3. Doug – great stuff again. And I so hope that Barclaycard come through on this. But…. it starts to feel that social media strategies (to connect with customers authentically and help them out) are all a bit glossy if there isnt serious organisational intent to deal with the systemic service challenges. In my new job I have the chance to get this right across the piece – a social media team that absolutely is wired into the service improvement agenda and feeds and sees root cause improvements. Now just have to make it live up to what it could do! Keep well, keep singing.

    1. Hey Darren – nice to hear from you. I think you make an excellent point about the systemic side of things. So I’m pleased to hear you have an opportunity to connect purpose to people to….aaaaggghhh can’t think of another p. Well, to great service. Wishing you well, tra la laaaaa.

  4. Good news! My friend has been in touch with Barclaycard and they’ve helped to solve the problem. The note below explains…

    “Hi Doug – Angela from the director’s office called me today and within 2 hours had resolved my debit mandate issue. Turns out that the person who was tasked to set it up didn’t know how and therefore it was never done correctly. They have now identified this and training will be given.

    They have also gone on to 3 credit agency websites to update my credit rating which was obviously bad seeing the rest of the world didn’t think I was paying off my credit card since Feb!

    My thanks to you – if it hadn’t been for the dramatic and creative way you got their attention, I would still be sitting here with a diminishing life expectancy as a result of the stress and hitting my head against a brick wall.

    What is the solution for the man in the street?????

    Cheers and the next round is on me!”

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