Back to the 80s – my one man boycott of Barclays

This morning, I called Barclaycard and cancelled my card.

It's my one man protest about the shameful actions of Barclays in closing the Egg facility on Pride Park, leading to 659 job losses in Derby by the end of the year. They certainly know how to kick a city when it's down. Their announcement came hours after 3,000 people at Bombardier learnt that their jobs were under threat due to their failure to win a contract for new trains which went to Siemens in Germany instead.

Now, I admit my protest is going to be pretty ineffectual, but it does make me nostalgic for the student politics of the 1980s and the boycott of Barclays because of its involvement with apartheid South Africa. This isn't anything like as serious I guess. But what is hilarious is the way that Barclaycard responded to my tweet. Their rather inept (and obviously automated) attempt to engage me through twitter suggests to me that there may be good money to be made in advising corporates on how to use social media effectively, rather than just looking a little bit silly. Here's my exchange in its full glory.

@BarclaycardNews - auto-responder fail

In case you're wondering, the link @BarclaycardNews suggested I look at was their customer complaints procedure (no thanks "guys" – it's your problem, not mine). My link is to the BBC Derby article on the closure.

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Reader Comments

  1. Jacqui Sumner

    I have been with Barclays for 17 years now. I've always hated them, but can't seem to escape (something to do with extortionate charges when I was a single parent making me beholden to them forever). Good for you, I wish I could make a stand. Unfortunately, they rule my financial life and, unless I win the lottery, will continue to do so.

  2. Kathy Clark

    My son has just started working for Barclay's in the city as an intern, so I can't comment for once lol!
    But I do know what you mean. Living in the north we have been battered by redundancies, closures etc recently. Added to that the hit on the public sector (which is the major employer in many northern towns) is leaving some areas devastated…… hence the reason my son has had to up-sticks from Yorkshire and is now working at Canary Wharf 🙂
    There is most certainly a widening of the north-south division.

    • tim

      Hi Kathy,

      I spent my student years at Warwick in Coventry, which was a Midlands town that had been devastated in the war years, recovered, and then devastated again by the failures of policy in the 1970s and 1980s towards manufacturing industry. The song that keeps going around in my head at the moment is the Specials “Ghost Town”. I don’t think it’s so much of a North-South divide anymore – more a London and South-East vs everywhere else divide.

      Still, working in Canary Wharf must be interesting – it’s a great view from those buildings over London, certainly!


  3. Diane

    Also, Dream Academy’s ‘Life in a northern town’. I’m a Geordie but live in Sheffield now, and also work in the public sector. It’s always the northern towns that get hit the hardest.

Your thoughts?