I have now reached the point of assuming that the UK does not want Premium Bond holders if they do not live in the UK.
It has taken approx. four months to get back online so that I may sort out my account with them.
One cannot easily contact them via email and if you try to telephone it must be done at precisely 08.00 (CET) otherwise you will be waiting for 30/50 minutes before getting through. If you can, then the operator has no authority and can only tell you what is on their computer screen, do not ask to be put through to a manager/supervisor, they cannot do this.
What they can do is organise to have a form sent to you to fill in via post but it can take 4/5 weeks to arrive in Benidorm due to their type of postal system. Do not try and complain, it is of no use.
Once I was told on the telephone that they need proof of my signature as they have no record of this despite having had Bonds with them for over 25/30 years! All I required was to be able to organise a new password as I had been locked out!
In all the time I had problems I was sent 5/8 temporary passwords – after entering you are told to check your telephone number on you profile for they will then send an automatic number to you, nothing happened so after trying three times I was frozen out again.
The next one came four weeks later. So this time I telephoned them first and managed to speak to an operator who said that they can put my new mobile number in for me. She even asked for the country code and said ‘all done’.
The next time I tried to get to my account it blocked me out and the screen showed that the password had been suspended again so I started the whole procedure all over again. It was not until the last telephone call about this point that I was told that I could not use a Spanish number — I then stated that I have lived in Spain for some 23 years and did not have a UK number – he then told me to use someone in the UK!
This was the first time in over four months that I was told that numbers outside the UK do not work on their system.
The answer was for me to use my son’s number which immediately was incorrect for my profile.
Low and behold, it worked. I can now enter my own account with NS&I where I will withdraw all my money so the UK government will be a little worse off.
Conclusion – your profile must show a UK number even if it is not yours. Plus after filling in at least twelve different forms ( and some more than once) and having made 15 telephone calls since December I am now convinced that NS&I (Premium Bonds) do not want my money and certainly nobody if you do not live in the UK,
Dear reader, be aware !