Angry Customer No# 3

Saw a guy yesterday that was very unhappy that he had £200 missing from a £1000 bundle.
The guys story went that he had just been into another bank with 2 bundles and the cashier there said she thought one felt ‘light’ she weighed it and said it was £200 short, he then said the cashier opened the bag (it was sealed up until this point) and counted it by hand.  She confirmed it was short, and so the customer took back some of the money and came to see us.
I said from the outset there might not be a lot that we can do as we always suggest counting the money out to the customer before they take it away.
On this occasion it was revealed it wasn’t the customer in front of me that had withdrawn the money, but his ’76 year old frail elderly mother, who wouldn’t have wanted the money counted out in front of her’ he got very irate that I hadn’t just given him the ‘missing’ £200. I also asked why the other bank had opened the bag and not come to see us straight away with the bag still sealed, the response was she said it would be ok as we could phone her at the other bank and she’d confirm that it was sealed up until she had opened it and this would be fine!
I will try to help customers as much as I can….they are normal people, and a bank worth millions and millions can
probably afford £200 easier than the average man/frail old lady on the street. But these bags were dated 2013, 2 years old, which is longer than the records we keep in the branch for, again when I told him this bit of information he again lost it.
At this point I am past trying to help, as being rude and offensive isn’t a way to get me to try and help sort something. So I gave him the complaints leaflet and said he should ask his mother to  complain, or at least help her, as there was nothing more I could do. He then asked what his mother had to do with this situation as he was the one complaining, I was losing the will to live at this point but had to explain she was the one that had withdrawn the money in the first place, his response was ‘she is old frail and 76’ (I’d heard this plenty of times already!) And did not want to get her involved!!!! I gave up, told him how it was, and after a few more expletives from the customer he upped and left…..

After he had gone I did wonder what had happened to this money(he did sound genuine) but I checked the dates and there was no money over on the days the bags were sealed. (I did try to help even though the guy was horrible). Why I don’t know… Was he trying to pull a fast one I don’t know! He seemed pretty genuine, but I guess we’ll never know

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Angry Customer No # 2

Shouting and swearing is not a way to endear me to help someone!
I did feel a little bit sorry for this lady to start with, however, talking to me or anyone in the manner she did would not encourage anyone to go that extra mile.
She came in to withdraw some money from an account and was very miffed when the cashier kept the debit card and challanged her as to why the date of birth stated showed the account holder to be in her late 80’s but the lady in the branch appeared to be at least 30 years younger. It turned out there was also a block on the card due to unusual activity on the account.
The unusual activity was because it wasn’t her account (we guessed this), but it was her mother’s and she was using it on her behalf as she was in hospital (for 7 weeks we were told).
So anyway the fraud dept told us we were not able to hand the card back as we’d need to speak to the actual account holder, the lady then launched into a tirade of abuse that we couldn’t speak to her mother as she was in hospital etc and the bank was useless and she would be telling her mother to move her account and so on. As there was nothing else anyone could do she reluctantly left the branch telling anyone she could what she thought of the bank.
About an hour and a half later she came back in rather smugly (we were expecting round two!) And asked for the card in question back as she had been on the phone and sorted it out. We checked and sure enough the mother (who earlier was absolutely unable to talk on the phone) had been on the phone and requested her card be given to the nice lady currently stood in our branch!
The only joy we had left was that she again tried to take money from the account over the counter, we refused again as it was not her account! And suggested the atm!
All this coukd/should have been resolved a lot sooner, but her attitude stunk,  we she wouldn’t let herself be helped by building obstacles for us and herself…..politeness costs nothing and goes along way.

Selling

The banks no longer sell, this is what they would have you believe, although banks are commercial businesses,  they need to do this to stay in business,  if they make no money they make no money.
The culture of my bank at the moment is very much look at the needs of the customer first not the bank, but at the moment no one has ‘targets’ so no one really knows what they are working towards and it seems like no one does anything. Across the bank the number of accounts, cards loans and home insurance sold has all dropped because we don’t have targets….. how long this will last I don’t know as it can’t be sustainable like this.
Apparantly this isn’t a problem for lloyds as they receive emails like this:

“As I am sure you are all aware the commerciality of your appointments is crucial to our success as a team andindividually.
After 6 team working days we have only helped 1 customer, which is worrying as realistically we should have helped at least 3/4.
Please review your forward diary for the rest of the week – and pre qualify all appointments to ensure we are seeing customers who need and want our help for their largest financial commitment. Please look to replace any appointments where we can with customers who could benefit from our excellent rates and offers

This is only part of it as it then goes on to threaten bonuses being cut if this isn’t achieved, lloyds have a bonus built in to their salary, which they can then cut, almost like a commission so if they lose it, their basic is pretty low.

I feel sorry for lloyds a bit (I don’t really) but this could have happened to any bank being caught out, this is what they will be annoyed about,  not the email the fact they were caught!!

In our bank it is no different (no emails yet ) but we’ll have a morning preview everyday of our dairy, anything that looks rubbish, (anyone we can’t sell to, just a servicing appointment) we’ll be asked why it’s in our diary and why we couldn’t move it out, my reply is you give cashiers a target to book prompts, they will fill the diary with them. Also this is correct in a culture of not being target driven our cashiers still have a target to book prompts! I will talk about prompts in another post.

So have the banks and FCA leant from the last few years and changed anything? Err no. They have changed their name FCA not FSA. and the banks have appeared to change their attitudes towards customers and dealings with them, will it last? Banks need to make money, as soon as they realise they are losing money (or at least not making as much as they used to) they will slip back to their bad old ways. But they’ll try and do it quietly so one notices or minds,  slowly sales bonuses will be back and once the FCA is satisfied the banks are doing things correctly ( from their mystery shops etc) these will die out and I have no doubt some of the old practices will reappear (not from me of course) and no one will mind because everyone will be making money again….at the expense of the most important people,  us…..who have no choice but to use the banks!

Also here is a couple of links to the story in the banks favourite paper the mail and one or two others.

The Mail
This Is Money

Angry Customer No# 1

This may be the first blog on this subject, but I am sure there will be many more!!

Had a customer in the bank today demanding to know why he couldn’t find out his daughters account balance, there was some problem with her card and he was trying to use it in the cash machine. I told him that as it was not his card I could not look in to it for him, he then went bat shit  crazy saying that as he was her father he had every right to know what was going on in her account!
I told him calmly that she would have to as the account holder get in contact with us, but he didn’t like it one buy called me all sorts (not actual all sorts like the sweets) snatched the card and stormed out effing and blinding …..lovely guy.

July 1st The Start of the New Quarter

Today is a Wednesday, is this any old Wednesday?  Definitely not, because it is also July 1st, the start of a new quarter.
What this means is that anyone in a bank and possibly any sales job can forget about what has happened up until yesterday as it doesn’t matter anymore! You could have been the top performer for the last 3 years but now you are all equal again, in the same way you may have been rubbish, but for a few days now you are all equal again.
In the new culture that the banks employ….customer service is key rather than sales. We may do less in the way of holding sales back from the last couple of days or weeks of a quarter to give us a flying start in the new one, but I am sure it still happens. Pretending the system is not working probably or some error we would have to deal with to get an application put through, magically all these system problems  would be fixed on the first day of every quarter.  It was never done (to my knowledge) to disadvantage a customer, but  it was thought quite normal to hold back a new account or a loan that a customer might be waiting for to purchase a new car or a holiday!!
Things are a lot better than they used to be but I am sure this will come a full circle as banks realise they are not ‘selling’ enough credit cards or mortgages as a result of not targeting their staff for particular products anymore.

Angry Banker

When I decided to start a blog I thought this website name www.theangrybanker.com  would be quite good, I paid for the domain name etc and started blogging,

I’ve just typed angry banker in to to google , I hope I am not going to get a whole load of people expecting something different! Because when you search for it, the urban dictionary suggests the angry banker is something very different to what I ever thought!!!!!

If you want to find out the alternative meaning here it is……. The Angry Banker 

Phone Out Nights

Recently the branch held a ‘phone out night’. These are nights where we are all encouraged to stay late one evening to contact customers that either aren’t able to come in during the normal 9-5 hours or just choose not to, since the advent of the internet and internet banking, there is no real need to. In reality even though we do not have ‘targets’ any more, the real reason behind these call out lists are that the banks need to target people of working age….people with mortgages and people with spare income etc. People that come in to the bank 9-5, retired or people on benefits for example are of no interest to the banks (what will they make them).

These nights no one likes staying behind for, as everyone including management (although they wouldn’t say it) believe they are a waste of time. (We employ a telephony team so surely these are the people that should be spending time on the telephones).

What will normally happen with the contact lists (a contact list is a list of customers who have given permission to be contacted re additional products or services, or at least not said no) is on a monthly basis we get an amount as a branch to phone though out the month, these will normally happen as we can, but it is universally accepted that these are not really that good (bordering on complete rubbish), if they are phoned they are done half heartedly, if they aren’t, they are moved out the queue having pretended to have been called.

Often branch managers will agree with their staff that so long as a decent number of these calls are made they wont bother with a call out night. This is unless you have a new young enthusiastic manager keen to make an impression on higher management. Meaning even though we already had an over full diary, we most definitely needed a call out night (we had a diary full of the wrong type of customer).

Anyway, in my particular branch we are incredibly short staffed (no surprise), meaning any appointments we do book are placed in to a diary full to capacity for the next ten days, so any appointments that are booked are put in 2 weeks in advance. meaning that by the time these appointments come to happen, they will either not turn up or will cancel, making the whole evening pointless! plus making about 20 calls and speaking to only 3 or 4 people who aren’t annoyed that you have interrupted their dinner, can leave you a bit demotivated.

We stayed for about an hour and a half, this is the second night recently, both have happened strangely on days when the manager has not been in the branch, I presume this I an incredible coincidence!! so I have now given up my time on 2 separate occasions to the tune of 3 hours, inconveniencing home life etc, yet trying to take this time back, this is a different matter, you are not allowed to book it far in advance due to ‘operational needs’, and with an overfull diary there is never any free time to claim this back, my goodwill can only go so far!!

Rant Over 🙂