Banking On Getting The Right Number

, , , , , , | Right | September 12, 2018

(When I moved into my first home, I got a phone line installed. However, after a few months, I kept coming home to messages on my answering machine with customers leaving their account numbers and all sorts of sensitive information, sometimes even PINs! I deleted them all right away, but eventually one customer mentioned the bank name in their message. I reported this to the bank, and it turned out that my phone number was one digit different from a new one they had just gotten, so lots of customers were simply misdialing. Horrified, the bank put up notices in the bank and sent out letters reminding customers not to leave such sensitive details in messages, but also about how many had been leaving this information on the answering machine of a personal residence and to be extra careful when dialing. They were in the process of changing their number, but they said it would take a while. Because I had only recently gotten my own number, my phone provider wouldn’t change it without charging, so I decided to wait for the bank to change their number, instead; after all, I had gotten mine first. All the while, I kept receiving the messages, which I always deleted, but occasionally I would be home when somebody called. This is one such occasion.)

Me: *answering the phone not long after waking up* “Hello?”

Customer: “Well, that’s not a very professional way to answer the phone.”

Me: “I’m sorry?”

Customer: “Ugh. You’re new. In my day, we trained staff to be respectful to customers whether they phoned or came into the branch in person. Young people are always so disrespectful; you really don’t deserve your jobs.”

Me: *finally clicking* “Oh. You’re looking for [Bank].”

Customer: “Yes, dearie, or is that too taxing for you? Get me your manager; I will not tolerate this.”

Me: “Oh. Sorry, this isn’t the bank—”

Customer: “Oh, trying to wiggle out of this, are you? Well, it won’t work! You’ll be lucky to get hired to scrub toilets after I’m done talking to your manager! Get him immediately!”

Me: “You’re calling a private residence. This is not the bank.”

Customer: “Wait, are you hacking their phone line? I’m phoning the police! You’re going to steal all my money—”

Me: “No, the bank’s new number is one digit different from mine. I have told them, and they’ve sent out letters to all their customers. They’ve also put notices up in branch. It’s the last digit. A lot of people accidentally misdial it. The banks are going to change their number, but they said it will take a while. Hopefully it’ll be sorted soon.”

(There is a long pause.)

Customer: “I don’t believe you. You’re a thief trying to steal my money! I am going to go to the bank and tell them right away! I hope you enjoy prison! They won’t tolerate your rudeness, either.”

Me: “Sure. Go to the branch. You might see the bright yellow notices up there telling you about this.”

(I hung up. I never heard anything after that, but a few weeks later, all the calls stopped. I guess the bank finally sorted it out.)

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