Upon Balance, That Was A Stupid Thing To Ask

, , , , | Right | May 4, 2021

We got almost a foot of snow and ice last night, but we are still open. A customer comes sliding up the walkway, nearly faceplants into a snow pile, and enters the branch.

Customer: “Whew! It’s a nasty one, isn’t it? I’m surprised you guys are open! Why are you open?”

Me: “Oh, because people still come in to do banking, even on a day like this.”

Customer: “That’s ridiculous. Who would come out in all this snow just to go to the bank?”

Me: *Deadpan* “I have no idea, sir. What can I help you with today?”

Customer: “I just need my balance. That’s all.”

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Wasn’t Banking On It Being The Internet

, , , | Right | April 26, 2021

I greet my first customers of the day. They have an appointment because they can’t log into their online banking account, as they’ve told me on the phone.

I check their IDs, make sure their account isn’t blocked because of fraud or anything like that, and give them a new start password. They then hand me their laptop. I connect it to our WLAN and go on our homepage.

Me: “Now it’s your turn. Please type in your username and the new password I’ve given you to log in. Then you can select a new one, which you must keep secret.”

Customer: *Stares at the homepage* “How did you do this?”

Me: “Do what?”

Customer: “You’ve connected us to the online banking! We didn’t get that far.”

Me: “Wait… that was your problem with the online banking? You couldn’t load the homepage?”

They nod.

Me: “Have you tried loading other websites, like Google?”

Customer: “Yes. Those didn’t come up, either. So how have you done this?”

Me: “I think the problem is with your WLAN at home, not with your online account. You need to check why it isn’t working.”

Customer: “But what is wrong with it?”

Me: “Sorry, but I really don’t know. I just connected you to our WLAN here. You would need to call your Internet provider for help.” 

Customer: *Getting angry* “But you need to help us! Why don’t you know how to fix this?”

Me: “Because I’m a banker and not an Internet provider? I really don’t know how to help you.”

Customer: “But why don’t you know?”

They refused to listen to what I was saying and got angrier and angrier. Finally, they left in a huff, saying they would never come back because I refused to help them.

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I’ve Never Felt So Safe!

, , , , , | Working | April 26, 2021

I have just noticed some fraudulent charges on our bank account at a big box store in Texas from my husband’s debit card. I immediately check to see if he still has his card — he does — and then call to get it canceled.

As a matter of “security,” I know that the card shouldn’t even work out of state without someone calling in and setting a travel advisory.

Because it’s after hours on a Sunday, I have to wait until the next day to dispute the charges, which results in the following exchange.

Bank Accounts Manager: “What can I help you with?”

Me: “My husband’s card was used in Texas, and I need to dispute the charges and get him a new card.”

Manager: “Okay. What is the name on the account?”

Me: “[My Name], and my husband is [Husband].”

Manager: “Okay, yes, I see those charges. It never should have happened because we locked down Texas after a lot of these happening.”

Me: “Well, I just need to dispute the charges and get him a new card.”

Manager: “Oh, he doesn’t need a new card.”

Me: “I already canceled it with the rep last night, so he will definitely need a new one.”

Manager: “Well, you shouldn’t have done that! He doesn’t need a new card.”

Me: “Regardless, could you please just order it for me?”

Manager: “Okay. I have the charges disputed and the money back into your account, and the new card is ordered. Is there anything else you need?”

Me: “No, thank you. Have a good day!”

It wasn’t until after I hung up that I realized she never asked me for identifiers beyond the name on the account. Gee, I wonder how the card was unlocked for use in Texas?

I had to call a second time about a month later when the card didn’t arrive. It turned out that she had never ordered it.

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Some People Just Look For Arguments, Part 2

, , , | Right | April 21, 2021

It’s slow, so my boss and I are chatting. She tells me something funny and I laugh. A customer walks in with a pronounced scowl.

Me: “Hello, sir! What can we help you with?”

Customer: “Why are you so perky?!”

Me: “Uh… come again?”

Customer: “You were laughing when I walked in here. And you’re smiling and chipper. There is nothing to be happy about!”

Me: “I’m… sorry?”

Customer: “STOP BEING SO PERKY! I should file a complaint!”

Me: “My boss is right here. Would you like to speak to her?”

My boss smiles and waves.


He storms out. My boss and I exchange glances.

Boss: “I’d love to see that complaint go to corporate. ‘Your teller was too perky!’ No, sir, you’ve just got a stick where it doesn’t belong.”

Never did get that complaint.

Some People Just Look For Arguments

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There’s Being Secure, And Then There’s Being Insecure

, , , , | Right | April 21, 2021

As a bank, we take security very seriously. We have two levels of authentication that callers must go through to speak to a representative out of a choice of three: voice recognition if they’re signed up, confirming digits of a number they made up that we do not see, or security questions.

A caller is screaming and crying because she’s able to get through by ONLY using the two levels of verification. After somehow managing to calm her down, I decide to be nice and add a note onto the account that she would prefer to do all three types and then proceed to go through the questions with her even though I know it’s her. She isn’t happy with this.

No, she wants for someone to send in an IT ticket to get her specific account updated so that no matter what, she will have to go through all three authentications, and only on the automated line as she isn’t confident she’s speaking to someone who works for the bank, even though she is the one who called us.

Me: “I can’t do that, ma’am. Every customer is treated the same.”

She is adamant. Then, she breaks down in tears.

Caller: “My ex-husband hacked into my account and stole my money years ago and I’ve been really paranoid it’ll happen again!”

I feel bad for her but I cannot do what she wants me to do, nor can a manager, nor can IT.

Me: “Ma’am, there is something we are advised not to do unless the customer really wants it, which is to permanently lock all accounts so no one can access them over the phone and any query has to be dealt with face to face in a branch.”

She goes quiet for a few moments and I think at first she’s hung up, but then, I hear this in the background:

Caller: “They can’t do more than you can. Why did you tell me they could?!”

That’s when the penny drops; she is already in a branch speaking to someone about it. She isn’t happy with their response and has called us to see if we can do better.

Other Person: “I’m sorry if it came across like that, but I did say they might be able to do something else, not that they will.”

Caller: “But why can’t they? Anyone can access my accounts!”

Other Person: “You can have voice verification, you can have a unique number for yourself, you have security questions, and the only other option is to lock your account so anything has to be done face to face—”

Caller: “But why can I only have two?! I want all three, and not the last option, as that’s not convenient!”

Other Person: “I cannot change the entire security policy, I’m afraid, so unfortunately, those are your options.”

Caller: “Well, they’re not suitable if I can only have two, so lock my accounts. But how do you know I’m me?”

Other Person: “We always ask for ID, so we know it is definitely you—”

Caller: “But anyone can fake my ID and put makeup and a wig on to look like me, and they can then access my account!”

After this, she let out another loud sob before hanging up on me, leaving me stunned. I took a note of the account number and checked it two hours later to see what option she went with. If the notes the person in the branch left are to be believed, they offered to upload a bunch of random questions and she had to answer every one of them.

There are fifty questions. I feel for the poor person she next speaks to.

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