Losing Confidence Confidentially

| UK | Working | March 30, 2015

(My mother- and father-in-law, both retired, have a bad experience trying to open a joint account at a local branch of a particular bank. They spend two hours answering really personal questions about their finances which don’t seem to have any relevance: e.g. how much do you spend on food each month? The account isn’t even for a loan.)

Caller: “Hello, could I please speak to Mrs. [In-Law] regarding her recent experience with [Bank]?”

Father-In-Law: “She’s not at home right now. Would you like to speak to me about my experience as I was with my wife when we opened our joint account?”

Caller: “No, I’m sorry. I have to speak directly with Mrs. [In-Law] regarding her account.”

Father-In-Law: “Well, I’m afraid she’s not at home at the moment, so you can speak to me about the account as it is a joint account and I was there with her.”

Caller: “I’m afraid I can’t discuss that information with you as it’s confidential. When will Mrs. [In-Law] be home?”

Father-In-Law: “I’m afraid I can’t discuss that information with you as it’s confidential.” *click*

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 38

| Lexington, KY, USA | Right | March 30, 2015

(As I finish up opening an account with the minimum opening deposit for a brand new customer at my in-store bank, I explain about EVERYTHING that I give him: disclosures, business card, signature card, and starter checks.)

Me: “Here are your starter checks. A lot of places won’t take them, since they don’t have your name or address printed on them, but they will work to get direct deposit set up with your employer; just write your name and addresses across the top of the check and VOID across the check.”

Customer: “So, I can use these to pay for things, right?”

Me: “Once you’ve deposited some more money in your account, you can order regular checks that more places will accept. Right now, you would have to check with the retailer. Some places might take them for smaller amounts.”

Customer: “Okay, thanks.”

(Ten minutes later, a store employee calls me.)

Employee: “Can you verify a check for me? I know you aren’t supposed to, but the customer says you just told him he could write a check here.”

Me: “I can try. What’s the account and amount?”

Employee: “It’s [account I just opened] for $4,250.”

Me: “Yeah, not going to happen. Send him back up here and I’ll see if I can explain it better.”

(The customer returns.)

Customer: “Well, you gave me checks, so I figured I had better use them and get the stuff I needed. Our TV broke.”

Me: “As of right now, your account only has $25 in it, so you can’t write a check for more than that.”

Customer: “I have to put money in my account?!”

Related:
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 37
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 36
This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 35

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Not In Concert With Her Purchases

| MA, USA | Right | March 28, 2015

Customer: “What is this $295 charge from [Ticket Broker]?! I did not make that!”

Me: “I can help you with that. It says they were for Beyonce tickets. Do you remember making this charge?”

Customer: “No, I did not do that!”

Me: “Did you lose your card?”

Customer: “Yes, duh!”

Me: “When was the last time you used the card?”

Customer: “I don’t know… What has that got to do with anything?”

Me: “If you lost the card, the last charge you made would be the best place to start. When did you find out the card was lost?”

Customer: “Today.”

Me: “Okay, is the $400 ATM withdrawal yesterday yours?”

Customer: “Yes! That’s mine; that was the last time I had my card. I must have lost it after that.”

Me: “Well… the [Ticket Broker] charge was done two days before that. So the charge was done before you lost the card. Are you sure you did not buy Beyonce tickets?”

Customer: “Uh… I could have. Maybe I just forgot… Bye!”

Me: *thinking, how can one forget buying concert tickets three days ago?*

Security Disservice

, | Sydney, NSW, Australia | Right | March 11, 2015

(In telephone banking service, one of the most frustrating experiences are people who fail the security questions. They want security, but they also want to be able to access their accounts if they can’t remember things like recent transactions, or the phone number from six houses ago that they didn’t bother to update with us. I am on my train home, and I happen to sit down in front of a man on his phone, obviously answering and then failing security for a bank.)

Caller: “Well, that’s my address NOW! I don’t care what you have there. Look! My name is [Name], I was born on [date]! My mother’s maiden name is [Other Name]! Now, please help me!”

(Silence, presumably a reply from the service rep.)

Caller: “But you need to come up with something to help people when they can’t answer these questions!”

(Some silence.)

Caller: “Well why can’t you sort something out for me?! LOOK! Just send me a new d*** credit card at [address repeated loudly, slowly, and clearly]! Now send it because it expires this month! Send it or I’ll call the Ombudsman!”

(Realising he’s hung up, I spin around.)

Me: “Hi! I work as a banking call centre rep and I often come across this situation. Tell me, what solution do you have in mind?”

Caller: “Uh… what? Solution?”

Me: “You just said that there should be something in place to help people access their accounts when they can’t answer the security questions. Well, now’s your chance. I work as a service agent and I’m also part of the decision making and testing process for new procedures. You want something set up to enable people who can’t answer security questions to be able to access accounts. Now, keeping both fraud compliance and the legal obligation to safeguard people’s information and money, what do you have in mind?”

Caller: “Well, there should be another system…”

Me: “You are absolutely correct. Can you describe it?”

Caller: “I…”

Me: “Where I am, we have some procedures. We can send a One Time PIN to your mobile phone. Does the bank have your current phone number? I gathered they can’t verify your address.”

Caller: “No, I haven’t given out this phone numb—”

Me: “I see. So if I gather correctly, you haven’t updated your address and phone numbers with them in some time. What else did they ask?”

Caller: “My date of birth, and a recent transaction.”

Me: “Okay, did you remember a recent transaction?”

Caller: “No! Why should I be expected to remember that?”

Me: “Why indeed? Tell me, did you give them an account number?”

Caller: “NO! I don’t have any statements from them because I haven’t gotten mail in years!”

Me: “Okay, so let me recap. You’ve called up to ask for a replacement credit card to be sent out to your new address. You weren’t able to provide an account number, the agent found you by name and date of birth. You were unable to provide the address they have on their system, they were unable to confirm your return mobile number because you haven’t given it to them. Moving on, you were unable to name any recent activity on the card that only you have access to. Do you not see how this would trip some red flags for a person who has to remain vigilant for fraud?”

Caller: “Well, yeah… but—”

Me: “But yes, your solution – which is?”

Caller: “What?”

Me: “You said there needs to be another way. So after we’ve recapped your specific situation, what would you suggest?”

(At this point, his eyes narrow and he gives me a filthy look.)

Caller: “Now you listen here, you smart a—”

Me: “Has it occurred to you that the person making your life difficult is you? Have you not realised in that exchange and in this conversation, you are admitting all the areas where you let yourself down and placed all the blame on the person doing their job instead of where it all belongs, with you?”

Caller: “Now just hold on a min—”

Me: “No, you hold on. Maybe take the time to take your card out of your pocket, think about the last time you used it and maybe have a think about your last known address, call back, and be polite instead of a whining jerk.”

(Another intense stink eye, I notice my stop coming up.)

Me: “Catch this train often. I had a great time telling you off. It melted all the day’s stress away! Bye now!”

(I alighted from the train, waving back as I got the most awful glare.)

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Paying Attention Is Rare Currency

| NY, USA | Working | February 3, 2015

(I’ve just landed in New York City to visit my boyfriend. I’m going to be using my boyfriend’s credit card over here as mine has huge international charges. I have a £20 note I took out just before my flight, and no change whatsoever.)

Me: “Hi, I’d like to change this into US dollars.”

Worker: “Okay, I can give you $40 for £25.45.”

Me: “No, I only have this £20.”

Worker: “Okay, how about $35 for £22.27.”

Me: “No. I literally only have this £20.”

Worker: “I’d just need £22.27 for the $35.”

Me: *turning my purse over and shaking it* “I don’t have any change. I literally only have £20.”

Worker: “Oh. OH! You only have £20.”

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