Banking on good services

May 10, 2008

My girlfriend left for Paris a few days ago to meet up with her daughter who lives in Holland (with her ex-husband). And, since it’s school break, my friend decided to travel around Paris as a treat for her and her daughter. 

Just a day after she left I got an SOS text message from her. She couldn’t use her ATM card (issued by our local bank) which also doubles up as a debit card. She called up the customer service hotline but they couldn’t resolve her problem. She was so frustrated and angry after a few calls and asked me if I could send her some money through the Western Union service. 

I went to the bank the next morning and asked if they could help sort out the situation. Much to my surprise they told me that there was nothing they could do as my friend was in Paris and they (the people at the bank) are in PJ!

Feeling unhappy with the customer service desk, I headed to the counter. The teller at the counter cynically told me that my friends should have gone to ATM machines that have bankcard/meps services. She even pointed the icons to me with her fingers! So I told her that my friend is not stupid. Off course she knew that! The teller then asked me if my friend had registered her card for overseas use. 

My friend is a woman of the world. She lived in europe for about 10 years and have even worked there. She is an oil and gas engineer and one of the few female who is doing really well in the male dominated industry. She has traveled widely and I am very sure had used credit/ATM cards in many parts of the world.  

The teller kept going on and on with a list of things which my friend could have overlooked. In other words she was suggesting that the bank had no fault in the situation. It was all the customer’s fault. Interesting, I thought. Considering she is at the frontline of the bank. Not to forget in the service industry.

The teller obviously didn’t know her place. So I told her that my friend is a good customer of the bank. After exhausting her suggestion (of things my friend could have forgotten to do), she had the cheek to tell me that if the line (at this point I have no idea what line she’s talking about) over there (in Paris) was not stable there was nothing the bank here could do.

At this point I was ready to bite her head off! So I told her that her service sucks. And then I gave her a piece of my mind about the bank’s service and the lackadaisical attitude displayed by the bank’s staff. They obviously didn’t care nor were they interested in helping their customers. 

I walked off and took out some money from my account to send to my friend through the western union service. However I did not do it at the bank or any of its branch. I decided to give my money to another bank. After what happened, no way am I gonna let them profit from my or my friend’s money. 

My friend is now contemplating taking out all her money and put it in another bank. And I fully support her on that. After all people stay loyal with a product because of the service they get. In her case I guess it’s time to move on.

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