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The customer is … not always right

I just found a great website called Not Always Right that tells the staff side of humorous or challenging customer experiences in
the USA.

It’s brilliant.

Here are my faves that relate to banks.

 

FIRST: FREEDOM ISN’T FREE

(I’m a bank teller at a large
national bank. A customer in her mid-twenties comes up to my till.)

Me: “Welcome to [bank name]! How can I help you
today?”

Customer: “Yeah, can I find the total amount I owe
for my student loans?”

Me: “Sure, what is your full name?”

(She
gives me her name, and I give her the amount owed. It is a fairly large
amount.)

Customer: “Perfect!”

(With a
large smile, she hands me a cashier check from another bank, for the exact
amount, totally paying off all loans she has with this bank. I enter the info,
and print her receipt. I quickly run to the back to see my manager.)

Me: “Can I give this customer a couple of the
promotional items that we usually give to people that open checking accounts?”

(My
manager see the amount that she is paying, and that this means the customer has
totally paid off the loans.)

Manager: “You can give her whatever you want!”

(I grab
some items, and bring them back up to the till.)

Me: “Congratulations on paying off all your
loans. Here’s your receipt, and a few gifts for paying off such a large loan
amount.”

Customer: “Thank you very much! What I’m about to say
has nothing to do with you; you are a great person, and thank you very much for
the free gift. So, just go with everything I’m about to do.”

Me: “…Okay?”

(She
holds up the receipt above her head, and speaks in a loud voice.)

Customer: “Ha! Six years ago I sold my soul to this
bank! But after going through the nine circles of hell, I have finally gotten
free of it! I now owe you nothing, zip, zero, nada! I am free; no more bills,
payments, fees, nothing. I’M FREEEEEEE!”

(Even
as she walks out the doors, she’s yelling and dancing. The dozen or so other
customers and workers watch her the whole time. Another customer speaks loud
enough so just about everyone can hear him.)

Customer
#2:
 “Raise
your hand if you wish you could do that.”

(Just
about everyone else in the bank raises their hand.)

 

SECOND: WILL
SOMEONE PLEASE THINK OF THE CAVIAR

 (A customer is
calling in regarding a 5-day hold we have on his deposit of a personal check
for $150,000. Note that in the 3 months he has been a customer, his account has
been negative 60 times and has an average daily balance of $75.00—hence the
hold.)

Customer: “You
need to give me all my money now! My family is starving. We have no
money to pay for food! I am going to the local news and telling them about how
you big banks are forcing us to starve to death!”

Me: “I’m
sorry sir, but we did give you $1000 of that deposit immediately. Due to the
large amount of the check, you will have to wait for the hold to be lifted.”

Customer: “But
my children are starving! How can you be so cruel and starve children?!”

Me: “Sir,
we are your bank. I can see everything you have spent with your debit card, and
I see you went to [upscale restaurant] and spent $250 last night on dinner.”

Customer: “Well…the
lobster was under-prepared. Do you really expect my children to be forced to
eat like that?! This isn’t a third world country! What is wrong with you?? They
are starving!”

 

THIRD: PUTTING
THE SECURITY INTO SOCIAL SECURITY

 (I work as a
collections agent for a major bank in the USA.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [major bank]; my name
is Kevin. What can I—”

Customer: “English, ass-h***! Speak English!”

Me: “Ma’am, I’m speaking English.”

Customer: “I just want to pay my [other bank's] credit card. My SSN is [number].”

Me: “Ma’am you are calli—”

Customer: “How you dare to interrupt me! My
check account is [number] and my name is [name].”

Me: “Miss, you are calling [major bank], not
[other bank].”

Customer: “What?! Who are you? Why are you
calling me? I’m going to the police! I want your f****** name, and I want to
speak with your supervisor before I go there and shoot someone!”

Me: “Okay…”

(I mute the headset.)

Customer: “What are you waiting for?!”

Me: “I’m waiting for you to tell me why you need
to speak to my supervisor. If it was because you called a wrong number and said
all you personal info, or maybe because you cursed at me several times, or that
you, in a recorded, federal monitored line, threatened to shoot me.”

Customer: “Oh, no! I didn’t say that!”

(I check on the database for her full name with her SSN.)

Me: “Okay, let me put you on hold so I can speak
with my supervisor and call the police. Your full name is [full name], right?
Your address is [address], and your phone is [phone number].”

(The customer hangs up. I end up having a verbal warning
from my boss, along with a free meal from him for “the funniest
following-guidelines-call I have ever heard”.)

 

FOURTH: CUSTOMER, KNOW
THYSELF

 (I am a customer
standing in line at the bank. Two customers behind me start complaining about
the length of the line.)

Customer #1: “Look at this! It’s ridiculous!”

Customer #2: “They are moving so slow! The
workers should get fired for being so lazy!”

(This goes on for a couple of minutes. When I draw even
with the complaining customers in the switchbacked line, I decide I can’t take
it anymore and speak up.)

Me: “Look at the windows, ladies! Every one of
them has customers who didn’t take the time to fill out their slips. Now the
tellers have to do it for them, and that takes twice as long! They’re the ones
holding up all of us, not the nice people trying to help them!”

(Note: I’m talking loud enough for everyone at the
windows to hear, hoping maybe next time they’ll wise up.)

Customers #1 and #2: *shocked*

Me: “Let me guess. Wanna borrow my pen?”

(The complaining customers sheepishly agree and fill out
their slips. Three or four others in line also grab slips and start scribbling,
while the customers at the windows look suitably embarrassed. When I finally
get to a teller window, she leans towards me and confides in me.)

Teller: *whispering* “Thank you,
from everyone here! I wish I could save the security tape of that!”

 

FIFTH: IN PLAIN SITE

Caller: “Your website sucks. I can’t even get
last month’s statement!”

Me: “I’d be more than happy to help, sir. You
can definitely obtain last month’s statement.”

Caller: “No, I can’t! I looked everywhere. Your
website is the worst bank website I’ve ever seen!”

Me: “I’ll show you exactly where you need to go,
sir. You can obtain last month’s statement by—”

Caller: “Even [other bank] and [another bank] have better websites than you! This is absolutely ridiculous!”

Me: “Like I said, sir, we do have last month’s
statement on our website. You can even see your statement from years ago.”

Caller: “No, you can’t! Your website sucks! You
should have last month’s statement!”

Me: “If you can humour me, sir, please log in.”

Caller: “Fine, I’ve logged in. You see?! I don’t
see last month’s statement anywhere!”

Me: “So you’re currently on the home page, sir?”

Caller: “Yes!”

Me: “Okay, now please click on “Last Statement”,
which is right in the middle of the page.”

Caller: *clicks the link and stays totally
silent*

Me: “Did you need help looking up anything
else?”

Caller: “Your website still sucks!”

 

And my personal favourite …

HOW
TO KEEP YOUR DAYS FROM DRAG(GING)-ON

 (I’m working at my
teller window when a client with a bandaged hand comes up with a deposit.)

Me: “Hello! Welcome to [bank]. I see that you
hurt your hand; were you fighting with a dragon?”

Client: “Yes, and it won.”

Me: “Was it a big dragon?”

Client: “No, it was a little one. But he didn’t
play fair. He used fire!”

Me: “Oh, no! Well, better luck to you next time.
Here’s your receipt. Have a wonderful day!”

Client: “You too! Thanks!” *walks out
the door*

(My boss, who has been standing behind me the whole time,
finally speaks up.)

Boss: “That was not normal…”

 

About Chris M Skinner

Chris M Skinner
Chris Skinner is best known as an independent commentator on the financial markets through his blog, the Finanser.com, as author of the bestselling book Digital Bank, and Chair of the European networking forum the Financial Services Club. He has been voted one of the most influential people in banking by The Financial Brand (as well as one of the best blogs), a FinTech Titan (Next Bank), one of the Fintech Leaders you need to follow (City AM, Deluxe and Jax Finance), as well as one of the Top 40 most influential people in financial technology by the Wall Street Journal’s Financial News. To learn more click here...

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