Home / Grid / Bank customers aren’t always right

Bank customers aren’t always right

It’s August – the quietest month in business.  Everyone I email sends back an out of office autoreply, and yet I’m here still blogging.  So what to blog about?  Well, this month might be a little inconsistent, but I do love posting funny stories in bank branches.  The reason is (a) they’re funny and (b) it reminds you why we have bank branches.  So here’s some of the best from [the customer is] notalwaysright.com.

Crazy Customer? Fits The Bill

(I work at a bank in a small lake-side city with lots of retired older folks. While working the drive-thru I have this exchange.)

Me: “Good morning!”

Customer: “I want to exchange this for 500 dollar bills.”

(He places a stack of 20s, 50s, and 100s in the drawer.)

Me: “Sir… I’m sorry we don’t have any 500s I can exchange the smaller bills for one hundred dollar bi—“


Me: “Sir, we can’t even order those bills; they stopped printing them back in the 1970s.”

(The customer glares at me for a few moments, grabs his money out of the drawer and points at me.)

Customer: “I know what’s going on here. You’re covering for him.”

Me: “What?”

Customer: “This is Obama’s doing!”

A Fee(ble) Excuse

 (I work in a bank call center. More often than not, I get calls about people who want to appeal late fees on their credit cards.)

Me: “Thank you for calling [Bank]. How can I help you today?”

Customer: “I would like to appeal my late fee on my credit statement.”

Me: “Sure thing. What is the reason you are appealing your late fee?”

Customer: “I forgot to pay my bill.”

Saying Freeze And Thank You

(A customer walks up to my window.)

Me: “Hello! What can I help you with today?”

Customer: “Yes, one of your customers just gave me this check, and I want to be sure it will clear before I deposit it in my bank.”

(This is a fairly common request. We are allowed to either confirm or deny that a check will “clear” without giving out any other information about the check-writer’s account.)

Me: “Sure, I can help you with that.”

(I pull up the account and discover that it will clear easily.)

Me: “Yes, sir, it will clear.”

Customer: “Great. Now, I want you to put a freeze on the funds so it will still clear tomorrow. I’m not from here, so I won’t get to my bank until then.”

Me: “I’m sorry, sir, I can’t do that.”

Customer: “Why not?!”

Me: “Since you’re not an owner of the account, I can’t do that.”

Customer: “Well, I just don’t understand.”

Me: “Sir, is your name on the account?”

Customer: “No.”

Me: “Then I can’t take any direction from you on what to do with it.”

Customer: “I’m not asking to take money out of their account. I am asking you to put a freeze on the funds so that they will still be there tomorrow. How hard is that?”

Me: “So, just to get this straight, you would like me to put a freeze on funds on an account that your name is not on, and you have no ownership claims on whatsoever?”

Customer: “YES! Is that so hard to understand?”

Me: “I still can’t do that.”

Customer: “WHY NOT?!”

Me: “Because your name is not on the account. I cannot do anything to this account because your name is not on it. This account is not owned by you. Is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Customer: “FINE!” *stomps out*

Coworker: “Did he really think that was an okay thing to do?”

Me: “I wonder about the general public sometimes…”

(Not the first time I’ve gotten a request to “freeze” funds on someone’s account, but definitely the most belligerent reaction!)

Common Sense Takes A Holiday

Me: “Good afternoon, [Bank]; how may I direct your call?”

Elderly Customer: “So today is not a holiday?”

Me: “No, ma’am, we are open.”

Elderly Customer: “Well, I tried to call my doctor’s office and they aren’t answering. Are you sure it’s not a holiday?”

Me:“Yes, ma’am, I am positive that it is not a holiday.”

Elderly Customer: “I was wondering why you would be answering the phone if it was a holiday.”

Me: “Ma’am, I can assure you today is not a holiday.”

Elderly Customer: “Is Monday a holiday?”

Me: “No, ma’am, there are no bank holidays at all this month.”

Elderly Customer: “…”

Me: “Is there anything else I can help you with, ma’am?”

Elderly Customer: “Why won’t my doctor answer the phone?”

And now my personal favourite …

This Is Why We’re In A Recession, Part 44

Customer: “I have your mobile app… I know I can take a picture of a check and make a deposit that way. But I want to know how to make a mobile withdrawal…”

Me: “You want to know if you can make a mobile withdrawal?”

Customer: “Yes. I can’t figure out any way to do that.”

Me: “Well, sir, there is no way to do that because you would have to go to an ATM or into a branch to get actual cash.”

Customer: “But I’m not at an ATM and your branch is closed. I want to deposit this check through the app and get cash right now.”

Me: “Well sir, frankly, technology hasn’t gotten to the point where mobile phones can print – and even at that, printing money, unless done by the government, is illegal.”

Customer: “So I can’t make a mobile withdrawal?”

Me: “No, sir.”

Customer: “That’s stupid.” *click*



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...

Check Also


The cynical bankers’ trick: show me the money

I’ve spent decades preaching transformation and the easiest way to shut me up is ask: …

Click on a tab to select how you'd like to leave your comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *