I do most of my banking via a local outfit that’s pretty good if you get hold of clued up people. (Jennifer Grübel is clued up)
Get a phone call in June telling me that I need to migrate my safe to a new location by the end of August.
They’re merging my branch with one that’s a) further away and b) has crap parking, but the only reason I need to physically go there (in this era of internet banking) is to occasionally access the safe I’ve been renting there for close to a decade.
Ask for a written confirmation – we are contractual partners after all with defined periods of notice (theirs is 3 months, which they can’t comply with) – and…. nothing.
Then get a letter formally notifying me that they’ve set everything up to move me over to the new branch.
Get presented with a document requiring me to give notice.
I’M not giving notice – THEY’RE giving notice and simply migrating me to a new location.
Jennifer’s a bit flustered, but this is what Head Office has decreed.
No point in taking it out on her, so I sign, get the stuff from the safe, toddle over to the new branch, park 5 minutes walk away, sign a new contract, stow the stuff in the same size deposit box and away we go.
Next day, I find a debit for an increased safe rental.
Call my consultant who says – get this – “Well, I pay the higher fee, so consider yourself lucky that you’ve had such a cheap safe for this long..” and invites me to formally challenge the increase and he’ll “try and sort it”
Not convinced that he has my best interests at heart, I write to the CEO, demanding that they honour the contract and suggesting that they examine their processes for migrating customers to new branches.
Such as honouring contracts
A week later, I get a response.
- Thank you for your letter which we read with great interest [sic]
- Our investigations have identified that we unfortunately (UNFORTUNATELY??!! Why is it “unfortunate…? They have a differentiated tariff structure. Period) have a differentiated tariff structure for deposit box rentals.
- We’ll honour the contract
- We’ll refund the difference
- We assume (seriously – he wrote “we assume”) that we’ve raised our staff’s awareness of this issue….
- The rest is boilerplate stuff along the lines of “We hope that we can count on you as a satisfied customer wuggawugga and that our staff can demonstrate our superior service wuggawugga”
I would have expected it to simply say
- Of course your contract is still valid
- We screwed up
- It won’t happen again
- Thanks for the heads-up up about our crappy process management. I’ll get someone to look at it (and maybe you’d join a customer focus group to help us fix it)
But I’ll tell you this – if Jennifer goes, so do I….