At the time of writing, I have been waiting two hours and one minute (which must be nearly a record) for a bank, in fact Citibank, to answer its telephone. I have opened an account on line in minutes some days ago, and they have sent me details of the account through the post, but before I can use the account, I have to call them on a number to activate it. In between high volume crackling classical music hurting the ears, the following patronising, monotone, meaningless announcements are made roughly every fifteen seconds:
"We are sorry to keep you waiting. Our team of personal bankers is eager to take your call and will be with you as soon as possible.
"We are currently experiencing a high demand for our savings products. You can apply for a savings account by visiting our website at www.citibank.co.uk alternatively, to speak to an advisor, please continue to hold."
I honestly believed these days had gone. Where is the professionalism? Even call centres abroad, whilst not ideal are better answered quickly than waiting for what seems like an eternity wasting your life on a Friday night.
As a new customer, this hardly inspires confidence. I can't even complain by using their 'contact us' on line service because I have to activate the account obtaining user names and passwords before I can log in!
Although I was determined to hold on and say my piece when the unsusecting customer services advisor answered, I finally got defeated! I put the phone down at 19.38 hours. Twenty to six I started!
NOT a good start to the weekend!
Today's story as you can imagine is topical.
A man walks into the bank, banged his fist on the counter and said to the female clerk behind the window, "I want to open a bloody account - NOW!"
"I beg your pardon?," replied the clerk, "What did you say?"
"Listen damn you, I want to open an bloody account NOW."
"I'm sorry sir, we don't tolerate this kind of behaviour and language here." With that she left the window and reported his behaviour to the manager.
The manager appeared and said, "What seems to be the trouble sir."
"I've won £14,000,000 on the lottery and I want to open an account in this God-forsaken damned bank NOW!"
"I see," the manager replied, "And this bitch is giving you a hard time?"