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Bank Stories (4): Where Customers Are Seldom Right

NOTE: The following is Scoop's fourth bank story. Julie has earned herself a double pass to The Bank movie, coming to a cinema near you soon. See... Scoop Interactive: Do You Hate Banks? for info on how you too can bend an ear or two and score a double pass to The Bank Movie.

Where The Customer Is Seldom Right

Not too many years ago I trudged into the local BNZ laden down with coins which I had saved. Being a kindly type, and really feeling for the plight of workers, especially bank tellers who have the monotonous task of counting all those coins, I had bagged up said coins, to aid with the counting process.

But alas! I had in fact committed a Heinious crime against bank tellers everywhere; out of the approximately ten bags of change, one was mixed!!! These were the leftover bits and bobs from all denominations.

Obviously I deserved to be castigated for my thoughtlessness, but the response I received left me startled, and, I must admit, very upset.

I was told, in no uncertain terms, that my attempt at helpfulness was unappreciated and troublesome. I was informed that I had made the teller's job very difficult.

When I tried to take MY money back, saying that if it was too difficult I would take it elsewhere, I was told not to be "silly" and the money was taken off me and out of my reach. I was obviously quite wrong in thinking that said money was in fact mine.

I was further told off, as a peevish kindy teacher tells off an errant child, at which point I somewhat timidly ventured a statement about the customer being always right. I insisted on taking my money back and said that I would be taking my banking elsewhere if this was too difficult for the BNZ to cope with.

I left the bank and wrote a letter to the bank informing them of my experience. I received no reply, so several days later I wrote to the BNZ again requesting that my account be closed and the proceeds forwarded to me by cheque.

About three weeks later I received a BANK cheque, at a cost of $5 to me personally. I had not requested a bank cheque and now that I was no longer a customer no one was interested in talking to me.

For me this was the final straw - I had already received very rude treatment from the BNZ on a number of occassions since they had closed our local friendly branch. When I had tried to withdraw a paltry $2000 from my savings account I had to wait over half an hour while my identity was verified, despite being personally known to one of the tellers (relocated from aforementioned friendly branch) several counters along.

I may have never had a particularly large and impressive balance with the BNZ, but they have been somewhat foolish in scorning my business. As a student I was merely testing banks to see which would be worthy of my mortgage business later in life. Two things are certain:

1) no way in hell will I ever bank with the BNZ again

2) I will spread this story to as many people as possible in a semi-fulfilling attempt at revenge for my embarassment in facing a full dressing down in front of everyone in the branch, for merely bagging some change.

Julie Fairey

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