When we talk to staff in shops, cafes and banks, we expect to receive the same amount of courtesy we give. But we’re often disappointed.
Some time ago I told you about the appalling service a friend of mine encountered at his bank when he tried to transfer birthday money into his grand-daughter’s bank account. While I won’t reveal the name of his bank, I can tell you it’s in Newport. The Newport that moved from Monmouthshire to Gwent and then re-located to south Wales.
One thing you can say about Newport. It’s well-travelled.
My friend recently received even worse treatment at a different branch of the same bank. However, this time he came away from the experience more amused than annoyed.
A couple of days before the PPI deadline, he popped into the branch to ask whether he might be able to claim PPI on a credit card first issued to him more than 20 years ago.
He was greeted by a clipboard-clasping lady, who asked, with a forced smile, “Are you alright there?” Oh dear! Bad start!
When my friend replied, “I’m just enquiring whether I had PPI on my credit card”, the lady, rather-too-eagerly, announced, “We don’t deal with PPI in-branch!”
Then, her eyes narrowed as she asked in a classic passive-aggressive tone, “What makes you think you weremis-sold PPI?”
My friend replied ,“I don’t. But Martin Lewis, the money advice expert, said people should find out whether they were.”
At the mention of Mister Lewis, the lady snarled, “I hate that man!”
Surprised by her bilious outburst, my friend replied, “Why? Because he helps people save money?” The lady’s face then resembled a bulldog chewing a wasp (Les Dawson:1975) as she went off on one about Martin Lewis bringing banks to their knees!
This churlish response was totally unwarranted as she’d been asked a perfectly reasonable question and her spectacularly negative attitude was so OTT my friend almost burst out laughing. He wants to change banks, but I hope he doesn’t.
Stories like this shine a spotlight on unhelpful clipboard-clasping employees. You know who you are!