I have written previously about poor experiences with banks and about poor customer service generally.  My daughter and her husband decided at the start of this year that they wanted a joint bank account to help them to manage some of their household commitments.  You’d think this would be easy.  They went to the branch of the bank where they hold their accounts presently.  They explained what they wanted.  They are already customers of this bank, have been for years, so there should be no problems.  They were, as is now customary, asked to provide certain documents to prove that they are real people, that they live where they say they live (the bank writes to them regularly at that address!), etc.  They provided the information.

Two months later they still do not have the account.  They have decided that they will not waste any more time on it.  They will ask another bank to provide them with the joint account they need.  Then they will move ALL their banking to the new bank!  Why does this keep happening?  Don’t the staff in banks care?

I contacted the insurance company with whom I have an endowment policy which will mature tomorrow.  I want to use this policy to pay off my mortgage.  My mortgage is with a bank which owns the insurance company.  The insurance company told me I would have to contact the bank using an 0845 (premium rate) number.  I contacted the bank.  They said that the person I spoke to at the insurance company could have done the job with an internal call.  How does that make me feel?  Does it make me want to do more business with that bank and insurance company?  I’m a customer.  Changing suppliers – banks, insurance companies, butcher’s shops – is a nuisance.  I’d rather stick with the status quo.  But if they continue to annoy me, I’ll continue to take my business – and money – elsewhere.

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