If you’ve visited your bank branch recently, did they try to sell you another financial product? If this is why you visited, then fine. But what if you were only looking to get some cash out, or order a chequebook?
The last time I visited my bank it was to withdraw a larger sum of cash larger than I can take out at an ATM. While the teller was processing my request he casually mentioned that I’m entitled to an upgrade on my credit card, which is odd as I don’t use a credit card.
If this wasn’t a one-off I’d think he was just being helpful or making small talk. However, this wasn’t the first time I’ve been asked if I’d like an upgrade of one form or another. So, what’s the deal?
Bank bosses pressurise staff
Well, Which? ran a survey recently that showed that more than half of our members have been asked whether they’d like to take out an improved or new product the last time they visited their bank branch.
Fair enough if the offer is for a higher-paying savings account, but is it OK if the deal is for something you could do without, such as a packaged account, that you pay for and comes with benefits that you might not need?
I don’t think so. I believe that this is just a ploy to get more cash out of loyal customers. I don’t need a credit card, a loan or a charging account that gives me mobile phone and travel insurance that I already have.
And I’m sure bank staff don’t want to be asking the same old customers the same old questions, but they are prompted to do so by messages encouraging them to “upsell” when they’re serving you.
Rewards, but not for bullying
You could say that this is a kind of sales incentive – that those who do get old ladies to take out credit cards they don’t want shows initiative – but I disagree. I think it’s a con.
Sure, reward staff for being helpful, but not for pushing products on people who don’t want them. Likewise don’t penalise those staff that find this process just a little too Orwellian.
Let’s just get back to a situation where you can go about your business, without feeling pressured into accepting a financial product you don’t want just to stop repeated questions from bank staff.