Ever gone into a bank branch (if you can find one that’s open and not chock-a-block full of people queuing) with a simple request, and been asked whether you’d like to take out a savings account or an investment?
If you’re like me, this happens all the time. And no, I don’t want one of their lousy loans.
If you have a rubbish savings account and your bank lets you know that there’s a better option out there, you should probably be chuffed. The problem is, this is rarely the conversation you’ll have.
Instead, you’ll visit your bank branch to put in a cheque and you’ll be faced with being sold mostly irrelevant products and services.
‘Interested in our new savings account?’ No!
I tend to get a little irritated by the additional time spent in a bank, invariably on my lunch break, when I could be elsewhere.
The thing is, Which? understands that plenty of bank staff are also unhappy with this approach. They dread asking the same old people the same old questions – such as whether customers want a credit card, when they clearly don’t.
Yet, staff are under pressure to ask these questions. If they don’t, they risk a black mark against their name, which could make the difference between getting a bonus or a warning.
We need better customer service
Following the banking crisis, you’d think banks would concentrate on customer service, rather than trying to get more cash out of us. They’re complacent and it’s showing. Bank queues are stretched at least partly due to all the questions about products we don’t want. Plus, we risk opening up needless accounts just to get tellers to shut up.
What the banks should do is give us the service we expect when we visit them, and provide access to other staff who can answer specific queries regarding new products as and when we ask about them.
Wasting our time to turn us into another revenue stream is offensive and must stop. But then again, what do I know? I’m only a customer, albeit an increasingly disloyal one.