The stupidity of banks

My wife found a good rate of interest on a yearly bond with a particular bank but she had to move fast. She did everything that was required of her to move money around (a long process these days) and she sensibly kept all the relevant documentation.

When her statement came through for the month and she saw that the interest earned was zero she started her investigations as to why, along with her angst ridden running commentary to me of her discoveries (I had no choice in this latter matter and I am getting updates as I write).

After several telephone calls on 0845 numbers (so that’s why they have them, most of their profits come this way. Incidentally, if like me, you have a telephone deal which makes 01 and 02 numbers free to call here’s a great site to avoid most of the 08 numbers) I got a review of the utter incompetence of the customer service at one bank. You wouldn’t believe the sheer ineptitude…, actually, anyone who has ever called the customer services of any large organisation and spoken with a barely comprehensible native Indian speaking customer service advisor would believe. My wife had to continually tell them their job and about the products they are supposed to currently have on offer, even, at one point, reading from the leaflet she had saved to contradict what the idiot on the telephone was trying to tell her. I won’t embarrass the bank publicly but the bank’s name begins with an ‘S’ and the rest of the letters are ‘antander’.

Giving up on ‘help’ coming from the banks she investigated further.

Eventually, through forensic accounting, she found the answer, and boy is it a doozy. When she was giving her bank account details to the other bank in the form of a pass book, the teller mistook 0 for O. Look at that again, an O for a 0. Or was it the other way around? Or look at this; 1 and I. With certain fonts it’s impossible to tell them apart.

Whoever it was in the banking system who thought combining letters and numbers for a reference system was a good idea must have been on some undercover anarchist inspired combat mission that was conceived, fuelled and finally accomplished with the help of a cocktail of mind altering drugs -

“Let’s confuse the hell out of our customers by having several symbols that look identical to each other but are completely wrong when read by a computer. This is going to be such a laugh, especially when millions of pounds could be at stake”.

A result for the anarchists.

It’s no wonder the banks lost trillions. Several other cocktails of narcotics must have been subsequently ingested -

“Is a billion a thousand million or a million million? Ah, whatever”.

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