Latest newsletter from Tavistock U3A (the University of the Third Age) passes on a nice letter written by Lillian Taylor of Tavistock to her bank …
I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month.
By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it.
I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my Pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only thirty eight years.
You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account £30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.
My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.
I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become. From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.
My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to a nominated employee at your bank.
Be aware that it would be an offence under GDPR for any other person to open such an envelope.
Please find attached an application form which I require your chosen employee to complete, again to comply with GDPR . I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but there is no alternative.
In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service.
As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:
1. To make an appointment to see me. 2. To query a missing payment. 3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there. 4. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping. 5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature. 6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home. 7. To leave a message on my computer (a password to access my computer is required and this will be communicated to you at a later date for the Authorized Contact.) 8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 to 8 again. 9. To make a general complaint or enquiry, the contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.
Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.
Or, as you would say: Have a good day. Is there anything else I can help you with?