Hi fellow retail staff and customer service representatives! I work as a greeter and teller for one of the big Australian banking corporations with close to 4 years of experience so I have many stories to tell.
The following incident occurred a couple years ago when I was working as a trainee at a small town branch of about 25000 people.
The day was like any other, a rather slow day with only our regulars coming in to do their weekly banking transactions. A few hours into the morning an old posh lady (OPL) enters and approaches me at the telling counter.
(I would also like to mention that what follows may not be exactly what was said because it was a while ago, but you get the idea)
Me: Hi, [greets with pleasant generic introduction]
OPL: Hello, I'm wondering if you can help me with a withdrawal?
Me: Sure! How much were you looking at getting out today?
I had to stop and ask again. Working at such a small town branch such a large amount was extremely unusual and I wasn't sure if this was just another lame bank "joke"
Me: I'm sorry, did you say you'd like to withdraw $250,000?
OPL: [she scowled at me as if I insulted her... somehow] Yes!! Is that a problem?!
Me: [I start to feel a bit uncomfortable but I just try shrugging it off] No problem, I can help you with that. I'm assuming you're looking for a bank cheque?
OPL: [Scoffs] No! In cash!
Now I feel like I need to put a little background here. As per bank procedures, we are only allowed to hold certain amounts of cash in our vault. This amount is determined by the amount of transactions we receive each week as well as a buffer so we can cover some other large unexpected transactions that may occur. Without revealing this total figure, I'm sure it goes without saying that for a small town branch, we cannot give out this much cash. Secondly, it is also a HUGE security risk for us and the customer and due to these risks, our procedure is to offer other non-cash payment options (government legislation also backs us on this).
I attempt to explain this to OPL but my efforts are in vain. She becomes more and more annoyed as the conversation continues and starts accusing me of being incompetent, moronic and rude. Needless to say, I wasn't very experienced and I wasn't entirely sure how to handle the situation. Eventually it gets to a point where she is causing a scene and accusing me of stealing her money.
The commotion alerted my manager (We'll call her "M"), who emerged from her office and asked what the problem was. OPL then began tearing into her, screaming that I "stole her money" and "refuse to give it back". A very nervous 17 year old self explained the situation to M as calmly and as politely as I could manage so not to provoke OPL further.
M soon understood the situation and began explaining our procedure on large cash transactions and offered to print a cheque for her desired amount and even waiving the fee(s) involved. OPL's face turned bright red and started tearing into M screaming how she's been banking with 'us' for over 20 years and how she is "entitled to her money in cash" and we have "no right" to withhold her money from her. I'm pretty sure at one point she even threatened to sue us and we'd "hear from her lawyers".
This argument between OPL and M lasted for over 20 minutes before OPL finally stormed out of the bank cursing and swearing and pulled the usual "This is terrible customer service and I'll be taking my banking elsewhere!!"
M followed her out and I could just here her yell back "We'd be more than happy to help you with that, however you're going to have to accept a cheque!"
I had to take a moment out in the break room to gather myself as the whole incident left me pretty shaken and the rest of the day was pretty uneventful. We never heard from her lawyers and she's never visited the branch again.
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So, I had a real jewel the other day.
My second call was an outbound call, meaning I was calling the customer to verify some charges with them and make sure there was no fraud on the account. Now, I understand, these calls can be a little nerve wracking for the customer, especially if I have to authenticate them. But please don’t be this douche.
The name on the card was… let’s say ‘Lizzie Z-something’. The first name was decidedly a woman’s name, and if I tried to pronounce that last name I was going to horribly butcher it. So, in cases like this, I will say ‘And who have I contacted today?’ because it’s neutral enough that it can be taken to mean ‘I want to make sure I’ve called the right phone number’.
And a deep, DEEP male voice says ‘Lizzie Z-something’.
Yeah, I’m authenticating you.
Terah: Okay, here at [Bank] we monitor your account 24 hours a day to prevent fraud. If at any point in this you feel uncomfortable, or don’t trust me, you’re welcome to hang up and call the number on your debit card to speak to another associate. May I have your driver’s license number?
Yes, we have this on file. Because you need 2 forms of ID to open an account, and we keep them ON FILE. My department is one of the few that uses this to authenticate with, but it’s well within our right.
‘Lizzie’: [Laughing] You are so full of fucking shit. [Bank] would NEVER ask for that. Are you PROUD of yourself for trying to scam people like this?
Terah: [Already notating ‘Refused to authenticate’] Well, sir, you’re always welcome to call the number on your debit card if you don’t trust me.
‘Lizzie’: You know what? Fuck you, and I hope you rot in hell for this. Bunch of goddamn con artists.
Terah: Okay, well, is there anything else I can assist you with?
‘Lizzie’: Yeah. Suck my fucking dick. Sideways. Your mouth is obviously big enough.
Terah: Okay then, sir. Well, please head into a [Bank] branch at your earliest convenience to get your debit card up and running again. Thank you for being a customer, and have a nice day.
I disconnected the call, notated ‘Card Holder Refused to Authenticate. Refer to Banking Center with 2 forms of ID’, and went about my business.
I get it, it’s nerve wracking if someone calls you and wants bank information, but instead of being an asshole, why not take their advice and call the number on the BANK ISSUED CARD to make sure you’re SPEAKING TO THE BANK?!
I hate customers.
Someone is getting fired.
An Arizona man who didn't realize his local bank was closed on Veteran's Day arrived only to discover that someone left the doors unlocked.
Rey Lopez entered the bank and realized no one was around. He called out and got no response.
"I was basically inside the bank and I had access to the computers, the desks, the registers, the furniture. Anybody could have gone in there and just helped themselves to whatever," Lopez told KPHO.
After snapping a selfie of his stranger encounter, he called police to get the place locked up.
Biggest missed opportunity ever.
I used to work for the CC customer service division of a bank.
You wouldn't believe how many phone calls I'd get from parents who had children as authorized users on their credit cards, asking how they could get their kids to stop using the credit cards without permission.
Every time I just wanted to say, "Take the damn credit card away!" or, "Don't let them be an authorized user with their own freaking card! How is that difficult?"
These parents would have thousands of dollars of charges that they were on the hook for because of their kids, and nine times out of ten they'd give a sad sigh and say they'd just ask their kid again to stop using the card.