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.