Your call is important to us, please don’t lose your mind
An open letter to Mr. Greg Bartlett, Chief Executive St. George Bank. Dear Greg,
I used to like St. George. I liked his work against that dragon back in the day, I liked the fact that they let my footy team win the 1975 Grand Final, I like Julie Anthony – I’m pretty sure my mum has some of her records.
I don’t like your bank’s customer service phone line any more.
I was overseas last week and wanted to transfer some money from our account to another – an account we often transfer into.
Should have been a couple of mouse clicks – because as you say Greg, “Our Internet Banking is easy to access, simple to use and includes loads of features to help you manage your accounts online”. Usually is, but not this time.
I received an error message about “validating the account” and to call and provide a phone number. No reason given why the transfer didn’t work. I tried multiple times before I felt RSI setting in. Once more because I’m a masochist – same message.
This is where the fun started. I called St. George’s toll free number from my mobile (would have cost the GDP of a small European country to call from the hotel). Couldn’t get through.
After a few more attempts, I tried the “overseas assistance” number. I was assured that the call was vitally important to me and would be answered within eight minutes. It wasn’t. Feeling vitally unimportant, I hung up after a hell of a lot longer than eight minutes.
Calling from Germany, the mobile call probably cost triple the amount the amount we wanted to transfer.
I called the same number – same eight-minute oath, followed by a few of my own. Then the recorded voice person told me that no one was answering due to the “high call volume”. Really? It was 2am in Sydney.
Come on Greg, do you seriously think people stagger home from a massive night out, grab a doner kebab on the way, wrestle with the front door keys, and instead of crashing out fighting the bed spins, think “Bugger it, I might apply for a home loan”? Maybe they do.
I hung up after another ridiculous number of minutes on hold. If I hear Michael Jackson one more time…. Now it was getting personal. I called again. After absolutely no idea on hold, a very nice lady answered the phone who sounded like she should have been tucked up in bed with a crocheted blanket and a nice cup of tea listening to Julie Anthony records.
Taking a very deep calming breath (it wasn’t this lady’s fault) I explained the situation – she wanted to put me on hold. NOOOOOO!! She took the subtle hint, and didn’t. After several minutes she managed to sort the problem out.
I can’t even remember what the issue was, it was that small and technical. I asked her about the high call volume / wee small hours thing, and she said with an absolutely straight voice that you’d be surprised how many calls they get at that time. I took Mrs. Nice St George Lady’s word on that one.
“The quality of service we deliver and the positive attitude of our staff, combined with the goodwill and loyalty we receive from our customers really does set St. George apart.” Greg I suppose that depends on how you define the word “apart”.
Next time I might ring Julie or her rather large green friend…
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