Love my bank; can’t wait to close my account

Masks

I love this bank. It is small and founded by a young entrepreneur. It exudes an aura of efficiency. It’s vibrant red advertisements come across as intelligent and energetic.

When the central bank decontrolled savings bank interest rates, they were the first to jump in with a full-page ad, offering about 2 percent more than what others did.

They used a lovable, down-to-earth film actor as their model in the campaign. Good copy. Most would have connected instantly. I did.

A year on, now I can’t wait to close my account and escape.

Good writing is no protection against bad customer experience

A couple of weeks ago, I get a call. “Would you like to receive a free platinum credit card, as a gift from us? We have your details; we will take care of the paper work.” I did a quick check and found that the card did have a few advantages. Go ahead, I said. Big mistake.

Whoever is handling the credit card has no clue about my profile. At every “verification” call and visit (at least two of each) I discover new errors.

Then I get the biggest shock—an email and an SMS, both stating that my registered mobile number changed. I get visions of being shut out of my account. I immediately call up the helpline. I get a complaint number and an assurance someone would call back. I follow that up with an email.

She calls back promptly. “I will send someone with a form; please sign a request to change the number.” But I never initiated or approved the change. You made the mistake; you correct it. Her sigh is very audible.

The credit card arrived. It is a starter card, about three levels below the promised platinum that “gift”. The card has my name wrong. The covering letter has my address wrong.

I call up the helpline.

“Sorry sir, you need to call from your registered mobile number.

“No, sir. This is not your registered number.”

But, you created that number out of the blue. How can I call from that?

“Sorry sir, we cannot help you.”

I have returned the credit card. Mails are flying to and fro. Every mail from their end is sprinkled with sentences calculated to make me feel nice. Good copy again. It is a different matter that those sentences have nothing to do with my specific problem.

Blessed profession; cussed reality

This experience, a teeny-weeny one from the bank’s point of view, is all it took to change my perception of my once-favorite bank. Those beautiful lines, that great campaign, all wasted.

I feel your pain, brother copywriter. I was hooked by your talk. If only your customer had the mettle to walk that talk and to live up to the image you conjured up. Blessed is our profession, brother. Cussed is the reality. I don’t even like that actor any more.

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