I realize that I complain a lot sometimes. But what irks me is lousy customer service (in case you haven’t noticed!) especially when it is because of just bad, or dishonest practices. I woke up early thinking about this, so obviously it really annoys me and, here I am writing about it.
Happily, I live in Canada, where the banking system has been and continues to be stable, since we have a fairly robust set of laws that hopefully won’t allow our banks to do overly corrupt and hair-brained things like make bad mortgage loans to people who can’t afford them, thereby causing a financial meltdown.
This doesn’t mean of course that banks in Canada don’t do incredibly stupid things, like falling for fraud schemes that are so completely transparent that a 5 year old could have determined that fraud was occurring (this happened to us recently). This caused such a big problem that our lost faith in the competence of the bank’s employees will result in us moving to another financial institution in the near future.
The other week I went into my local major Canadian financial institution branch (this is a different bank than the one mentioned above re: fraud) to do a basic cash withdrawal. A few weeks later I received a visa card in the mail from said bank. I could not figure out for the life of me how I got the card, and of course, it made me a little bit paranoid that I received a credit card for which I didn’t apply.
I phoned the institution’s customer service to cancel the card which wasn’t a problem (unlike trying to lose Comcast cable service in the USA, which was like trying to lose an arm). I also asked the agent how it was that I came to receive a credit card for which I didn’t request, and I was told that I “applied” for the card when I visited my local branch. I never even mentioned the word ‘credit’ while dealing with tellers at this particular branch.
My feeling is that this is a two-part problem. The employee who decided to facilitate the false credit application was first and foremost dishonest. The reason she was dishonest though is probably because the bank expects its employees to meet unattainable sales targets, and this particular employee felt she needed to prop up her sales numbers by sending me a credit card. I just cancel it, no harm no foul, and either way this employee gets her ‘sale’.
The problem with this dishonest practice is that people like me receive a credit card and worry that there is some kind of identity theft at worst, or, at best, end up annoyed and inconvenienced by having to cancel a product that was forced. What if I was an elderly customer whose family member was stealing money? A shiny new credit card would make online shopping easy, for example.
Since I sometimes feel like a little powerless consumer up against big bad corporations in a world where no one seems to give a crap about ethics or customer service, the least I can do is write about it here!