Complaints – The Contagion of Calculated Indifference – NATWEST BANK. Who cares? Who really cares?

 

There is all the difference in the world between handling a complaint – fending it off – and managing it – helping to solve it.

My forthcoming book, Kafka’s Cycle, is a case study of this in the public sector. One little illustration of that here. Apparatchiks working for the Local Government and Legal Ombudsmen send you a draft of their negative findings. You criticise it. They then repeat the draft word for word in their final decision. Bindmans LLP used the same methodology.

Here is a little problem I have with NATWEST. Not earth shattering. A pebble in my shoe. I left HSBC after many years because I had difficulty in downloading my statements into Microsoft Money where I manage my personal funds. It forces me to check my monthly statements! In contrast NATWEST was brilliant. Until three or four months ago. Still fine for my current account. But this message came on the screen in relation to my Mastercard Credit card. And it has remained on the screen ever since.

“Sorry, some of the information on your credit card is not available at the moment. Please try again later.”

Each month Angela assured me that the next fix would fix it. Each month it didn’t. I escalated this to Rebecca. Angela assured me that Rebecca could do no more than she could. True! This was her reply.

13 August 2018

Dear Mr Share

Thank you for your email dated 10 August 2018. Mr Share, please be advised that we will not be reviewing the case again, as we feel that the decision provided to you is fair in regards to the online issues experienced and has been clearly detailed in our previous responses.

As mentioned in my email of 10 August 2018, I have already escalated the issues that our customers are experiencing online to the Senior Leadership Team for awareness. Our Complaints Team is tasked with investigating and responding to complaints raised, including those directed to our Executive office. Due to this you will not be contacted separately by a department head as requested.

We have provided you with your Financial Ombudsman referral rights, we have exhausted our complaint escalation service, should you wish to escalate this complaint further please feel free to do so. You have the right to contact the Financial Ombudsman Service free of charge.

I hope this clarifies our position. Any further correspondence you send to us which does not provide us with any new information regarding your complaint will be added to our file, but we will not respond.

Yours sincerely

“Fair Decision”? What do you think? HSBC had allowed me to talk to a technician and he temporarily solved my problem.

The situation got worse. I went to my local branch of NATWEST on Gosforth High Street – where the cycle lanes mercifully aren’t – but they have no manager there. The staff did their best to help, but could go no further than I could. They directed me to the manager in Northumberland Street.

Last week I called in and asked to see the Manager. Stephen stepped forward. And I explained the problem. He did his level best to help, but hit the same wall as I had. I suggested that a Manager should be able to do more than that – that he should own the problem. He then said he was senior but not actually the Manager.

She rang me the next day at my request. Has that got me anywhere? No.

Isn’t it amazing. 21st Century. They can send my statement as a pdf file, but when it comes to my credit card they can’t send it OFX. Curious, I googled OFX.

 “ Easier, cheaper, faster international transfers since 2004

Whether you’re buying a place in the sun or sending home overseas earnings, WorldFirst will get your money where you need it to be quickly and safely.

We understand the peace of mind that comes with great rates, award-winning customer service and secure transfers – just read our reviews .”

Meanwhile the Manager remains silent.

And I don’t really think that the Financial Ombudsman will get this solved before Xmas, if then.

I repeat, who really cares today in UK Ltd?

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