If you have a problem with your bank, you call them!
Well, I did. But first…
I had a problem with HSBC, so I tried going into the branch to talk to someone. They sent me to the phones. After half an hour, I was told there was nothing they could do, and I should call again in a few weeks. Awesome. Their second mistake (after blatantly not giving a toss about me paying for a dinner twice due to a card malfunction) was to not notice that a) I use twitter and b) I was on High Street Kensington, home of every. single. bank. in the UK.
Before the day was done I had received more than half a dozen recommendations for Santander’s 123 account and had already applied for it online. In less than 5 working days, I had received my debit and credit cards.
On Monday night, I waited on hold to talk to someone about activating my credit card (that’s a first, needing a human and having opening hours for that), I realised that the name on the card was “Eurydice Sophie Ex”. As opposed to “Ms E S Exintaris”. They’d cut off my last name.
Instead of activating the card, I told the person on the line my problem and she said she had re-issued a card with the right name and I should be receiving it within 7 to 10 working days.
Then why, the next day, was the Santander twitter team getting in touch? Ah. Well. I had tweeted my “amusement” after hanging up.
And they asked me to get in touch. I did. This is the email I sent them.
What I didn’t know was that the twitter team looked into it, emailed me, got some more details, and confirmed that they had to get in touch with me because, well, the person I’d spoken to hadn’t fixed the problem!!
After a short and somewhat jovial / apologetic conversation, I should be receiving my third new card next week, they will happily give me apology money to reimburse the difference of travel cost in weekly tickets vs. monthly tickets (I need to wait a week due to their mistake before buying my monthly rail ticket, thereby paying £10 more for 7 days of travel), as well as a little something extra to show how sorry they were.
Naturally, I was thrilled. I won’t be out of pocket for rail fare differences. I’ll get a bonus cash amount of a small dinner’s worth. And hey! I managed to get something sorted via twitter / email / minimal phone rather efficiently. I also loved how pro-active they were, chasing it up.
Thinking about it, I’d recommend people tweet their banks instead of attempting any other form of communication. And then it dawned on me (following a comment by @ragtag – Karl Roche)… well… what about the unenlightened, disconnected, luddite masses? Whether by choice, circumstance, disinterest or ignorance, a _huge_ percentage of the population is actually *gasp* NOT on twitter.
Why would they be? Most of my friends don’t “see the point of twitter”. I explain to them how cool it is to see South West Trains’ fuse box hit by lightning, find a flight home after your original one is cancelled due to snow, and being saved from sad circumstances thanks to a hashtag. They all at least smile. But I have yet to see any of them properly active on twitter. It does take a while. I know. It did for me too. Thing is. It’s completely worth it.