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Monday, November 5, 2012

Thar Be Dragons!


When I was a Bank Johnny in the 60s and a customer said, "Jump!", I jumped. The only question open to me was, "How high?" How different things are today when bank staff are all females, employed part-time and as casuals.

Now don't get me wrong: I am not a misogynist (well, not much anyway ☺), neither in the traditional nor in the Julia Gillard sense, and I don't mind if they are casual as long as it isn't with my money.

A year ago, I took advantage of the high interest rates by transferring money into several interest-bearing term deposits with St George Bank. It could all be done without fuss over the internet.

Imagine my surprise when on maturity of those deposits I found I couldn't transfer them back out again. I rang the bank and was lectured - rather patronisingly, I thought - that I had to come into the bank with sufficient identification to "make the necessary arrangements within the 14-day window of each maturity date" which is Bank-speak for 'get back in the queue'.

"I live out in the country", I said. "Can I mail you a written instruction? I have four deposits all maturing on different dates and I don't want to do this four times."

"No", was the snappy reply and down went the phone.

What is it with me that always brings out the best in women? I mailed off a letter anyway, expecting the staff, however snappy and snitchy, to act on it.

They didn't!!! They didn't even acknowledge it! I might as well have written in cuneiform or German!

So before they could hand me over to the men in white coats to take me off to a room with soft walls and remove all sharp implements from my possession, I drove into town, signed four forms for four deposits, showed my ID (I was even prepared to give a DNA swab), and departed.

Well, the first deposit matured yesterday. Yesterday being a Sunday, I expected the money to be available on the next business day which is today. Which it wasn't. So I phoned.

Bank: "We're very busy today."

Me:    "So when will you transfer the money?"

Bank: "It'll be done sometime today."

Me:    "So can I draw a cheque against it now?"

Bank: "Legally speaking, you cannot draw against it until it is in your account!" She'd just pressed the wrong button!!!

Me:    "If I want a legal opinion, I ring my lawyer. All I want you to tell me is if I can today draw on my own money which had 'legally' matured yesterday."

Bank: "YES!" And down went the phone, leaving bruises on my ear.

Quite clearly, they don't want my business. And I don't want their service. Good-bye, Dragon Bank!

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