Monday, 20 March 2006

What's wrong with the training at that bank, I wonder!

Attracted by a lower fee structure, I walked into a local bank recently to ask whether I can open an online stock trading account without opening a new account to link to the stock trading. I thought it would take me only a few second to find the answer from the customer service officer. I ended up spending an hour in the bank.

First, I needed to wait for the service. There was an old lady talking to the officer at that time, so I thought I would just wait a while. Of course, time just went. By the time it was my turn, I had been standing there for 15 minutes. OK, my answer would just be a yes or no and I could be on my way. It turned out the custom service did not know the answer straight the way and she offered to find it out for me. OK, that would be fine, just a minute or so to look up in her computer, I thought. No, wrong!

After about 10 minutes of very diligent search using her computer, she could not find an answer. She politely apologised and offered to call to find an answer for me. I was getting a little impatient. But, the idea of opportunity cost started to kick in. OK, I had been there for almost half-an-hour, so a minute or two would not hurt. So, I agreed.

It must be a very busy day. It took a very long time to get connected as she repeatedly redial the number. She kept trying. Finally, she got through and started pressing keys on the phone. I asked why. She said the computer has picked up the phone and she had to select the right department. Finally, she was online talking to someone. I guessed it must be the call centre somewhere in India. The person on the other side apparently did not have the answer as well. (Well the call centre must be looking as the same computer information customer service looked at before.) So the problem as escalated to the manager on duty at the call centre. Apparent s/he did not have an answer as well. So the polite customer service officer put down the phone and offered to call me after she had an answer. I left my name and mobile number and left; very frustrated in spending an hour achieving nothing.

That was a week ago. I still have not heard from her!

What's wrong with the training at that bank, I wonder! Wasted 45 minutes of a staff time and created a very frustrated potential customer who wasted almost an hour! Worse of all, the frustrated potential customer also blogs.

I went online, tried to apply for a new online stock trading account. A new saving account was opened automatically linking to my trading account. I needed to print out the application forms, sign, post them to the bank or drop them to a local branch. I decided not to proceed. Did not bother to print and stopped the application. I will continue with my current online stock broker in spite of a higher fee!

BTW, the complexity was due to the fact that the stocks are in the name of a company.

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