The other day I called my bank to speak to my financial advisor. I wanted to go over my accounts and talk about a few other things. Easy, right. ?
Seven phone calls, two days, transferred several times and put on hold for 20 minutes, I finally booked an appointment.
I knew I something was up when I called "my person" at the bank and the recorded message said "you have reached a number no longer in use". Hmmm... Tried the number again, and got the same message, with a name and number of another person at the branch to call or to call the 1-800 to book an appointment. I am one of those who like to call a number that has a name attached to it first, so I called that number and got voicemail stating I would get a call back within 24 hours. 24 hours came and went, so I called the the 1-800 to see where I would get.
The 1-800 tells me "my person does not exist in the bank directory - did I call the right bank?" --- I laughed.... seriously, I say ??? I have been dealing with my person for over 15 years! I asked the person on the other end of the phone where they were located. Located over 500 km from my local branch and where I live, at a call centre who now books appointments for the local branch. The new and improved process they say. They transfer me to the 2nd person I had originally tried to get hold of, only to get their voicemail again. Okay, so I'm now starting to get a little frustrated. I used to be able to call "my person", leave a message, get a call back within couple hours and have an appointment booked.
I now leave second voicemail asking if "my person" still works there and if not, would like to book an appointment and meet the person who is now taking over my account. I get a call back within a couple of hours and she sounds stressed and tells me she can't help me because she is going on vacation for two weeks. She tells me to call someone else at the branch, and gives me another name and number to call. I ask her if she is taking over my account. She tells me "my person" retired two months ago and they are scrambling to sort things out and still doesn't know who is doing what. I call the new number she gives me, only to get voicemail, stating if I want to book an appointment to call the 1-800 number !!! Are you laughing now ?? I feel like I'm living one of those comedy routines you listen to on T.V.
I've gone around full circle now. I live in a small town, and it would have been faster to walk over to the bank and book the appointment myself in person.
You guess it, I call the 1-800 number again, to book an appointment. I get "young and nervous voice" on the line and say I want to book an appointment with "Jude" at my local branch. Sure he says, I can help you with that. Why do you want to book an appointment? I say I want to go over my accounts and meet the person who has taken over my account. "Ok", he says and puts me on hold for 20 minutes. I am usually a pretty patient person, and have been told at times I have the patience of a saint, but after all of a this my patience was now running rather thin. He finally comes back on the line, only to tell me he can't help me and transfers me to someone else ! So, now I am talking to another young but arrogant know-it-all voice, who says "how can I help you?" I again, say I am trying to book an appointment with a person at my local branch to review my account. She interrupts me and says "oh, you want re-finance your mortgage". What? I say, I never said that, I just want to book an appointment. And proceed to tell her what I have been through to book an appointment and how disappointed I am with the service. She tells me this is their new improved process with consolidating departments/call centres and this is how it will be going forward. I tell her this is anything but improved. To which she answers "I am sorry, YOU, feel that way", "Is there anything else I can help you with today?" (like she even cares !).
I finally get my appointment booked !!! Now I am afraid to change it, in case I have to go through this process all over again.
This experience has given me second thoughts now if I want to continue dealing with this major bank. When I finally do get to meet this new person at my local branch, I will be telling her how their new and improved service is working. :)
The company I currently work for is starting to consolidate departments and have "call centres". I sure hope we don't become like the bank.
This all sounds funny now, as I am writing, but wasn't funny while it happened. It reminds me years ago when the major telephone company in Canada called Bell Telephone got an automated attendant called "Emily".
AND..... THIS, my friends is called Progress !!!!!!