Wednesday, June 13, 2007

NatWest - wrong form

Yesterday I received the first piece of correspodence from NatWest bank regarding a new account that has been set up for OpenSkills, but the address it went to was not the best one for me. Inside the letter was a small form that could be used to request a change of address, so I filled it in and took it along to my local branch at St. Pauls.

At the branch things are set up with a receptionist at a desk near the door and then tellers to one side behind glass screens. When I went in the receptionist was helping someone with what seemed to be a very involved problem but one of the tellers was completely free, so I walked over and asked if I could leave the address change form with her, but no, she only did one kind of thing and I must wait in line to see the person at the reception desk to hand over my form. What nonsesne. Clearly NatWest have not asked their staff to help customers but rather to only do very narrowly defined tasks. Staff empowerment? Not at Nat West.

So I went back to the other line and waited for what seemed like ages (other people had joined the queue while I vainly tried to leave my little bit of paper with the teller). When I got to the front I just asked the receptionist if I could leave the form ... but even that would be too easy. My form was not the latest version of the address change form, it seems! Horror! I must go over to the seating area and complete the new kind of form. I pointed out that I had received my form in the post just the previous day ... but the receptionist was not impressed. By this point, neither was I. NatWest have clearly failed to implement the form changeover in a sane way. They failed to get their own systems to send out the new form and they failed to leave a time window during which both versions of the form could be used. Add to that the rigid inflexibility of the staff in such a small matter and you have one very unhappy customer.

I just walked out leaving the form I had already completed and signed. Let's see if NatWest can show some flexibility and try a little bit to actually (gasp) help their customers rather than treat them with derision.

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