As I indicated in a previous blog, I sent a letter to my bank seeking clarification about my credit standing with them after they had sent me a loan offer priced at the astronomical rate of 19.9%. I asked very clearly for a response that expressly addressed
what had changed in my specific circumstances.
You won't be surprised to hear that I have now received what I would call a 'number 32' standard response. What I mean by this is that the so-called 'Customer Relations Manager' (CRM) probably scanned the letter, didn't look into my circumstances at all,
decided this letter was about loan pricing and selected a template from a standard suite of letters.
In it, the CRM tells me that: 'various factors are taken into account when calculating the interest rate available to a customer, for example credit history, account activity and existing borrowing.' I am also reliably informed that: 'Rates can also depend
on the term and amount of the loan, together with a customer's personal pricing.'
You don't say.
Had the bank's representative read my letter properly, they would have noticed that I was probably a banker, or ex-banker who probably knew all of the above already. Had they thought about the content of my letter still further, they would have seen that
a) I was not happy at the insult and b) I wanted a considered response that addressed my specific issues.
I can only conclude that they either don't care what customers think, or they are so inundated with complaints that the CRMs only have time to scan a letter for the likely main topic and bash out a standard response.
Interestingly, over the weekend when I went in to the bank's internet banking site, there was an offer telling me that I had been pre-approved for a larger loan than the one mentioned in the mailshot. When I clicked-through to apply, the rate on offer was
9.7%, not 19.9%, so I am now left wondering how crap their risk systems are.
The other laugh is that, probably generated by another department, they have been trying their best to recruit me into their premium banking service over the last 12 months...
I know I am wasting my time, but they are getting a response from me, asking them to a) address the issues I raised properly this time and b) explain why the online offer is so different. I guess I'll get the brush-off again but, if I do, it's the Ombudsman
next, or maybe the FSA, or both.
Ridiculous, isn't it?