Does the incompetence of banks take your breath away?

What do you think?

  • Does responding to one discrimination with another just double the impact?
  • Do you have similarly poor treatment from banks, insurance companies and other financial services?
  • Isn’t it time that banks complied with the law?

I wrote recently about getting the brush-off from my long-term ban, Santander, when I tried to buy some Euros.  Essentially, it was do it on-line (regardless of being blind) or go round the corner to a Bureau de Change – not great service and certainly discriminatory!

I did get a friend to help me to try the on-line option – it failed on two consecutive days.

Next there is a jolly little e-mail from the bank:

“It is my understanding that you wanted to order a foreign currency but the advisor was not able to do this over the phone. I understand this was distressing as you are visually impaired and you feel this is discriminating against you. I apologise if this is how you feel and I will definitely pass this on as feedback to improve our service going forward as I’m sure this may impact other customers also.

However we currently do not have the ability to do this over phone but I can arrange an appointment in your local branch and they can order the cash for you.  This must be done online with your card details, but the branch staff could complete this with you present with your permission to enter your card details. Via our site

I apologise that this is not the service you expected and due to us not being able to provide the service over the phone I would like to send out a hamper as an apology for this.”

But they recalled the e-mail within hours!  I was pretty disappointed not to get the promised hamper but even more so that the manager in the bank hadn’t offered me the supported on-line access at the time of the original request.

But they had at least recognised my visual impairment.

So you can imagine my complete irritation when the next I hear is that a printed letter and leaflet regarding the complaint has arrived – completely inaccessible for me as well they should know – heaps insult on insult and discrimination on discrimination.


Penny Melville-Brown

Disability Dynamics ltd

Helping disabled people to work since 2000

© 2024 - Penny Melville-Brown
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