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Promotional Products are not Banks

5th January 2017

By Mo Yusuff

It seems banks, like our promotional products, are on a different planet.

Actually, that’s not true. They’re on a different planet AND in a different universe. A universe parallel to ours that kind of crosses over into ours sometimes but really doesn’t belong in ours.

How do I know this?

Because of a really weird experience I had with a bank person years ago that just doesn’t, or shouldn’t happen, to humans. This is absolutely true. I’m not making this up.

First of all, it should be said, I’m no expert when it comes to money or the company finances. Mandy looks after all that except when she’s away.

Anyway, here’s my story about an encounter with someone not from this universe.

I place an order with a new supplier and paid with my company debit card.

Two days later and after receiving half the order; there’s a problem. The bank won’t allow the payment to go through because of “suspicious circumstances.”

So I called my bank and explained the problem. “I just need to ask you a few security questions, sir,” he said and he did. My date of birth. Easy. A question about a payment made on 26th May. Nailed that one easy.

Then he said something a bit alien: “What’s the name of your relationship manager?” Huh?

Now, that threw me. What the…is a relationship manager? And why would I want a relationship with anyone from a bank anyway? So, I said, “I don’t have a relationship with anyone from your bank, I don’t understand the question.” Now, this was an honest answer. We had a guy called Zak who used to call me every few months, but he moved on and his replacement, I spoke to a couple of times over a year ago and never since then.

So, alien banker person said, “Sorry, sir, but you didn’t answer all the questions satisfactorily, so I’m limited to the amount of information I can give you.”

So my rant of an answer was something like this:

“I don’t have and never will have a relationship with a banker, no disrespect to you but having a relationship with a banker is not something I want.

I’m not asking you for money. In fact, I’m not asking you for anything. I just need to know why you didn’t pay someone with money of mine that you have right now and what I need to do to pay them with my money.”

Eventually, he gave me some advice, but only after I asked him why on earth (because he wasn’t) would someone call a bank, pretending to be me, to ask a simple question about a payment? He told me to ask my supplier to put through the payment again and everything will be fine.

So I did and guess what?  It didn’t go through again.

So I’m trying to pay a supplier with my company money and it’s just not happening.

After being told by the bank person that the card transaction would be honoured, it wasn’t.

Then I noticed a text from the bank, it said “Please urgently call Fraud Prevention on ….24×7 quoting D1. This is not a marketing text…”.

Now think about it.

Why on earth would they think I would mistake a text like that for a marketing text? Why would anyone send a text asking you to call Fraud Prevention as part of a serious marketing strategy? (Maybe that’s what businesses do in their parallel universe).

I urgently called the number and spoke to someone who asked me if I’d made a payment by debit card to X company for X amount to which I answered yes and will she now allow the payment to go through please. Her reply: “No Sir, the transaction has been refused so you’ll need to ask the person to try again.”

Now, my point to all this is this:

If we treated customers the way banks treat their customers, we would have no customers. The banks get away with it because we have no choice but to use them.

And my bet is that one day a bank will be set up by humans for humans and not in some distant universe.

Luckily, customer service is something I’m totally passionate about. Unlike greedy banks, I won’t take your money and run. So if you’re looking for promotional products that may look out of this world but actually aren’t, let us know and I’ll get on to it straight away.

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