“I LIKE customers. I really do. You’d expect me to say that wouldn’t you, but I mean it. Especially when they smile and have a bit of a chat and a joke. It doesn’t cost anything to smile does it?” This was Aaron, the happy, welcoming face of HSBC, Richmond, and a man after my own heart.

He greeted us like old friends when we went in, and  made us feel he was genuinely pleased to see us: the polar opposite, in fact, of the spanner-faced woman in the chemist I blogged about a couple of days ago. “It doesn’t matter to me whether you’ve got £10 or £10 million in your account. I treat everybody the same” he chirps which, being at the bottom end of that particular scale, is a comfort. What an irony, then, that we’d travelled 20 miles from Askrigg to tell him we wanted to close our account and shift our measly funds to good old NatWest, my banking home for 40+ years. The reason? Lousy customer service – not from the branch, but online and on the ‘phone.

HSBC is probably one of the biggest banks in the world yet can’t show you more than a month’s bank statements online. “We’re working on the problem” said the man in the so-called help centre. So, this was just a minor glitch in the system was it? “No – it’s just how we do business.” Well not with me it isn’t. Which is a shame when the staff in the branches make such an effort. Still, we’re very small beer in the world of the  Hongkong and Shanghai Banking Corporation. We don’t suppose Aaron will miss us, but still believe him when he says he’s sorry we’ve had a bad experience and hopes we have a good day. And we did. Aaron 🙂 🙂 HSBC 😦


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