I received a call from a bank while sleeping in preparation for night shift. It seemed a reasonable call. Let’s start at the beginning… Some time ago I completed an application for a new credit card which would facilitate Bush Orders from our chosen supermarket. As part of the application, I naturally had to provide financial data to support my request. And this is where it started to get surreal.
Carefully following the instructions received by phone, and rechecked to make sure I had missed nothing, I gave up some of my sleep after night shift to cycle to work and fax off the necessary documents. These included the expected things, such as recent payslips to verify my salary. No problems so far.
About two hours later, I was woken by another phone call thanking me for the documents, and requesting that I now fax across a copy of my most recent bank statement!! It seems that this was needed to verify my salary. OK, so why did they want my payslips?? If they weren’t proof of my salary, then want was the point of asking for them? And why didn’t they ask for the bank statement at the outset? Of course the mindless drone that had the unfortunate job of ringing me didn’t know the answers – not surprising as probably no-one in the bank knows! Anyway, eventually I simmered down enough to get up, get the bank statement, blank out all the details they had no right to see, and cycle back to work to fax it off. Whew! Now it’s done, just wait for a call to confirm or deny the application.
A week later, another drone rings to ask if I have received a letter asking for 100 points of ID. Of course I haven’t yet received any such mail, so I ask the drone how this works. Seems I have to front up at the service counter at the nearest branch of the supermarket in question with 100 points of ID in order for my application to proceed. I mention that this store is situated 507km away and I’m not planning a trip there anytime soon. “No worries” says the drone. “It’s all explained in the letter, and you’ll have 14 days to sort it out”. Well, the letter turned up a couple of days later, and it turns out the 14 days begins when the letter is typed, and 13 of them had passed before I received it. OK, so I’d better get on the phone, because I’m working night shift again, and couldn’t get to the store even if I wanted to. Another drone takes the call – they must have an endless supply of these creatures! She assures me that there’s no problem and hangs up on me before I’ve even explained the situation. Hmmm, I can see this is going to end well!!
Several days later, another drone (yes a different one again) rings me up (yes, waking me again) to ask if I have had a chance to complete the 100 points of ID. Not wanting to spoil his obviously exciting day, I patiently explained that it is over 1000km round trip to get to the store, so there will be some delay. He doesn’t sound too sure about this, apparently he has been told that 98% of the Australian population live within 50km of one of the stores in question. Therefore I am mistaken as no-one could possibly live 500km from a store! He assures me that he will make a note on my application that it will be about a month before I can provide the 100 points of ID. His final parting shot is that “we can’t keep the application open for long”. My response is along the lines of, “Well that’s your loss then because I’m not making a special trip of over 1000km just to do some paperwork. You’ll just have to wait”. “Have a nice day, sir” says the drone before hanging up, having just ruined my sleep and ensured that I’ll have anything but a nice day.
Finally, while sleeping in preparation this night shift that I’m on right now, I get a phone call from the bank. Guess what, it’s another drone!! How many do they have? So what do they want now? Well, it seems that reading the customer’s file is not one of their skills, because this drone launched into a spiel about needing to get 100 points of ID blah blah blah … So here we go for the fourth time, trying to explain to someone with the IQ of a pet rock why I haven’t dropped everything and spent 2 days and several hundred dollars to dash to Alice Springs to present my ID at the store. By this time I am starting to have serious reservations about doing business with this bank!! I get through my explanation, then the drone asks sweetly “What would you like me to do”. Suppressing the urge to tell her where to shove my application, I beg her to mark my file DO NOT DISTURB and wait for me to get to the store, which will now be in two weeks or so. She says to have a nice day, so I thank her for ruining my sleep and please just leave me alone.
So that’s where it’s at. Maybe I’ll eventually get the card. I don’t really care, as I certainly don’t need it. But it has been an interesting experience, and has reminded me why I bank with a credit union.