Black Horse money box before - one of my most enduring memories of the Lloyds (TSB) Bank brand. But yesterday, my loyalty of over 40 years was put to the test.
I needed to pay in a cheque made out to me in my maiden name. The cheque was written by someone who I don't know and who it would be a hassle to trace, especially given that the huge sum involved was £7.49. My first encounter with the call centre went as follows:
Steve (not changing his name cos he's not innocent and doesn't need protecting): No, we don't accept cheques unless they are made out to the account holder. You'll have to ask the person who wrote it to change it.
Me: But...I live in another country...and I don't know her...and it's only a small sum of money...look, it's the name my parents set the account up for me in, 40 years ago...I can send you a copy of my marriage certificate...
Steve: We only accept cheques that are made out to the account holder.
Me: But...that's totally absurd!
Steve: We have to do it to stop fraud. We only accept cheques that are made out to the account holder.
Me: That's utterly ridiculous!
Steve: Thank you (puts phone down on me)
To cut a long story short, the next Lloyds TSB employee I spoke to was a human being. She sussed out immediately that a fraudster was unlikely to concoct such a story for a possible gain of £7.49. She did the human, sensible thing and contacted my branch. Yes, of course you can send the cheque there, with the marriage certificate and a little note to say we've spoken...is there anything else I can do for you...
When will service brands learn that they'll catch more fraudsters if they start acting and thinking like human beings. It would help their reputations, too.