Thursday, 22 November 2012

Fraudsters are human, too

I've mentioned the 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 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.

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