A Love Letter



Dear HSBC,

I know that you are a gigantic multi-national bank and that you probably don't care about a small fish like me. I do not have millions (or really, even thousands) of pounds in my bank account. I do not have a mortgage with you or anything else through which you can drip me dry of my savings through fluctuating interest rates. And I generally tend to pay off my credit card bill month to month, which means that you don't even get to earn money off of my most frivolous purchases. I am a dud of a bank customer.

I should feel fortunate that you ALLOW me to have a bank account at all, really. I am a Canadian after all, and you know what we are like. We tend to be wishy washy peace keepers, we aren't involved in the oil race in any meaningful way and we tend to limit our pillaging. As a result, we never have the big bucks.

Although you call yourselves 'The World's Local Bank", which I understand to mean that you are international in nature, and even though there is even one of you in the medium size Canadian prairie town I come from, I should count myself lucky that it only took two months for you to let me set up an account and that you are only charging me a £12 per month premium for the luxury. Thank you HSBC for enabling me to allow you to make money off of what is mine.

Most important, I don't want you to worry about me having any expectations related to customer service. I am paying for the luxury of having you as my financial institution, not for service. I don't expect my Internet banking to work on a regular basis and I am just fine when, for no apparent reason, I get security warnings that force me to call you and sit on hold for a half an hour only to have you get me to pick yet another security number. The fact that you can't explain why this keeps happening must be stressful for you and I hope that you know that I am clear that none of this is your fault. I must be doing something wrong.

Although it is my money sitting in your bank, don't think that I want easy or regular access to it. Being unable to take out cash only makes me appreciate the value of a pound when you do see fit to allow me access. Feel free to put security flags on my account any time you want. Decline my purchases and don't bother calling me. Just do it. It's not really my money, is it? Oh, right, it is. But still. I'm sure you have your reasons, though you are shy and unable to clearly articulate what those are.

Last Tuesday night when I was in a strange area in North East London and my card ceased to function, it all worked out in the end, didn't it? I didn't get stabbed, or beaten up, I didn't have to pan handle, and thanks to the kindness of friends, I didn't even have to walk the three hours it would have taken me to get home. When I called you from the rainy streets of London, I appreciate that you saw fit to get to me within 45 minutes. Efficiency is your middle name. And don't pay any mind to the fact that the call used up almost all my mobile minutes for this month or that your customer service number is not one that is included in basic free calling minutes so I paid for every second you had me on hold. If I didn't have to work for it, how would I ever really appreciate all that you do for me?

When we did finally connect, you made me realise that it really was my fault that my bank card stopped working. Even though the card said it was good until May 2010, I should have been paying more attention to the piles of mail you send me because at some point you did post through a new bank card, which I must have missed. You can't really explain why given that the current card was working fine, but I guess I should consider it a special gift from a friend. I know your computer system told you that I hadn't activated the new card yet, but you needed to teach me a lesson, which you did by turning off my perfectly functional card. You're a real pal.

Finally, I really appreciate the fact that when my Canadian mother went to her local HSBC branch in an attempt to transfer money to me, you wouldn't help her. I know I have a checking account, savings account and credit card with you, but it would be ridiculous of you to be able to apply money to any of these accounts from anywhere other than my local Cardiff branch. Just because you are international doesn't mean we can expect you to function, erm, internationally. The problem is really all those people (like my mother) who have unrealistic expectations. You are only a bank after all.

This is a bad time to be in your line of work. You are suffering, through absolutely no fault of your own. I just want you to know that I am going to stand by you through all the financial mismanagement and shoddy service. You are going through a difficult time, and we always hurt those who are closest to us. I am there for you. Hell, I am willing to pay for the privilege.

All my love,

Amy
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1 Comments:

Jen said...

Ah, I will never forget how my neglected Canadian HSBC account balance went to negative from all the monthly charges they gave me. HSBC gives me so much attention, I don't know how to repay the love, so I cancelled the account.