In order to continue improving our service we want to know what Helpful Banking means to our customers.
* Tell us about any instances where we've been particularly helpful.
* Have there been any instances where we could have been more helpful?
* We're constantly looking for new ways to help our customers.
What could we do to help you?
You could help me by making sure the branch opening times listed on your website are exactly the branch opening times in real life.
I went to the Ambleside branch today, to deposit some cash in the account of a friend, Mr Dan Bown. That's Bown, Brown without an r. He didn't write the Da Vinci Code and is sick of people mentioning it.
If he had've written the Da Vinci code, he wouldn't need me to put any money in his account.
It was 3.55 p.m.
I was strolling.
"The bank closes at half four," I thought.
"I have loads of time. It's not very far away."
There was a fine drizzle in the air and some small dogs in the park.
I'd just finished work.
I wasn't too cold or too hot.
I wasn't hungry or angry or in a rush.
I withdrew a hundred and twenty pounds from one of those "cash machines".
I thought: "After I have put a hundred and ten pounds in Dan's account, I will purchase a can of ginger beer, open it, and pour its contents into my face. This will be lovely and marvellous."
But I didn't do that.
Because when I arrived at the Nat West, Ambleside, the door was shut.
It was in such a state of shutness that at first I didn't think it was a door. I thought it was a bit of the wall with a lock on it.
Shocked to my very balls, I searched the area for a way in.
The only one that presented itself was the window. I would need to glue a diamond helmet to my head, take a very big run up across a busy road, and launch myself helmet-first at the glass, cash in one hand, printout of opening times-as-stated-on-the-website in the other.
But where was I going to find a diamond helmet at that time, in that town, and for a tenner?
All my tears came out at once and left a puddle of sorrow on the pavement.
Naturally, passers-by assumed I had done an accident with my nether-parts, and gave me a wide berth, as they say, in some cases even turning around and walking in the opposite direction, muttering and flabbergasted.
Imagine this in detail, please, for it is one of those instances in which you could have been more helpful.
It's not your fault, of course. It's a communication breakdown, isn't it. Someone hasn't bothered to check, or someone else hasn't bothered to inform someone else.
Possibly they are getting round to it this week, but don't think it's of maximal priority.
It's not going to hurt anyone.
But what about your customer Mr Bown?
Now he's sitting at home, in London, muttering and disgusted.
Disgusted at me, his friend, because I haven't done what I said I was going to do.
In effect, your website has turned me into a cack-hearted monster of betrayal.
And Dan can't afford any of those things he thought he would be able to afford today.
I don't know what those things are, but I'm sure he would rather be having them right now, than right now not having them.
So I'll return to the Nat West, Ambleside, tomorrow morning, and put the money in his account then.
But could you tell me what time you actually open? Because I don't want to start weeping on the pavement again.
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