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I object

Jane 12:19 pm, Mar 21st 2012

I rang my bank to ask them if I could change my mortgage from interest only payments to part repayments. They said “not a problem” and that they’d send me a form. Seven days later – just when I was feeling forgotten – the form arrived along with a letter:

“Dear Miss Eden…” All fine so far. Brownie points for calling me “Miss.” I am often called “Mrs” Eden and this gets my goat. My mum is Mrs Eden.

“Thank you for your enquiry.” Well, it has gone beyond an enquiry. This is something I want to do, but okay. Pretty standard fare in a letter from a bank.

“We have no objections to you….” Whoa! What?! You have no objections to me paying back money I have borrowed. No objections?! Well, that’s big of you. That’s put me in my place. And it reveals a lot about how you see our relationship. You are big and I am small. You are in control and I need your permission. Do you have another letter you send to other customers saying, “We do object to you paying your mortgage back. We’d really prefer you to stay in debt for as long as possible. That way we make more money.” Am I wrong in thinking that the whole point of a mortgage is that I need to give the money back?

Take a lesson from retailers. I can’t imagine going for my morning coffee and being told, “We have no objection to you buying this coffee…” In fact, when I took out my mortgage with you, you sent me a letter saying, “I would like to take this opportunity of welcoming you as a new customer…” You didn’t say, “We have no objections to you being a customer…”

Well, bank that shall be nameless, you’ve changed your tune, and I object. Your choice of words have made me think twice about you. You had an opportunity to choose your words with care and to build our relationship, to make me think well of your brand. This could be a case of careless words costing you a customer.


4 responses
  1. Henry Tapper says:

    Very good

    That told em!

    Do I have your permission to use these words on http://www.henrytapper.com?

  2. Jane Eden says:

    Thank you very much, Henry. Yes of course. If you can mention the author -Quietroom – that would be great.

  3. Mark says:

    “We have no objection to you buying this coffee…” Great line! Thanks for the LOL.

  4. Ian McWhirter says:

    Well said Jane. Even your first paragraph makes me start to simmer. Whenever I pay a cheque into the bank they invariably say ‘no problem!’ Why on earth should it be? It’s your job, for heaven’s sake!
    It’s what you’re there for – and as for the inevitable ‘there you go’ when the transaction is completed… I suppose I’m just an old fashioned guy. (miss you at FP).


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