I hate Nat West - so why am I STILL a customer?

If you ask an average member of the British public which business they have the most customer service problems with, it's very likely that their bank will come near the top of the list.

When it comes to customer service, banks and financial institutions are the businesses that we complain about the most. Yet bizarrely, it's a statistical fact that you have more chance of changing your spouse than changing your bank!

Yes that's right: there is more chance of you getting a divorce than getting a new bank!

And this probably explains why I have been a customer of the Leeds branch of Nat West for over 30 years. I must be some kind of crazy masochist to have put up with so many problems with them over the years. Yet something inside me still makes me cling to them, like a little lost puppy who clings to an abusive owner.

I'm not even going to begin listing the numerous problems I've experienced with them over the last three decades. But I could honestly fill an entire book with stories about just how dreadful their customer service is.

I am going to devote several future blog articles to the customer service problems of banking in general, and the reasons why we are so reluctant to change our banks, even in the face of appalling customer service. 

But just for now, please allow me to let off some steam by sharing a letter I have written to them.

Dear Nat West Bank,

AAAAGGGHHHHH!!!! Why do you stupid morons write to me trying to flog your credit cards (that I don't want) and your extortionate premium accounts VIRTUALLY EVERY WEEK, but you stupid idiots can't even be bothered to tell me that your branch opening times have changed?!?!

This simple information would have saved me from a wasted journey today through rush hour traffic, only to find that you now close the branch half an hour earlier than the closing time you've had FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS!!!

All it would have taken is just ONE extra sentence in ONE of the numerous unsolicited sales letters that you foist on me. JUST ONE FLIPPING SENTENCE to say that you have recently changed your branch opening hours.


I look forward to coming back AGAIN tomorrow and queuing for over 20 minutes (which is what I have to do EVERY time I visit you). GRRRRR!!!

And when I do eventually get to the front of the queue, please tell the 19-year-old wannabe fashion model called Chelsea not to bother giving me a glib apology for my long wait. Her apology always sounds so insincere. Like a robot who has been trained to say: "Hello sir, sorry for your wait."

And also please tell her (when she has finished varnishing her nails) that NO I am NOT prepared to lie about how long I had to wait in the queue if I get a phone call from the 'independent' market research agency who might phone me within the next 7 days to ask about my visit to the bank. If they do phone me, then I will NOT pretend everything is great, just so that the manager can get his bonus from Head Office. 

I will tell them the truth: that your customer service STINKS!!!

Nat West, please let me make this very clear. I absolutely hate you. I am constantly having problems with your appalling customer service. You have caused me untold inconvenience numerous times over the last 30 years.

The fact that I am still banking with you (despite everything) indicates that I must be either mad, or stupid, or both.

But no doubt I will STILL (inexplicably) be banking with you in another 30 years time. GROAN!!

Yours faithfully,

Darren (Long Suffering Customer)