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I'm never one to throw in the towel...
This Cheltenham and Gloucester thing. It is coming to its end. We had my antagonistic letter to bring the subject up again, followed by my realistic and reasonable letter to attempt to get my point heard. I received a reply to this latter letter, and have responded with an angry final say.
So, here is what my friend, and yours, Mr Christopher (I hope you search for your name on the internet one day) Marshman had to say in response to my last letter.
24 May 2001
Dear Mr Frieze
By minimising the administration required to run any account, we are reducing the costs associated with that product. This in turn has a positive impact on the interest rate we are able to offer.
The withdrawal procedure we have adopted with the C&G Direct 30 does, we feel, benefit not only C&G, but also the customer.
As stated in my previous letter, by asking customers to confirm their withdrawal request we are allowing them to place provisional notice on funds which may or may not be required. If the latter is the case, neither they nor C&G will have the need to take any further action, which in turn will remove the resultant issue of unwanted cheques and associated loss of interest.
I hope this further clarifies the situation.
[it was signed by someone on his behalf]
Reaction: ARE YOU LISTENING TO ME YOU IMBECILE?
My letter of reply said the above in a slightly different way...
Mr Christopher Marshman
C&G Invest Direct
PO Box 115
29 May 2001
Dear Mr Marshman
I think that it is the feeling of banging my head against a brick wall, when dealing with your so-called customer services, which has most motivated me to close my account.
You have point-blank refused to accept that I might actually have a point. You insist on explaining non-existent benefits of your system in the vain hope that I will shut up and go away. All I ever wanted from you was acknowledgement that there is a flaw in your system. You insist, however, on glossing over the single simple point that I am making.
I cannot believe that operating a system where you hold confirmation slips until their due date will impact greatly on your costs. Indeed, it would seem to me that a bank, with computers and filing systems, would have no trouble with holding some slips. I would also point out that the issue of provisional notice, which you seem so proud of that you mention it in every letter, would be unaffected by the customer being allowed to send the form back early if they wish, cheques only being issued, as they are now, when a form is processed on its due date.
The question here is simple, do you want to provide a better service to your customers? If you do, and your job title might suggest that it is something you ought to consider, then why not try opening your mind to the possibility that it may be better for the customer to be allowed to return their confirmation slip as soon or as late as they want to. Then, you get the best of both worlds. Indeed, with postal strikes, customers might feel more secure returning a form early.
So, are you going to write back and try to justify the unjustifiable? Are you going to write back and tell me you’ll consider my suggestion? Or maybe you might write back and tell me that it is too much trouble for you to implement and apologise for the inconvenience caused by your system.
I look forward to your final word on this matter.
I think he probably will want the last word on the matter. Luckily, we're nearly at the point when I am allowed to return my slip, so the secondary objective of keeping the matter at the front of my mind, in order to have a chance at remembering to return the slip, is being fulfilled. If I were Mr Marshman, I'd consider passing this comment on to a higher level... I think he's probably too pig-headed for that.
30 May 2001