Why I No Longer Bank With Standard Chartered: A Play In Two Mercifully Short Acts

Act I: In Which I Can Suddenly Speak Mandarin

SFX: Phone ringing

AUTOMATIC VOICE: We are now transferring your call to a consultant. Please hold the line.

LADY ON PHONE: HellosirwelcometoStandardCharteredhowmayIassistyou.

ME: Hi; I’d like to cancel my credit card please.

Pregnant pause

ME: I’d like to cancel my credit card, please?

LADY ON PHONE: Hello?

ME: Can you hear me?

LADY ON PHONE: Hello, sir?

ME: Can you hear me?

LADY ON PHONE: I’m sorry sir, I don’t speak Mandarin; please speak in English.

ME: What? I know I have an atrocious Aussie accent, but come on.

LADY ON PHONE: Sorry sir, I don’t speak Mandarin.

ME: Oh, forget it.

SFX: Beep

Act II after the jump.

Act II: In Which I Undergo The “Short” Verification Process

SFX: Phone ringing

AUTOMATIC VOICE: We are now transferring your call to a consultant. Please hold the line.

MAN ON PHONE: HellosirwelcometoStandardCharteredhowmayIassistyou.

ME: (resigned voice) Hi, I’d like to cancel my credit card please.

MAN ON PHONE: And why would you like to cancel your credit card, ma’am?

ME: Because I’m sick of your lousy customer service and I’ve just moved all my banking business to HSBC. And because you just called me “ma’am”.

MAN ON PHONE: Alright, ma’am. Now we need to complete a short verification process. What is your date of birth?

ME: Shouldn’t you be asking me what my gender is, instead? You’ve just called me “ma’am” twice.

MAN ON PHONE: Thankyou ma’am, now do you have any supplementary cards with us?

ME: I sincerely hope not.

MAN ON PHONE: And do you pay your credit card using Giro?

ME: Do I what? Why can’t I give you a phone banking password like every other bank in the universe?

MAN ON PHONE: Thankyou ma’am, that completes the short verification process.

ME: Wait, does that mean there’s a long verification process? The UN High Commission on Human Rights would probably have something to say about that.

MAN ON PHONE: We’ll cancel your credit card immediately, thankyou. Is there anything else I can help you with today?

ME: Valium would be nice.

SFX: Beep; head banging against desk

On the bright side, they did cancel my card.

(Obligatory note: this wasn’t very funny. This is funnier.)

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2 Responses to Why I No Longer Bank With Standard Chartered: A Play In Two Mercifully Short Acts

  1. Josh says:

    Funnily enough, it only seems to happen with Singaporean banks. Whenever I call my Aussie bank to get something done, it’s quick, efficient, and almost pleasurable.
    Unfortunately, bad customer service seems to be endemic in this town.

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