Wednesday, 26 January 2011


'Hello, Mr Hook.  This is FatCat Bank.  I'm Craig.  How are you today?'

Have you ever had one of these phone calls?  Now I have put money in FatCat Bank since they were just a Kitty, but they have never tried to do personal business on the telephone.

'Not today, thank you.'
'Mr Hook, we are just conducting a customer audit to check that everything is in order with your account and to ensure that you are happy with the management of your money.

Now, just to make sure that you really are our customer, Mr Hook, would you mind confirming some details of your account for me.'

They must think we're really dumb.  I'll hand over my account details to someone I don't know and say I'm happy and then mysteriously my account disappears and I'm not so happy.'

'I'm afraid I don't do this sort of thing on the telephone.'
'So probably you're not sure whether I'm really your bank, Mr Hook.  I can give you your sort code or the last 2 numbers of your credit card to confirm who I am.  Which would you prefer, Mr Hook?'

It's compelling, isn't it.  I like the friendly use of my name too.  So someone has got hold of one of my credit card purchase slips.  But they're not getting anything else!

'I'm afraid I don't do this on the phone, Craig.  But I will pop into the bank tomorrow and sort it all out.'
'No need to do that, Mr Hook.  I'm sure we can save you the trouble.  Now, before you answer a few questions, is there still anything that concerns you, Mr Hook?'
'No, I've been having a bit of a problem with nuisance calls recently, so the police are monitoring my telephone and will be recording this call now.  I expect they'll give you a ring in the morning and sort out my account.'
'OK, Mr Hook.  Goodbye now. . . . . . . . . .Sh*t!'

I wonder what that last sentence meant.

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