Banks are the scourge of my life. You would think that since I give them all my money, they would be nice to me. But no – I hand over them my cash, which they invest in whatever scummy company takes their fancy, and in return they give me…um…nothing.
That’s right – until last month, I was getting no interest whatsoever. None at all. There are banks in Sweden that pay interest but mine, SEB, was not one of them. And so my money was sitting in their electronic vaults losing value at the rate of 3% a year, gathering virtual dust.
And then last month SEB announced they would suddenly have savings account, as if it were an utterly new concept that they had knocked together in a brainstorm at the local after-work cocktail establishment.
So I went to my bank and told the lady I wanted one. She looked up my account and said, “But this is all in a current account. You’re making no interest on this at all!”
“Yes,” I replied slowly. “I know. That is why I am here. Please fix.”
I also mentioned to the lady that I was paying 2 euros a month for a special kind of bankcard that was useless, as I had another bank card that did the same job for free.
“Oh yes,” she said. “You should have changed this years ago.”
Again, it was apparently my fault that I didn’t know this, and not the fault of the bank whose job it was to know such things and inform me, the customer, of them.
And then there is Internet banking. Hey, what a great idea – let’s make the customer do all their own account management, so we save paying as many staff, and then – heh heh – we’ll charge him for it! And the suckers will pay, oh yes they will. And now I consider myself clever because I pay them for the work that I do for them.
The Internet banking service, by the way, is available only in Swedish. Considering that the corporate language of SEB is English, and they happily allow non-Swedish speakers over here to open accounts with Internet banking, this is a little rich.
I sent a letter to the customer service department in SEB, posing this question in the following way:
“Hello. I am an Irish citizen living in Sweden. I have Internet banking with SEB and I wonder why this service is not available in English?I know that SEB’s corporate language is English, and that SEB is present in other countries than Sweden, so this does not make any sense.
I understand Swedish so I can use my Internet banking, but I have many friends who live here and do not have Swedish, and this means they cannot use theirInternet banking (which they pay for) without help.
Why does SEB offer Internet banking to people who have no hope of understanding the site? Why are there no help documents available in SEB’s own corporate language? And why is there no English version of the banking site available?
I work in Internet and I know that fixing multiple language versions of a website is NOT a difficult job. It seems strange that SEB does not prioritise this, and instead chooses to ignore the needs of many of their customers.”
And so 2 days later I get a reply, and here it is:
“Thanks for your enquiry. I completely understand your point of view, but I am sorry, we can’t offer you Internet banking in English. My only explanation is that it probably cost too much to develop it in English. Tell your friends to call us (0771 24 11 11) if they need instructions in English or our help. Regards, A. Moron.”
So I intend to mail them again and propose a new motto for their bank: “SEB – take the money and run.”
/ paddy (sticking it to the man since 1846)