I'm Jonathan Bullock; creator of JBake and Twitile, developer with a passion for the Internet, geek, gadget lover and fan of far too many sports. I occasionally give talks, take some photos and tweet every now and then.
23 July 2008
On Monday the local branch of my bank called regarding my account. They queried a direct debit due to go out of my account on Tuesday, my first thought was that there's something wrong with the direct debit. They asked if the payment was for a credit card, which it was. Pretty obvious really as the name on the direct debit is of a very well known credit card company. I was then told that due to the bank account I have I'm guaranteed a credit card and at the moment they are offering a 12 months interest free period on balance transfers. I then asked a few questions about the card such as what the fee was on a balance transfer etc. The woman on the phone was unable to answer any of my questions. She only knew that a. I was entitled to a credit card and b. it has a 12 months interest free period on balance transfers! After being put on hold for a while I finally got some answers. I quickly ended the call at this point as I didn't see much point in it.
A while after the call it occurred to me they must have looked through my account to see what direct debits I have so they knew what services to cross-sell, in this instance it was a credit card. To be honest I'm bit annoyed about this, I feel like my privacy has been invaded. I'm aware that the staff in my local branch have full access to my bank account, they need to, to be able to provide me with customer service. However I don't expect this access to be used to find out what services they may have a better chance in cross-selling to me! Are they allowed to do this? As it seems to me to be an unfair advantage?
Having said that I doubt the bank is going to get very far if their staff don't know anything about the services they are trying to cross-sell!
All of this is on top of the constant badgering I get whenever I go into my local branch about home insurance, financial reviews etc. It's got so far that I actually dislike going into my branch now! I think it's time to start looking for an Internet only bank!