Monday, 26 April 2010

The Times - Letter of the Year......

You know I'm not afraid to write letters to anyone if I feel strongly enough about a matter and I think I'm not bad at it, but I am in awe of the elderly (98 years young!!) lady who wrote this letter to her bank. The bank manager thought it amusing enough to have it published in The Times.
Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations, three 'nanoseconds' must have elapsed between his presenting the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my Pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account £30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways.   I noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, re-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.  From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person. My mortgage and loan payments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank by cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate...Be aware that it is an offence under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require your chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Solicitor, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.  In due course, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further. When you call me, press buttons as follows:

1 To make an appointment to see me.
2 To query a missing payment.
3 To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.
4 To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.
5 To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.
6 To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.
7 To leave a message on my computer (a password to access my computer is required. A password will be communicated to you at a later date to the Authorized Contact.)
8 To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 8
9 To make a general complaint or inquiry, the contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.Whilst this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous, New Year.

Your Humble Client


Dumdad said...

Wonderful. If only this sort of letter actually made a difference. Alas, it does not and the banks and big institutions go their sweet way, making money off our backs and ignoring any of our requests.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

that is perfect. i SO want to do that...

smiles, bee

Valerie said...

I have this on my computer and ONLY YESTERDAY I debated whether or not to blog it. I'm glad to see that you have. The letter is hilarious, I wonder if it has actually been published in a newspaper.

Akelamalu said...

Yes, if only Dumdad, but it makes one feel better doesn't it? :)

Me too Bee!

Oh sorry I beat you to it Val but it's so good I just had to share. :)

Ron said...

OMG, this woman is BRILLIANT!!!

No, BEYOND brilliant!


She said everything I've ever wanted to say to these banks! And the best part was "call me, press buttons." HAHAHAHAHAHA...that was flawless because it's TRUE!

Thank you for sharing this, m'dear! What a great way to start my day!

And you GO, Your Humble Client!


Shrinky said...

Ah, if only, eh? It all sounds perectly reasonable to me.. (grin)!

jinksy said...

I have read this before, and whenever it crops up, I cross my fingers and hope when I'm 98 I'll be able to write as biting a letter! :)

Daryl said...

If this is a real letter than I highly commend the writer ... but also wish her luck getting a bank or any other 'too big to fail' entity to pay attention to those who make their business and job(s) possible in the first place. Without depositors there's be no bank...maybe they needs to be reminded of that.

buffalodick said...

You are turning into quite the "grey panther" for righting wrong.. Keep it up!

Akelamalu said...

She's fabulous isn't she Ron? I hope at that age I'm still capable of writing a letter.

Sounds reasonable to me to Shrinky ;)

Me too Jinksy ;)

If only they'd take notice Daryl but they think their customers are stupid don't they? :(

I didn't write it Buff, but I commend the lady that did. :)

Anonymous said...

BRAVO to that woman. I wish I was smart enough to think to write something such as that. It's briliant :) Thanks for sharing this. It made my day :)

Misty Dawn said...

I love this! It's absolutely brilliant!

the mother of this lot said...

Good for her! I despise banks!

secret agent woman said...

I sure hope the woman got an apology and a refund of the penalty.

Linda said...

Oh but that is priceless! I hope the old dear got her 30 pounds back along with a major apology!

Akelamalu said...

My sentiments entirely Thom :)

Isn't it just Misty :)

Banks can be the pits MOTL, no doubt about it!

I bet she's not holding her breath SAW

I hope she did too Linda but I doubt it.

Maggie May said...

It was really disgusting of the bank and I feel so sorry for that lady but she is only one of many that are taken advantage of.
This kind of thing makes my blood boil. Common sense doesn't seem to come into it.

Nuts in May

Julia Smith said...

I'm impressed by a woman of 98 knowing the word 'nanosecond'. Whoever wrote it is hilarious. This should be the war cry of non-sufficient-funds-charged-clients everywhere when it was not their fault.

g-man said...


Jingle said...

Happy Tuesday!

Jingle said...

best wishes!

Cloudia said...


Aloha from Waikiki

Comfort Spiral

Gledwood said...

That is absolutely classic!!

We should definitely all gang together and start charging for OUR time...

also I hope the letter went unsigned, with no name...

oh sorry that's not the banks who do that (for £30 they can actually dignify their epistle with a signature)... that is the DSS... Benefits Agency... DWP... whatever they call themselves these days

Anonymous said...