February 22, 2011
An 86-Year Old Woman's Letter to Her Bank

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Below is letter that was written, in 1999, by an Australian journalist (Peter Wear) that went viral because the letter was originally attributed to an 86-year old woman who was unhappy with her bank. That "human interest" angle created a groundswell of interest. So much so, in fact, that I published the letter on this blog a few days ago, believing it was actually written by an 86-year old woman. PUNKED! It wasn't, but the letter is so funny (and true!) that I don't care WHO wrote it. Can you relate?

Dear Sir:

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavored to pay my plumber last month.

By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it.

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire 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 answer your telephone calls and letters when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become. From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.

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My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Be aware that it is an OFFENSE under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Contact Application 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 Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, at MY convenience, 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 modeled 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:

IMMEDIATELY AFTER DIALING, PRESS THE STAR (*) BUTTON FOR ENGLISH

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#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. The password will be communicated to you at a later date to the Authorized Contact mentioned earlier.

#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through 7.

#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry. The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.

#10. This is a second reminder to press* for English.

While 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,

And remember: Don't make old people mad. We don't like being old in the first place, so it doesn't take much to piss us off.

Thanks to Booth Dyess for the heads up

Banking on Innovation
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Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at February 22, 2011 12:01 PM

Comments

Great article. Clever point of view. The truth about money and their priests (banks) and their hate against human beings is lying in these written piece. Bankers are the worst of human kind. I have only to remind readers a quote of Bertold Brecht "Any bank stablished it's a crime" against humanity. Or something like that. And another one from Tony Negri: "to rob a bank is political". Or something like that. And another one from English outlaw Robin Hood, when he ripped off lord and lady Brigdestone de Vere: "My lord, these wallet of yours, petty cash to buy parfums and some decent jewelry to lady Bridgestone, will be enough to feed an entere farmers village during one year". (Quote fictional, by the way, but, as italians says "si non e vero e ben trovatto" ("if it is not true it's look like truth")

Posted by: Borja Loma Barrie [TypeKey Profile Page] at February 26, 2011 11:17 AM

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