Today I decided to sign up to a new bank for my main business account. I was debating between Kiwibank and ASB – as they both seem to have the best reputation. I decided to give Kiwibank a go.
First I checked their website, and found a large Business Banking tab, followed by a large “contact us” button. Looking good so far:
Clearly they wanted me to click on that contact us button (in the best tradition of Don’t make me think), and so that’s what I did:
Following the same “do the easiest thing” logic I clicked on the “Business Banking Centre text to find my local branch. It was in Marion Street here in Wellington. I didn’t want to send an email – too slow, nor fill out a form – far too complicated, and certainly not make a phone call to an 0800 queue.
So off to Marion street I went.
I confess I cringed a little as it was 4:40pm and the day before I’d also gone to a post office between 4 and 5pm, and left when I saw ridiculous queues. This time I was in luck – not only were there no queues, but there was a sign pointing to a business center. I wandered over, saw two empty client chairs and a closed office door. Not a customer in sight. It all looked pretty professional:
Someone was inside the door, saw me and, after a pause, opened it. That’s when things started to go wrong.
“Hi – I’d like to open a business account”.
The chap that looked behind himself for a second at another guy then turned back and abruptly said “Sorry no”.
I noticed that while the office door and the chairs outside looked professional, the office itself was a seething mess of papers. There were three people inside – the chap that greeted me, someone in the far corner on the phone and another guy who I didn’t really see. Still no customers in sight.
I asked again – but they again said no – too busy.
And that, it seemed, was it.
This all happened very quickly – the door swung shut and I opened it again – asking why they wouldn’t open an account for me. Apparently I was meant to make an appointment, and the chap on the phone was the only guy that could open business accounts.
It also appeared that they just didn’t want my business.
So ASB it is then.
So let’s recap.
1: I was there at 4:40pm – plenty of time before 5pm closing. I have a pay and display parking ticket to prove it.
2: The chap that opened the door was a “Business Manager” – most likely Cliff Lim (judging by the ethnicity of him, the others there and the list on the website of the people in the office)
3: The chap on the phone – identified as ‘Sean’ by Cliff, is a Business Support Specialist. He didn’t do anything wrong – and seemed to be working hard. His job title doesn’t sound as important as a Business Manager. Can’t the manager sign up accounts?
4: The other person in the office, and all of these names are true only in the Kiwibank website is up to date, was Brett Garner. He observed only.
5: The Senior Business Manager is Brian Davies – I called him subsequently and it turns out he was out of the office today. His message suggested calling Sean.
6: Nobody tried to qualify me – how much money was walking into, and then out of their bank? Nor did they apologise and ask to make an appointment for the next day. They just didn’t want my business.
7: I believe this was unacceptable from Kiwibank, and along with this post I have left a message with Brian Davis. We shall see what happens.