Monday, June 15, 2009

I don't want a friend, I want a bank.

On the weekend, I had to take some money out of an ATM. It was a Westpac one.
I don't bank with Westpac, so I knew I was in for a fee. But that's okay.
I key in my desired amount. Insufficient funds. $2.
I key in a lesser amount. Still insufficient funds. Another $2.
I ask to see my balance. Another $2. No longer ok.
And so I leave the ATM with six dollars less than I started with and a burning desire to start a riot. But I calm down. Until I see this.
Now it's game on.
'We're care factor 50'? 'We're take a jumper just in case'? Now you're taking the piss. You're laughing at my inability to find a non-robbing ATM or real competition in the mortgage market. You're pointing out and underlining the inequity of our relationship, while pretending that we're all equals. And fooling, who?
How did that even get off the creative's pad, let alone get on TV? In a couple of hours, my attitude toward Wetspac turned from ambivilance to irritation to a well-founded suspicion of pure evil.
I've worked on banks in the past. I don't know what it is, but they are obsessed with being liked. With having their charitable deeds and community activism acknowledged. With having their essential place in society acknowledged.
While at the same time charging people $6 to withdraw no money from an outsourced ATM and thinking they won't notice.
Here it is, Banks. I don't want you to be my friend. I don't want you to send me a card at Christmas. I just want you to be a bank, without violating me too vigorously.
Something Barclay's seems to understand.

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