the daily column

I’m sorry, it just wasn’t working out

I closed my Commonwealth Bank account today.

It just wasn’t a working relationship anymore. Something had changed, and I’d moved on – specifically, I’d moved on past uni and now there was a constant payment that had to be made. And there was just so little interest from them that I couldn’t help but feel ignored and abused.

In fact, I’d been two-timing for a while, making a relationship with another, who was much more interested in me. The last couple of months though, I’d been triple-timing, with yet another promising me everything CBA had decided they’d take away from me. And more!

But I couldn’t keep it up – eventually, one had to go, and the one that wasn’t getting a slice of the action, or even giving me a reason to put something in, was the one. It’d been a long relationship – we literally grew together, I a small and innocent youth barely knee high to a grasshopper, the account a Dollarmite, then a Club Australia, before finally maturing to a true Streamline.

I went in and asked to close my account – suddenly, I felt like the cruellest bastard around. The look of disappointment on the clerk’s face said it all; I wanted to take back my words, to leave the account open and just… keep everyone happy! But no, I steeled my heart, and let them know: the lack of interest was unacceptable, the fees too much, when someone else was offering it all, and more, for nothing. The clerk went about his business, and I kept wanting to apologise.

But he was a clever bastard – to really drive that knife in, he took me to the teller’s counter, and left me in the hands of a new trainee. This might have been the girl’s first real transaction. Here she was, fresh to the country, fresh to the job, fresh to the bank – and her first customer? Wants out. Wants nothing more to do with her. Oh how cruel.

I really just wanted to say “look, it’s not you – or me. It’s the company policies, and this really is a free market. Who knows, I might be back some day – if there’s one thing I can’t complain about, it’s that the service has always been exceptional.” It really was feeling like a breakup, and here I was involving this innocent. Couldn’t I do it from a nameless faceless machine?! Must you make me walk into the branch and feel so… dirty?

She finished up and handed my remaining balance over, and asked, ever hopeful, “Is there anything else I can help you with, sir?”

I smirked at the irony. “No, but thank you. And good luck in your job.”

It wasn’t your fault, honest.

4 replies on “I’m sorry, it just wasn’t working out”

Oh Karan. If there’s anything your gentle and noble soul is guilty of, it’s guilty of caring too much. I am Jack and I am a cynical bastard with no sense of humour what so ever.

Ed: Oh I’m sorry, damn comment monkeys. *thumps machine*

I don’t think CommBank is a good options for anyone besides the employees. They just nickel and dime you to death over these things and they cannot let you leave without making sure you know about all their new account options and propaganda. The level of customer service has plummeted to such a point that you no longer care if you hurt a bank teller’s feelings.

See, that’s where you’re wrong – CommBank did pretty well for me. To be honest, I’ve never tried another bank to see how good they are, but I never failed to get good service, or be bothered by their cross-promotions. Neither teller nor front desk clerk tried to sell me their alternative products. The only fees I paid in the last 14 years that I had the account were for international withdrawls.

I dunno, maybe there’s been a turn around in the last 3 months, but I’d bank with them again.

Leave a Reply