When you have been the victim of appalling customer service, there is nothing more cathartic than penning a truly vitriolic rant. This example is so visceral that its author subsequently decided not to send it out of consideration for the innocent underling who might otherwise have had to deal with it. The letter is addressed to Lloyds TSB,1 one of the so-called ‘big four’ banks in the UK, and was written soon after the financial crash brought it to its fiscal knees. One would have thought that such a monumental humiliation would have taught it a lesson or two but apparently not.
The advertising tag line of the bank was ‘For the Journey’ and their ad campaigns featured a cute cartoon family (above) on their idyllic journey through life supported by a magnanimous and caring institution. It couldn’t have been further from the corrupt practices and ludicrous risk taking that were going on behind the scenes.2
Rarely have so many negative adjectives been crammed into so few paragraphs. Enjoy!
Dear LloydsTSB Underling,
It is with a great sense of overdue satisfaction and relief that I announce to you that I have finally been able to free my wife and I from your parasitical clutches and move to a bank that actually gives a damn. For approximately fifteen dismal and soul destroying years, you have been rude, inconsiderate, obstructive, aggressive, aloof, cynical, derisive, sarcastic, mockingly dismissive and down right obnoxious.
In the pit of depravity that you laughingly call, “a Bank”, hard working and honest people have had to bail you out of your current financial crisis; WE have bailed YOU out of a crisis. I am deeply affronted by this as more of my money, this time in the form of taxes has made its’ way into your odorous and grabbing fists to prop you up in your time of need…. Not exactly what you do to others is it? The people that you flippantly call, “Customers” are bled dry in their time of need and it is these duplicitous and hypocritical actions that will hopefully be your downfall.
Unless I see a paradigm shift in the way you operate, I am going to take great pleasure in persuading as many people as I can, for as long as I can, about your woeful and lamentable company. Those poor souls who are still caught in your disgusting and repugnant web of avarice will be informed of alternatives. Those people who have joyfully never heard of you will be made aware of your dreadful customer and financial services and advised to steer clear. Bit by bit, piece by tiny piece, I will make it one of my life’s missions to warn as many people in as many countries as I possibly can about your despicable company and attempt to forewarn them of your loathsome business practices.
It has also not escaped my mind how galactically myopic your gluttonous company truly is. Has it never crossed your amoebic, self absorbed little psyches that if you treat people with contempt and ambivalence that, at some point, they might just do the same back?
Not so long ago, I deposited into my now, thankfully closed, LloydsTSB account a relatively small six figure sum from a house sale. I was in no way surprised at all when one of your goblin-like minions rang up within minutes of the deposit and groveled over the phone about where I should put the money. Where were these people when I actually needed them? Why were they not available when my wife and I desperately needed help? They were nowhere to be seen, not one call, just a plethora of threatening, automated letters and a series of harassing phone calls all detailing how much money you would take from us and what legal proceedings we would face if there was nothing left for you to steal…
Thanks for that! It made us feel really valued as, “Customers”…
Don’t get me wrong! If I borrow more than I am allowed, I would expect there to be a penalty but you? No, you cripple people who are already financially stretched. If someone goes overdrawn, it could be due to a leaky tap, a burst tyre or some other unforeseen circumstance that puts them over their limit. Then, thanks to you, they are placed squarely in debt for the following month paying off your excessive charges from the previous month and thus the cycle is born. £10 here, £85 there…
“Don’t worry! We can help you on your journey!” you cry, and then proceed to offer people your loans with stupid interest rates to clear the debt that you yourselves imposed on them; not to mention payment protection plans! Now these people are even FURTHER in debt for the following month and so the cycle grows and expands until, finally, you have your cash cow… Despicable!
It’s at this point that you rub salt into the wounds of your financial victims by glibly stating the usual, infuriating rhetoric… “Well, if you had kept your finances in order, you wouldn’t be in debt would you?” or “You shouldn’t have spent outside your limits should you?” You’re right by the way! People shouldn’t spend more than they have but then you’re a bank and not a person so I assume that this is why the infinite fiscal wisdom you foist onto others doesn’t apply to you and your own self inflicted financial catastrophes? Hypocrites!
On numerous occasions, my wife and I attempted to contact your slipshod and condescending firm in vain attempts to alert you to our plight only to be chastised by parsimonious lower management and incomprehensible call centre zombies all of whom seemed so out of touch with the world around them that communication via a séance would have borne more fruit.
Even when we arrived in person at various branches to speak with someone about our plight, we were always met with such patronizing derision that we would very often leave your crass establishments with the feeling that no matter what steps we took to rectify our fiscal situation, you would always be on hand to systematically and comprehensively obliterate our efforts.
I cannot amply put into words the distilled antipathy I hold for your “firm”. This letter is but a small insight into the total and utter contempt with which I hold your bank and its policies. If you were to multiply the feelings written upon these pages a hundred fold, you would still be nowhere close to the sheer revulsion and disgust I have for your repugnant company.
As an analogy, the two day old congealed vomit from an orally diseased Camel would have a more appealing aroma when compared to your foul smelling stench. Indeed, if your bank smelt as bad as your greed ridden business practices, a multitude of people would have been saved the pain and heartache of banking with you and headed upwind, at speed, to a more pleasantly fragranced financial institution.
“Whatever your journey, we can help you on your way!” states your website. Help people to where exactly? The road to financial ruin? The path to a nervous breakdown or pushed down a cliff to bankruptcy? What kind of sick joke is that to put on a website?
You “legally” pilfer other people’s hard earned cash from their accounts thus keeping them in debt so that you can line your own pockets which, by the way, we stitched up for you when all the money fell out your trousers in 2008. Is this to pay for the skiing trip in St Anton or is it to fund your, “Not At All Essential But We’ll Keep It Anyway Lloyds TSB Group National Golf Society”? I wonder how many of your remaining staff members actually use this facility? About 300 isn’t it? You make 15,000 people redundant yet you can still afford to go and have a round of golf? Have you read your Wikipedia entry?! Disgusting just isn’t strong enough but I think it embodies the general feeling that many of your “Customers” have of you!
From your drooling, cerebrally challenged and unintelligible call centre drones whose sole purpose is to passively antagonise, “customers” with company sanctioned rhetoric to the mindless flippancy of the artificial, self appointed deities known as, “management”, your company shines forth upon this world like a blinding beacon of parasitical greed and excess in an otherwise austere and abstemious world.
I am still, to this day, absolutely staggered at the way you treat people. I firmly believe that if the majority of the, “customers” who näively opened an account with your rancid firm were ever given a second chance to open one elsewhere, you would have collapsed years ago! Hindsight is an unusually cruel thing…
It is due to this litany of appalling service and despotic behavior that this will be the last money you ever see of my new found wealth. That deposit was but a fraction of one house sale. There is more to follow. You reap what you sow and now that my circumstances have changed, I take great delight in presenting you with a monumentally large Agincourt wave3 and depositing my finances in a bank that has a better standard of service and customer support. Let’s face it, that won’t be difficult…
Goodbye and good riddance you unworthy collection of freeloading, avaricious, scum-encrusted Bastards.
Yours, with the distilled venom of a thousand Taipan Snakes,
One mightily pissed off, but thankfully EX LloydsTSB milk ticket.
The author has understandably asked to remain anonymous but as DCR is likely to feature more of his penmanship in the future, we shall refer to him by his chosen ‘nom de plume’, the Phantom Grumbler. Thanks PG for allowing DCR to share the letter!
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Lloyds Bank traces its origins back to 1765, when button maker John Taylor and iron dealer Sampson Lloyd set up a private banking business in Dale End, Birmingham, England. It opened its first branch in 1864 and through a series of mergers and acquisitions, grew to be one of the largest banks in the UK. In 1995, it merged with TSB (formerly the Trustees Savings Bank) and became Lloyds TSB shortly afterwards. In 2009, following the liquidity crisis, HM Government (i.e. British taxpayers) took a 43.4% stake in the bank to rescue it from insolvency. ↩
For example: In December 2008, the British anti-poverty charity War on Want released a report documenting the extent to which the UK high street banks invest in, provide banking services for and lend to arms companies. The report stated that Lloyds TSB is the only high street bank whose corporate social responsibility policy does not mention the arms industry, yet is that industry’s second largest shareholder among high street banks. After the financial crash, in 2012, Lloyds set aside £3.6 billion to cover the cost of compensating customers who were mis-sold payment protection insurance and in December 2013, Lloyds Banking Group was fined £28m for “serious failings” in relation to bonus schemes for sales staff. This very week, The Sunday Times accuses Lloyds of lending £4m to a well-known gangland criminal. ↩
The ‘Agincourt Wave‘ (or Agincourt Salute or Longbowman’s Salute) is a reference to the two-fingered gesture commonly known in the UK as the ‘V-sign’. Legend has it that the V-sign derives from a gesture made by longbowmen fighting in the English and Welsh army at the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years’ War. According to the story, the French were in the habit of cutting off the arrow-shooting fingers of captured English and Welsh longbowmen, and the gesture was a sign of defiance on the part of the bowmen, showing the enemy that they still had their fingers, or, as a widespread pun puts it, that they could still “pluck yew”. The “pluck yew” pun is thought to be a false etymology that seems to originate from the convenient rhyme with its modern meaning: “F@@k You!” ↩