Generally I am a gentle and peaceful soul whose feathers rarely get ruffled. But as I write this I wish I could march into HSBC find the person who hires people and shake him till his bones rattle and tell him to do his job right by hiring competent people.
The start of my frustration was when I decided to get my wife a supplementary HSBC credit card. The special discounts and offers at keells were too good to pass.
Coming to think of it I actually had not thought about getting one till I called their customer service hot line for some other matter and they up sold me onto requesting for one as they have been trained to do.
A couple of days later I get a call from a lady who inquires about me requesting for a supplementary card. I notice that she is finding it extremely difficult to converse in English. I try to switch to the mother tongue but she doesn't seem to want to do so. She wants to come and deliver the application and collect it from my office. I realize she has to travel by bus and somehow I felt sorry for her to have to go through all that stress on my behalf. So I tell her I will pick up an application fill it up and have it delivered to her desk. She takes some time to understand this. But says ok and gives me her mobile number to contact her. Couple of days later I see a missed call from the card center. I call her on her mobile - you cannot call back on the incoming line - and identify myself. It seems she has no idea of who I am or that we spoke before and what we agreed upon. So I repeat it all over again and tell her she would have called me to follow up on application and hangup. Finally I get the application ready with all the documents and try to get through but the phone is switched off. I could have just sent the application direct to the card center but did not want to deprive the poor girl of her commission. Finally after a few days I get through reintroduce myself once more and go through the whole rigmarole of what we agreed on and finally make her understand that I am willing to deliver the application to her office. She gives me the address and I send a messenger to deliver it. Since it was a bank holiday she was not there and the security on duty at the bank say they cannot accept the letter. I send it the next working day and it is delivered to the bank counter on the ground flow of the Wellawatte Branch. Next day I call her and she has not got it to her hands even though it is addressed to her specifically. Then she tells me that the address should also say third floor, something she did not mention when she gave it to me in the first place. Fortunately we knew who the letter was delivered to and I gave her the contact. But even by the next day she had not got the application to her hand. And when I repeated the name of the person who it was delivered to for the second time her reaction was as if she had heard it for the first time.
By this time I was about to explode and then she says that even if she got the application she has to see the original documents personally before accepting it. Even I am surprised at myself on how I maintained my cool till I hung up.
Then I went and kicked the tires of my car.
There's is a Sinhalese saying which goes even a tiny drop of cow dung can spoil an entire glass of milk. And that is completely true in this case. My high regard of the standards of HSBC has been sullied by this incident. Sadly I don't blame the girl she clearly is not equipped with the skills required to handle her task. It is those who are responsible for filling this vacancy with an incompetent person who should be shot and hung.