I am a near-complete klutz when it comes to modern banking systems – and I get especially pessimistic when I have to deal with call centres. Somehow, I have managed to avoid it all along, except for ICICI bank and DELL in India and MTN in Accra (who I never get through to)
(About DELL – the ‘person-on-the-line’ sold me my laptop and then promptly went terminally offline when I had questions about the ‘complete cover’ I had paid through my nose for)…ah, DELL India is a sore spot, but that’s not today’s story.

It starts back in September, when I was leaving UK. I had requested admin at IDS to process a couple of outstanding payments to a friend’s bank account, since I wouldn’t be able to access mine once I left the country. All well, I thought, until two days back, when I realised the payments instead, had gone into my own bank account – a princely sum of GBP 340. Instant panic attack! I didn’t even think at first the call centre was an option.

When I got around to calling though, the following miracles happened –
1. I found that call rates from Ghana to the UK are SO cheap – not so to India
2. The UK bank’s call centre number connected me to an Indian guy sitting in Bangalore and I discussed the latest at the FORUM mall with him online
3. While all this was going on, the ‘person-on-the-line’ helped me set up a phone banking account, and immediately thereafter, use it to transfer my money to a bank account of my choice.

Okay…I have heard of ‘globalisation’. I have read Thomas Friedman. I know lots more than phone banking gets routed to call centres in bangalore, where there are people younger than me working night shifts answering questions.

But, it did throw me off. Basically, I didn’t expect everything to fall in place that easily – so I am impressed. Kudos to THE bank.


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