On Monday the 28th of September, I went to the Temple branch of my bank (Natwest, in case you were curious) to cancel my previous card (which was stolen) and to order a new one to be sent to my branch at Tottenham Court Road. The lady behind the counter said about 7 working days, it would take. I checked on 7th Day. Nothing. Last Friday (that's 9 working days from the date of ordering the card) I went to check - thinking 9 working days would be more than enough, allowing for the incompetence of the British.
Not surprisingly, they checked their store, and nothing had arrived. The chap at the bank apologised and said perhaps to give it till Monday or Tuesday. Alright. I play it safe and wait till the next Thursday. 14 working days.
So today, I go to the bank, and they say they haven't got it. I told them it was ridiculous, as they'd assured me it would be ready in 7 working days, and it was now 14 working days. They asked me how long ago I'd ordered the card - I said nearly THREE weeks ago. The chap then asked me if I was sure, and if it wasn't one week ago.
I lost it there and then. I asked to see the manager. To the manager, who was apologetic, I said perhaps it might be a good idea to check if the card was ordered at all. They check the system. Lo and behold - 'uh, oi'm sorry sir.. nuffin's been ordah'd on th'system. If ya wont, oi c'n ordah annuva for ya, but it'll taike annuver seven working days."
So I smile, and say in a voice loud enough for the entire bank to hear (it's a projection thing, not volume):
"Gentlemen. I was assured my card would arrive in seven working days. It is now FOURTEEN working days past that, and you NOW tell me the order wasn't placed? ANOTHER seven working days? This isn't some banana republic. This is Great Britain - or is the 'Great' meant to be ironic? TWICE before I've come in to this branch to ask if my card's arrived and you're telling me no one had the presence of mind to check if the order was indeed made in the first place? This is laughable."
Seeing that both the counter clerk and the manager had British surnames, I added:
"If this is the way the British work, not only is it small wonder then that you chaps lost an Empire, but that a good number of your former colonies are now doing far better than Britain herself."
Every word true, of course. And what could they say in response? Nothing. They turned ashen and looked down and stammered at this volley from an ex-colonial (Yeah, and in perfect Public School accent too). I was not in a charitable mood.
So alright. A new card's arriving in 7 working days' time. And their customer service manager will be giving me a ring (to apologise further I suspect). I'm tempted to be difficult ... who knows, I might just end up with some recompense or suchlike, like what Eugene got out of Starhub
Truly this is a third-world country.