How Social Media saved me from doomed business processes

Last weekend, my wife and I went to a beach restaurant. Nice weather (Spain is in deep crisis, but the sun is still shining…), good food and wine. Perfect Sunday. Well almost…

Patrice_MarillierWhen the bill came, all my credit cards were declined. After some cold sweats picturing myself in the restaurant kitchens, washing the dishes, I was able to gather enough cash to sort out this unpleasant situation.

On my way home, I called the 24h banking service and asked them to explain what was going on. They looked at my account and couldn’t find any explanation. They just told me this shouldn’t have happened and asked me to call my personal account manager to get some more information. Since I had to travel out of town for the next few days, this was definitely not a good option for me.

The next morning, once in Madrid, I received a call from the account manager saying that my account was blocked because I didn’t update my personal documentation, which must be done every 2 years.

Well, Madam, I said (I was still very civil), this is very strange: I opened this account 6 months ago, with the corresponding documentation. So the 2 years update shouldn’t be a reason to block my account.

She answered that if the computer decided to block my account there had to be a good reason. I replied that I knew a few things about computers and that it was probably due to either a programming error or a bad designed process, because they had definitely received all the needed papers 6 months ago. I also added, that even if they hadn’t received it they had the duty to call me before blocking the account. The lady assured me she would try to solve the problem.

I sent them emails with the proof that I had sent the documentation last March. But two days later, after coming back from Madrid, my accounts were still blocked. The computer couldn’t be wrong, could it?

Finally, I had to go the agency, where I must confess I was less civil than during the first phone call, and threaten them to tell the whole story on Social Medias before getting them do something. The following day I received an email telling me that everything was solved.

So here we are: in the 21st century, there are still big companies, with dummy business processes, which don’t care about their customers. What is new is that these processes can easily be revealed to everyone. And it really changes the power relationships between customers and corporations…

PS: Interested in knowing the name of the bank? Just send me an email.

More information:

Patrice Marillier is responsible of the Sogeti’s Spanish Software Control & Testing delivery, trying to convince Spanish customers that saving money on a development project does not mean necessarily shaving testing budget… More on Patrice.

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