Saturday 23 February 2008

Telemarketers meet their match

Whether it’s Fawlty Towers or the Blitz, true Brits know how to grin and bear it. They dislike their banks intensely but haven’t the gumption to change. After 35 miserable years of Barclays Bank, I was phoned this week by their telemarketers. Last March an undercover BBC Whistleblower programme pictured lies, security abuse, mis-selling and cynicism about customers that seem to be rife there. When the notoriety spread, yea even to Dave Walker's Cartoon Blog, I had to sit up and take notice:

This is the company who made 7 billion pounds profit last year and yet charge people £30 to go overdrawn when the cost to them is about £1.50. The programme showed telephone operatives engaging in all sorts of dubious behaviour, such as pretending they are calling as an ‘advisor’ when in fact it is purely a sales call. Then an advisor in a local branch attempting to sell home insurance to a man who can’t afford a bed in an attempt to meet a target. And many other such horrors.

Of course at the end of the programme there is a management-type person saying that what the programme reveals is not typical and that actually Barclays are respectable and lovely. But the fact is that we know (from experience) that Barclays hassle their customers with sales calls, so I know which side of the story I’m believing.

Here’s one radical solution to the telemarketer problem. If I had the gumption for it, of course, I'd have changed banks years ago. Just let me know how you get on...


Anonymous said...

Dear Bishop
Go to and get a better deal on whole load of things - banks, credit cards, fuel suppliers insurance etc - I saved loads of money following a similar experience to yours with Nat West. If I'd have thought of it earlier I'd have challenged my congregation to do the same and give a proportion of the money save to their church and also a mission or development agency

Bishop Alan Wilson said...


Many thanks for this excellent site — now bookmarked. Your help is raising my gumption level about this dangerously — I might end up doing something about it!


Anonymous said...

Just do it! as the Nike advert said - more imporatntly get your social responsibility officer to know about it - put the link on your diocesan website. And for those having debt problems

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