In the UK, customer service is… different

Class shaming on Virgin Trains

That’s one hell of a manager. I’ve always thought people in the service industry would find it so much easier to do their work if only the general public didn’t exist.

This story reminds me of the time I was told off by a Post Office employee for attempting to post a large parcel after 4.30pm (closing time is 5.30pm, I was there around 5). He explained that the van collects all parcels at 4.30pm and any parcel that arrives after this time is left lying on the office floor until the next day, which inconveniences the staff. His tone made it very clear that I was really making his day worse by adding to the pile, even though I had no way under the sun to know this kind of information. It’s not like there were posters on the wall or anything.

I was seriously taken aback by this unprovoked attack but, unlike the average Brit, did not actually apologise for being such a thoughtless paying customer. Even after 24 years in this country, I have my limits.

French Banks vs. The World

I am trying to get my French bank to update my address in my online profile.

I sent them a bill as proof of address:

(name, house number and street name obscured for privacy)

They did make the change, in a manner of speaking:

(name obscured for privacy)

As you can see, they left out the house number, street name and postcode. Plus a misspelling in the town name. Who cares whether I receive their letters or not? Serves me right for living abroad in the first place!

The French antipathy for anything English is not a myth… they can be seriously passive-aggressive about it too.

Incidentally, this is the same bank that did not allow me to make a deposit (not a withdrawal) from a random branch in Normandy a couple of years ago, because my branch is in Picardy. Apparently this bank, despite having a national presence, is run on a strictly regional basis.

I did tell the employee: “Are you aware this is the 21st century?” and got a superb Gallic shrug in return.

And people wonder why I would rather die than go back.

Update 22.02.2018: Since posting this, I have emailed them twice. No reply whatsoever. Stay classy, Caisse D’Epargne.