Today I have an older woman call into my banking call center. She tells me that she needs to make an appointment at her local bank. Her husband passed away and she needed to go in to get her account settled.
I take a look and we have it documented that he’s been reported as passed away but no death certificate yet.
The process is, they notify us, we send out a packet for them to fill out. They fill it out send it back along with the copy of the death certificate.
Reason being this helps combat fraud, if someone tries to open an account under a passed persons name, we will know, or if they had single owned accounts we find out who the funds need to be forwarded to and work on collecting funds for debt from an estate. (I only have a very basic understanding of the process)
So when she says that I say “Oh well we have a department that specializes in that. I can get them on the line for you if you would like. I’ll stay with you and connect over.”
BE for Bad Employee is the associate who picks up
BE: “Hi, thank you for calling the Estates unit this is BadEmployee can I have your name please?”
Me: “Hi thank you, this is CosmoLife with our Deposits team.”
BE: “Okay, thank you I see you’re calling with the profile for SweetOldLady, who is it that’s on the line?”
Me: “It’s SweetOldLady on the line. Her co-owner on the account passed away. It looks like we have been notified, but she has some questions on the next steps.”
BE: “There are no next steps. She doesn’t have to do anything.”
Me: “Uhh well I guess she wants to get his name removed from the account is one of them. Can you help her with explaining the process.”
BE: “I think you’re just trying to pass your call off on to me!”
(I pause for a moment, a little taken back that she jumped to this conclusion in about 45 seconds. I’ve never had someone say this to me. I know I’ve heard other say it, but no one has ever actually said it to me, probably because I never do this. If anything I get coached on doing too much.)
Me: “I have been here for five years, and I work very hard to help our clients. I know how things work. Why would you ever say that about me?!”
BE “Well I asked you what she needed and you said one thing, I told you it didn’t need anything and you made up something else.”
Me: “Okay, well she has general questions. That is one of them. She needs help. I didn’t get into it all with her because it’s this department.”
(I thought about just pulling the client in at this point introducing and jumping off. But this girl seemed like she would probably hang up on her or something)
BE: “She doesn’t have to do anything to change who is on the account. She is an account owner. She can do anything she wants.”
Me: “That is not true. If someone is living you can not just take them off the account as a joint owner. So to prove they have passed I’m assuming you would need a death certificate. So I’m calling to see if that is all, and of course she may have some other questions.”
(Now, again I have worked her 5 years. I literally deal with removing account owner calls at least a couple times a week. Maybe she truly doesn’t know the process.
The only way one owner can remove another is by closing the account and opening a new single owned account.
Or both going in the bank together, and sign papers. Or lastly, if they can’t go to a bank we have to send them out a form to fill out, to an address that has been on file at least 90 days, both owners have something to sign and the person who is being removed has to have their signature notarized)
BE: “An owner can make the names anything they want.”
ME: “So if you and I are on an account together, and I know you’re getting a large sum of money into the account. I could kick you off the account the day before it’s going to come, without you knowing, and you would no longer be an owner and I have access to all funds sent in your name? You think that’s how that works?”
Be: “Yes. That’s fine.”
(Which ideally I could just steal all the money even if both of us are on it and run, but that’s not the point. Realizing I am not getting anywhere with this lady and the poor older woman is on the other line now for 4 minutes waiting I just move on.)
Me: “Alright. Well thanks.”
BE: “Yea bye.”
Me: “Hi SweetOldLady, very sorry about the hold here. If you step into the bank with the death certificate they will be able to help you with everything there.”
SOL: “Okay, I can do that. I’m just so confused with this paperwork the estates team sent me too.”
(The packet she has is from the Estates unit that lovely BE is from and they know the packet and can help. I’ve connected many calls over for this very thing. I have no idea what it looks like to help this lady, and don’t want to guide her wrong. Thanks BE, you’re a true jerk. Wasting everyone’s time and accusing people of things while you’re the one not doing your job.)
Me: “Aw I’m sorry, well how about this, I can call back that team and ask them to help you over the phone, with filling it out.” (Assuming I’ll get another, nicer and more helpful person.)
SOL: “No, no that’s okay. You sound busy. I don’t really want to talk to them anyways.”
Me: “Alright well if you would like, you can bring the packet in along with the certificate and at the bank we will help you with it all. Would you like me to set that appointment?”
I’ll end it there, for the phone conversation because there isn’t much else. I was sooooo heated.
Now maybe they don’t know the process of a normal name removal, I would think they do at least for someone who passed. I do know we at very least absolutely need the death certificate though.
But the point was, this lady had questions, and they were for this team. I didn’t even know she needed help with the packet when going over. I’m not going to say “Hey tell me every question you have so I can play telephone, and try to tell them for you.”
Then to accuse another employee of doing something we frown upon highly and will get written up for?
How about she was avoiding taking calls.
I sent it over to my manager to listen to and she is writing the girls manager. I have only ever done that one other time in the whole five years I’ve been there. I’m not someone who stirs the pot. The other person I did it to I can’t ever remember what they did but my whole team was like “you need to report that.”
Obviously they aren’t going to tell me what if any disciplinary actions were taken. I’m sure it won’t be much just a quick “hey don’t do that.” I just hope she gets to listen to my side of the call where she hears her ask how to fill out the packet.
Even thought there were “no more steps.”
edited for clarity and formatting