Hi all, I’ve got one for you that I’m guessing will have at least a couple of you going “yep, I know that one.
So for a bit of set up I work in mortgages doing pretty general customer service type stuff. One of the things we offer is a payment holiday which basically means we don’t take payment for a couple of months, and the payments missed get split across the rest of the term of the mortgage, and the most you can take a payment holiday for is two months at a time.
For cast we have me and we have Entitled Customer (EC)
So EC comes through and does security, and he’s genuinely quite pleasant. Looking at taking a payment holiday because he’s going in for an operation and going to be off work for a couple of months. Perfectly fine, as reasons go with payment holidays that ticks all the boxes. Then I have to check around the account and make sure everything is where we want it to be. No arrears, hasn’t taken a payment holiday in the last few years, not applying for equity release, that kind of stuff. Everything is perfect, no late payments, and the guy even has a regular overpayment set up so when we take the direct debit we’re taking more than his minimum amount and the account is in credit. Customer can have his payment holiday.
I explain all this and ask if he’d be looking to take the full two months or just the one, and customer says quite matter of factly (still pleasant) that he would like 3 months because he’ll be off work two months and won’t get a full wage until the third month. I get it, but unfortunately we only do a max of two months at a time. The theory is that if the customer needs more than this it might be an indicator of financial difficulties and we should start having that conversation. It’s clearly not the case here but my hands are still tied, it’s a max of two months.
EC- but I overpay into my mortgage! I should be allowed three months.
Me- you do overpay, but we can still only do a maximum of two months for the payment holiday.
EC- I’ve been a customer with the bank for over x years!
Me- I appreciate that, but we have to treat all of our customers the same, so unfortunately that doesn’t change that we can only offer a maximum of two months for a payment holiday.
At this point the customer tries a couple more reasons why he should be allowed longer for his payment holiday, each reason weaker than the last and still nothing that would make us do a longer payment holiday and because he isn’t getting special treatment he starts getting a little ratty with me.
In the end EC didn’t take a payment holiday. He’d have rather cut his own nose off to spite his face and make all of the payments we’d ordinarily take than accept that he was just another customer and wasn’t going to get special treatment (or potentially he called right back in to talk to another agent, or maybe he’s going to let the account fall into arrears and try to blame me for it)
I know this one is quite boring compared to a lot of the crazies you guys will encounter, but thankfully mortgages are quite boring. I hope at least some of you enjoyed and understood the pain though!