Knock knock Northern Rock
September 14, 2007
I am Northern Rock customer – I’m not sure whether to be scared, bemused or angry right now. With all the media hype about bail outs and share prices plunging you’d think that somebody, somewhere would think about communicating with customers.
Northern Rock’s website is no doubt under siege and their home page assures us that there are a few delays but no problems. Attempts to log into accounts are then met with this announcement which is effectively blocking access to my account and my money. Phones are ringing out and there seems to be nothing that resembles a customer service or communications strategy to deal with the rising level of anxiety about where our money is, whether it’s safe and how we go about getting access to it.
As Johnnie rightly points out
Good grief. Here’s a bank who’s shares have plummeted 30%, with customers lining up at branches this morning. Do they have no clue about damage limitation? Do they not get that by not really acknowledging what’s happening and talking to customers about it, they make the situation worse?
Now if they’d had a corporate blog, they might have had someone in there with the wit to write something in plain English that could have been reassuring. But no, it’s the stony silence of denial. That just adds to my sense of their incompetence.
and I’m in total agreement with him. With all of the banking scandals we’ve had in this country over the past 10 years you’d think that Northern Rock would see an opportunity here do do things differently – Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose.
Update 16 September
The following was posted on the Northern Rock website when I tried to log in today: and here’s a link to a Q and A posted on the site.
May I begin by offering you my sincere apologies for any inconvenience you have suffered in dealing with Northern Rock during the last few days. Customer service is of paramount importance to us and due to the circumstances that surround us, you have been let down. Thank you so much for your patience, particularly when using our website which has been running very slowly due to the number of people working online.
Let me now reassure you. Your money is safe with us and if you want some, or all of it back, then you are perfectly entitled to it. Whilst you may have to wait a little longer than usual to receive it, you will get it. However, your savings are secure and there is no need for you to withdraw your money based on our recent announcement, and the widespread media coverage that has ensued. The Bank of England has agreed to provide a funding facility to enable us to manage through the current global liquidity crisis. They would not have done so, if we were not a solvent, adequately capitalised, well run bank. I hope this helps to reassure you.
Your custom is very important to us and I sincerely hope you choose to stay with us along with the vast majority of our customer base.
Adam J Applegarth
16 September 2007