I received a letter this morning from Lloyds TSB relating to account changes that was addressed ‘To the Parent / Guardian.’ It didn’t say the parent or guardian of Fred or Ginger or Madonna or Ringo but as it was addressed to my house, I assumed they meant me. Now unless my 7 & 9 year olds have opened an account with Lloyds TSB without telling me, I am not aware that we have any accounts with them.

The letter had the heading ‘We’re working hard to make things easy.’ Under a sub heading ‘We’re here to help’ there was a telephone number which I called. I explained that my children hadn’t got an account with Lloyds TSB and presumably their database records were inaccurate as we have lived here for 6 years. I asked who the account holder was just in case my 7 year old had applied for a mortgage, given the UK banks rather relaxed attitude to lending in recent years. However, the ‘Customer (lack of) Service Manager said he couldn’t tell me and if I wanted to know any more I had to go to a branch.

I am now worried that my 7 year old has started dealing in investments or derivatives and some financial calamity is around the corner? It may explain why he has taken an unhealthy interest in listening to the BBC news whenever Robert Peston is reporting.

I assume that some client protection rule prevented the Lloyds TSB person from revealing the name of the account holder. However, he could have enquired who lived at our address to establish whether the names matched. If they didn’t, he could simply have apologised for making a mistake without divulging who the account holder was.

Mistakes can happen in even the best run businesses

It’s how you deal with the mistake that is crucial. See my blog Are you getting enough customer mistakes?

  • How likely am I to buy a product from Lloyds TSB now?
  • Am I likely to be a brand advocate for them?
  • Am I likely to be a brand terrorist?

Should I:

  • go to the branch to find out more?
  • write to the Information Commissioner?
  • Forget about it?

What do you think?

Remember…web marketing is about solving customers’ problems profitably.