This 86-year-old woman’s letter to the bank has gone viral

How often do you call a bank and get to speak to a human straight away? While some people don’t
This 86 year old woman's letter to the bank has gone viral!

How often do you call a bank and get to speak to a human straight away? While some people don’t mind being greeted on the phone by a voice recording, an 86 year-old-woman wasn’t having any of it. So she wrote a letter to her bank. The bank manager who read it thought it amusing enough to have it published in the New York Times. Her letter has since gone viral. The contents of her letter is so honest and witty that many can relate to the things she’s said. No wonder the funny letter has resurfaced again…

Shown below, is the actual letter that was sent to a bank by the woman. 

Dear Sir,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my check with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month.

By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it..

I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire pension, an arrangement which, I admit, has been in place for only eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account $30 by way of penalty for the inconvenience caused to your bank.

My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to rethink my errant financial ways. I noticed that whereas I personally answer your telephone calls and letters, — when I try to contact you, I am confronted by the impersonal, overcharging, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become.

From now on, I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh-and-blood person.

My mortgage and loan repayments will therefore and hereafter no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank whom you must nominate.

Be aware that it is an OFFENCE under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact which I require your chosen employee to complete.

I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative.

Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Notary Public, and the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course, at MY convenience, I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in dealings with me.

I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modelled it on the number of button presses required of me to access my account balance on your phone bank service.

As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further.

When you call me, press buttons as follows:


#1. To make an appointment to see me

#2. To query a missing payment.

#3. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there.

#4 To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am sleeping.

#5. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature.

#6. To transfer the call to my mobile phone if I am not at home.

#7. To leave a message on my computer, a password to access my computer is required.

Password will be communicated to you at a later date to that Authorised Contact mentioned earlier.

#8. To return to the main menu and to listen to options 1 through

#9. To make a general complaint or inquiry.

The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service.

#10. This is a second reminder to press* for English.

While this may, on occasion, involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration of the call.

Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

May I wish you a happy, if ever so slightly less prosperous New Year?

Your Humble Client

And remember:
Don’t make old people mad.
We don’t like being old in the first place, so it doesn’t take much to piss us off.

Can you relate to her? Do you want real people to be answering the phones like old times?

  1. Dianne Evans  

    It is true you need to speak to a person and one who does know what you are talking about not someone saying they will take care of it and then nothing happens, It is a world of the takers people have no choice where the money goes so we are at the mercy of banks that is why a cashless society would be bad people should realise once competition goes and choice service goes down costs go up!

  2. Moira  

    OMG !! How many of us were thinking the same thing and yet this Lady has nailed all of the faults of the banking “system”. fantastic !

  3. Rob  

    Well done and a most appropriate response.

  4. Roxy  

    Great sentiment but not actually penned by an 84 year old woman. See…”The letter quoted above was one man’s method of blowing off steam at having to deal with some of these exasperating aspects of modern banking. It was penned by Peter Wear, a columnist for the Courier Mail in Brisbane, Australia, for that publication’s “Perspectives” column. The letter was not actually sent to a bank; it was a humor piece from start to finish, albeit one inspired by the author’s actually having had one of his checks bounce. Though the item did appear in an actual newspaper, it was not, however (as claimed in the Internet-circulated version’s prologue), published in the New York Times. Mr. Wear’s sardonic offering about the over-mechanized joys of banking as experienced by the consumer was written in January 1999, and since then, anonymous rewriters have been moved to alter his original to make it better fit with a primarily American audience.”

  5. Erin Joseph  

    An oldie but a goodie. I saw this years ago and I’m old enough to remember!

  6. Keven TURNBULL  

    It is spot on. I don’t mind automated methods. BUT they can be shortened by about 90%. The only thing that seems to be missing is that a lot of this auto tellering etc is aimed at trying to extract more money from you by various delays, and in the process getting rid of more employees, not to lower costs, but to boost profits.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *