Old lady’s letter to her bank 20



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This letter has been travelling the internet for years and is often referenced as being written by a 96 or 98 year old woman.  When we dug around, it was in fact written as a humour piece for the Courier Mail in 1999 by Peter Wear.  This version has been significantly rewritten we understand.  Nonetheless, it is so funny, we laughed our way all through it!  

To whom it may concern

I am writing to thank you for bouncing my cheque with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month.  By my calculations, three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his depositing the cheque and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honour it.  It refer of course to the automatic transfer of funds from my modest savings account, an arrangement which, I admit has been in place for only thirty-one 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 notices that whereas I personally attend to 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 recently 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 cheque, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee at your bank who 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 Status form 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, 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.

Please allow me to level the playing field further.  When you call me, you will now have a menu of options on my new voice mail system to choose from.  Please press the 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 mobile phone is I am not home.
  6. To leave a message on my computer, a passwor to access my computer is requires.  Password will be communicated to you at a later date, to the Authorised contact.
  7. To return to the main menu and listen to options 1-7
  8. To make a general complaint or inquiry.  The contact will be put on hold, pending attention of my automated answering services.  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 of $50 to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.  Please credit my account after each occasion.

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

Your Humble Client.

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. If only we could do this the billions the bank’s make would be back in our pockets.

    1 REPLY
    • Oh but we can, the bank has already established this mode of practice, and does not have a patent on this procedure.

  2. What brilliant Lady, thank goodness I never had the need of doing this, our bank service, the one we are with is excellent, a little less unpersonal however, from any bank or company, hospital or government office, most of us would be appreciated.

  3. It’s been around for many years, same content in different guises. Great story but sadly not true … be nice if it were.

  4. I love it, I have the best bank ever and would never have the need to do this, but have heard stories about other banks.

  5. Saw this about ten years ago ..credited to a lady in London who wrote the letter and it was published in ..THE TIMES !!…still a good one though !!!.

  6. If only it was true, I would regard it as a wonderful revenge letter, but it’s not ….. sadly! We’ve all been in a situation with our banks or other institutions at times when we would have loved to sit down to write something along those lines, but let’s face it, who is likely to pull the shorter straw? The public, of course!

  7. All respect to this woman. When I first started by bank career the little old lady with her $50000 life savings was treated to a cup of tea and biscuits to have her money reinvested. Now the biggest bank borrowers get lunches, booze, tickets to shows or sports and other forms of favoured treatment whilst the little old lady stands and in the general public queue.

  8. Who says you can’t do that. You have every right to know that the person handling your money is criminal free.
    I can’t see why, as the bank serves thousands of customers. Their bank assures us that they will do as you ask.
    Then if they, the bank are not taking, or putting your money where it is supposed to be, and are late at handling it, then
    we should be able to charge a fee for inconvenience. They can’t wait to take your money from you, and you have no say in trying to explain it wasn’t your fault. It goes in one ear and out the other with them. I say come on you customers,
    get together, put a form out for people to sign it, and make banks face their responsibility to their customers. They get good wages, holidays, parties etc with our money. We have the right to question, the managers, bank employees on their back ground just like they do with us. banks have really gotten out of hand, and become cold. That letter is fantastic, why hasn’t it been “put out for the public” possibly because they the banks don’t want the public to start asking these questions.

  9. stupid nonsense/ she did not have the funds in her account when writing the cheque. hence breaking the law!!! . all you ever about these so called jokes and the responses. is to down grade the banks and their staff. PUT YOURSELF IN THEIR SHOES< too much on serve me serve me I'm important… well no you are not. You use the banks and abuse the conditions of use and expect the staff ( I was one) to sort your mess out for you.

    2 REPLY
    • Go take a chill pill
      Another elitist who doesnt give a stuff about the depositors ,without them u wouldnt have a job so quit with the attitude the world doesnt owe u a living either unless u work for it knock the chip of your shoulder

    • Colin you crumpy old sod get a life enjoy the joke and have a laugh and yes i am a old lady lol

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