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No-hat bank policy a dangerous move

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I am glad that a Republic Bank customer has decided to challenge the foolish attempt to dictate to customers how they should dress by prohibiting the wearing of caps and hats. That policy has to be a product of a corprorate management “side” (clearly not a team) that does not care about customers, and its folly will cause the bank to lose customers, something no bank can afford at this time. The explanation given for this crass assault on customers’ right to wear headgear, that it is “to protect customers,” is pathetic, to say the least, and founded in sheer ignorance. How does preventing customers from wearing hats protect them, and from what does it protect them? The bank does not say, probably because it does not know. I am very clear in my mind that I do not need “protection” of that type when I am in the bank, nor do I feel “protected” by bareheaded customers in the bank. The only protection I need from Republic Bank is protection from poor customer service, and this foolish policy is a good example of abysmal customer service and a show of contempt for customers, but it is not the only example.  

Three months ago, the bank tried to inflict upon me a requirement to have a policeman, priest/ pastor or a school principal “witness” the signing of my son’s disability cheque. I, of course, gave notice of my refusal to do any such thing unless the Ministry of Social Services requires it. The bank backed down in my case, but I feel sure that thousands of its customers are now burdened by that uncaring imposition upon people who are already distressed. I advise those customers to refuse to comply with that nonsensical irritant. Instead of addressing the problems that customers are experiencing at the bank, corporate managers add to them by introducing unnecessary strictures to inconvenience customers.
 The bank did not seek input on this policy from the most important members of the Republic team—the customers. It has not said what problem it is trying to solve, if, indeed, any problem exists at all. 

Like Michael Scott, I have been a Republic customer for many, many years and I have never experienced a problem that can be solved by a no-hat policy. I am certain that were the bank’s corporate management to consult with customers on whatever the problem is, hundreds of customers would provide intelligent solutions instead of foolish strictures. Instead it prefers to offload dictats, backed up by arrogance, on its customers, while mouthing nonsense about “to protect customers.” I fully support Scott’s stand and am willing to contribute to legal action to end that discriminatory policy, if those who started it refuse to recognise their error and correct it. As a customer, I have a vested interest in the success of Republic Bank and, as usual, I feel obliged to actively combat the threat that poor service poses to the bank’s profits when the bank’s employees—especially corporate level employees who should know better—fail to see the danger.

For now, those corporate employees must say what problem they are trying to solve and how a no-hat policy solves that problem. When the bank chooses to infringe upon customers’ civil rights and freedom, a full and robust explanation must be given. And in an effort to improve customer service, they can deal with the manager who closed the gentleman’s account, since that manager obviously does not know much about banking, and nothing about the customer’s role in a bank’s success.

Dennis Leslie
La Pastora, Santa Cruz


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