CORA of NatWest

Readers with good memories will recall I switched banks this autumn. I am now at that age where I am not prepared to accept shoddy service and will take my custom elsewhere as a result. Sadly, this means falling out with nearly every bank while the pool of available banks diminishes.

My new bank, NatWest, charges 16 pence per minute to call them up. As they invariably take a good many minutes to answer, the bank has an incentive to keep you waiting as long as possible. Still, the ‘online chat’ is free. Before one may talk to a human being, however, one must get past CORA. CORA is the bot who tries to deal with your issue before reluctantly passing it on. She will ask you what it is about. She will then attempt to give you some options. You will ask for a human. She will ask what it is about. She will then give you some options. You ask for a human. Eventually, she is programmed to give up, but only after having put up a fight. Human staff, you see, cost money. CORA is free and is successfully used to deter people from contacting the bank. The prospect of having to run CORA’s gauntlet is enough to put anyone off from contacting the bank, except the most serious cases, which NatWest begrudgingly accepts it must hear.

Large corporations cannot exploit humans any more. Not in this country, at any rate. So instead, capitalism has created bots, programs and robots which it can work 24/7 at minimal expense. These are much cheaper and amenable than employees made of bone and tissue with stomachs to feed and feelings to hurt. CORA is facilely and nonchalantly awaiting my next query. There she stands watch, guarding the gates, allowing none to pass but the nimblest and most determined. By minimising human contact, she well protects her makers' profits.

I duly complained and was asked by a polite lady (a real one, this time) what costs I had incurred. None, I replied. Would I like a hamper as a token of good will? That, too, I declined. I was tempted, I’ll confess, but I wanted to be clear that I wasn’t just moaning because I wanted some free money or treats. Although NatWest can well afford it, I am not here to take advantage of them. And at any rate, should I choose to switch to a bank which employs human beings to answer queries rather than programs, I’ll leave with an easier conscience.

Sinful world views- unfettered capitalism, communism, fascism et al, always undervalue human beings, made in the Creator's own image. 

Image by Yannick McCabe-Costa from Pixabay