In the back of my mind is the notion that if you as a debtor offered your creditor the local currency to pay off a debt, and the creditor declined to accept it, you could if sued plead a defence called legal tender or the like. If that is correct, it may be neither lawful nor profitable for a bank to refuse payment in cash of a credit card debt.
The Reserve Bank site is, as you would expect, both Delphic and cautious – and properly so: ‘a. refusal to accept legal tender in payment of an existing debt, where no other means of payment/settlement has been specified in advance, conceivably could have consequences in legal proceedings; for example, the creditor may be unable to enforce payment in any other form.’
But according to this morning’s The Age, NAB now refuses to accept cash to settle credit card debt. The bullshit? The bank wants people to bank online so that branch staff can ‘spend more time on more complex customer conversations, including supporting customers with education on evolving digital channels.’
It is just nauseating is it not? They want to control us so that they can sack more people and leach us of what humanity we may have left so that the pitiless mongrels who run these soulless monoliths can keep more cash back from the shareholders who own the business. Another win for Mammon.
Staff intercept people at the door to direct them to go self-service. It is like assisted suicide. If the staff don’t reach targets, they face a ‘performance program.’
Oh, Orwell – where is thy sting?
I refuse to invest in businesses that I think are bad for us. The exception is the banks – because my super fund really does not have the option. I am sad about that – and mildly guilty. But, although I also hold shares in Woollies, I refuse point bank to buy at self-service. And I have travelled to both Cambridge and Oxford without a newspaper because the station kiosk was not manned.
Decent people have to find ways to tell these grifters where to get off.
And instead of educating their customer, the banks might think of educating their staff. So that then we won’t get so often met with that sullen look of frightened vacancy when the human being behind the counter fears they may have been invited to step beyond the role of scripted robot.
When I was acting for banks in the eighties who had tipped farmers into Swiss francs and bankruptcy, the banks had to settle because most of the managers didn’t know the difference between a Swiss franc and a Swiss tart.
And that was when banks had real managers. Since then, it has all been downhill.
Banking – legal tender – rule by robots – education of bank staff