Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Thank you, Barclays, for your vigilance against Chris Cope doppelgangers

Actual experience at Llandaff branch of Barclays:

ME: (Handing over cheque, deposit slip and bank card) Hello, good afternoon. I just need to deposit this cheque.
BANK TELLER: OK... (Types in numbers on keyboard) Oh, but this cheque says "Chris Cope."
ME: Yes...
BANK TELLER: Well the account is for "JC Cope."
ME: Right. (Quickly assessing that explaining the whole shortened-middle-name thing will be too much for this woman) "Chris" is my middle name.
BANK TELLER: But the account says "JC Cope."
ME: I know it does. And the "C" in "JC" stands for "Chris," as in "Chris Cope," as in the person standing in front of you.
BANK TELLER: But it's different from what I have on the screen, you see?
ME: You don't think my parents named me "JC," do you?
BANK TELLER: (Pausing for thought) Well. No.
ME: The "J" and the "C" stand for things. In this case, they stand for "James" and "Chris."
BANK TELLER: But a cheque is supposed to have the name of the account holder on it.
ME: But there isn't anyone named "JC Cope." Or, if there is, he's going to be upset that I have his cash point card, know his PIN and have been receiving his bank statements. And what a fool I've been for putting money into his account for the last year and a half. Why is it that no one has ever brought this up with me before?
BANK TELLER: (Flustered and wanting me to go away) I couldn't say. I've accepted it this time, but I was simply letting you know.
ME: (Making the rare decision not to carry on being a smartass) OK, fine. Thank you very much for your time.

I wanted to ask her how she would expect me to prove who I am if the bank really only accepts cheques payable to "JC Cope." My passport, my U.S. driver's license, and my UK driver's license -- the most official proofs of identity I have -- all state my name in full. If "JC Cope" is the only thing the bank accepts, they have made it impossible for me to ever prove to be that person.

Also, since I was the one with all the account information, she must have assumed me to be the infamous JC Cope and was suggesting I had masterminded the theft of a cheque written to Chris Cope -- that cheque having been written by Rachel Cope. Obviously, she was trying to prevent some sort of ridiculous Eastenders-style family fracas. As it stands, the cheque has been deposited and Chris Cope will now be unable to pay his £90 gambling debt to Javier Carlos Cope. Bwahahaha.

(It all reminds me of Henry Cho's story of JB Stuart [50 seconds into the video])


Anonymous said...

Very funny!
When we first moved to North Wales I transferred my bank account to the local Blaenau Ffestiniog branch, I handed over all my stuff, eg. cheque books and cards. Nothing happened and when I phoned the bank the manager told me that as my account was empty he couldn't accept me as a costumer. As I'd been working constantly as a free-lance illustrator and getting paid I paid all my money into my husband's account and if he had bothered to look at my previous accounts he would have seen that there was plenty of activity.Furiously I closed the account and moved to another bank.This is a long rant but there are a lot of assholes out there.

Anonymous said...

You're the JC Cope??? I'll tell Pinkertons immediately!

Sarah Stevenson said...

Ooh, you do have a smart mouth. I'm sure it was wasted on that particular bank employee, though.