Susi Castle

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And now for something a little different

This week seems to have felt especially tough.

I’ve been thinking a bit about the energy I’d like to surround myself with, especially as I’ve had to do a lot of complaining to customer service teams over the past few weeks and months. I can’t imagine I’m the only one.

It was therapeutic to write the below email to first direct this morning. I know this is a tiny, trivial activity in the midst of huge upheaval, pain and trauma for many people – but it also cheered me up a little.

Hi first direct team,

I’ve had a lot of cause to complain to various companies over the last few months so it’s a pleasure to be able to write this kind of email instead.

My mum has banked with first direct for years. I think she might be one of your superfans. She would always talk to us about how great your customer service is (don’t worry, we’re a normal family that does talk about things other than banking at the dinner table) and so it was a huge pleasure to get my first account with you in 2017*.

I’m writing this email to say thank you to all of your staff.

Every single person I’ve ever had the opportunity to speak to at first direct over the past two and a half years has been utterly wonderful. You’re helpful and human and kind. I usually say thank you at the end of every call but I know that some of the time that can feel a little perfunctory. Writing this email is a way of me emphasising that your level of customer service is rare and doesn’t go unnoticed. Please don’t change (unless it’s to get even better!) and I hope that everyone in your company is as well-looked after as you all seem. If you’re not, feel free to forward this to Joe Gordon.

With best wishes and hoping you and your families are all staying safe,


* I’ve just switched my current account to HSBC (their bonus offer was just too good to say no to, sorry!) but I’ve still got a credit card with you and the first chance I get I’ll be switching back – if you’ll still have me