Michael View

Are You Blaming the Messenger?

12 November 2010

The Reserve Bank‘s decision to raise official interest rates is well documented. What made headline news was the decision of the Commonwealth Bank to raise its own interest rates by 45 basis points, 20 basis points higher than the RBA cash rate hike.

This decision brought about the ire of many angry customers, who chose to blame the messengers rather than take their frustrations out in a more constructive manner.

Bank staff received plenty of abuse from customers. The abuse stemmed from disgruntled customers who decided to blame innocent staff for their own predicted financial hardship.

There were reports of people saying things like: ‘I hope you‘re happy. I‘m going to lose my house now‘ or ‘I can‘t afford to buy Christmas presents for my kids because of you‘.

These customers obviously felt the need to lay the blame for these financial issues somewhere. In these cases, they‘ve chosen to blame the staff who sit in face-to-face customer service roles.

Yet those people taking the brunt of this kind of abuse had absolutely nothing to do with the Reserve Bank‘s decision to raise interest rates, nor did they play a part in the Commonwealth Bank‘s decision to raise rates higher than the amount raised by the RBA. Nor for that matter, did they make the customers decision to take on debt.

Unfortunately we all tend to blame the easiest person to reach (often the messenger).

Next time ask yourself if this person is personally responsible for the long queue, the telephone shunting, the systems error or your own decisions.

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