Big fat #fail from HSBC

Here we are in the depths of one of the world’s greatest economic troughs, and HSBC cannot seem to muster a satisfactory level of customer service for businesses.

I visited HSBC at Canary Wharf, London, with two neighbours last week, to set up a business account for the property management company we have incorporated. We recently dragged our freeholder through the Right to Manage (RTM) process, whereby leaseholders can get rid of the incumbant management company appointed by the freehold owner and appoint another, or manage their own.

The member of staff designated to set up our business account was clearly not very inspired by her job, nor particularly interested in what we were doing, or giving us any kind of incentive to see the meeting through.

I completely understand that in the grand scale of things, our company is a stunted minnow when compared with other businesses on HSBC’s books. Annual income is unlikely to top £10k. The point is that the person serving us had no idea what our other business interests are, and did not realise until the end of the meeting that two of us were already personal customers.

It just doesn’t make sense in any economic situation, let alone 2010, that people who are willing to invest any amount of money with a bank should be treated with such disdain.

Is it just me, or has anyone else had recent experience of this?

How my media consumption habits are changing

I have always enjoyed newspapers, but just lately I’ve been finding myself thinking more about the way I access information.

Three things have triggered this:

1. I am spending more time on the train and thus have more time to read
2. I am earning more money, which has opened up the possibility of subscriptions and daily papers, without worrying too much about cost
3. I finally upgraded my Blackberry and took time to download some useful apps (such as Opentweet)

Like I said, I’ve always enjoyed newspapers, but increasingly I skip much of the news and read more of their analysis. I also buy different papers throughout the week, depending on their lead stories (even though I don’t read much of the news) or supplements (Media Guardian, Media supplement in the Indie, etc.).

The Telegraph mobile site is clean and crisp, and perfect for me even if it isn’t necessarily my first editorial choice.

The biggest change of all however, has to be my increasing use of Twitter to seek out opinions on local, regional and national news and issues. Its perfect for the journey home; scanning updates to my contacts’ professional networks and blogs.

The combination of sources is slightly overwhelming, but also very empowering. My work definitely benefits from being able to keep on top of what the leading thinkers in my area are thinking, as well as the wider political context and a variety of analysis.

I am giving a presentation on careers in media to a local sixth form next week. Thinking back to when I was in their position (not all that long ago, but a very different media landscape), the one thing I wish I had spent more time doing was understanding how people access information. Thinking about this now will give them more career guidance than any number of qualifications.