Over the past 4 weeks I have been trying to change a signature on the bank accounts of the Anglican church in Voorschoten, due to one of our volunteers retiring to the UK and being replaced. I went into the local ABN bank branch in Voorschoten, where I was surprised to be told I could no longer make a business appointment at the branch.

Instead I had to ring 088 226 26 26 in Zwolle. After nearly an hour of frustrating ‘phone menus and discussions with various ‘help’ desks there, I understood that they could not make an appointment because their appointments system wasn’t working. They would call me back. I advised it was urgent, if they wanted the retiring party also to be present at the signature change, which they confirmed was necessary.

After waiting a week without being called, and knowing that only two remaining dates were possible for the three people from our side, I tried again. Their appointment system was still down, so I told them the two remaining dates and times, and they promised to set up the last of those. They didn’t.

Another few days passed with no confirmation, so I called again. The system was still down, so they suggested I talk to the branch directly, and they would connect me. I asked for the branch ‘phone number but they could not give that, as the branch doesn’t have an external ‘phone (???) They then connected me, but without explaining the background to the branch, so I had a very confused discussion with the member of staff at the branch who had originally told me to call Zwolle. Finally she agreed that another of her colleagues could see me at the required time, although she seemed very flustered that she herself had another appointment. I advised my two co-workers accordingly, and started to collect the necessary papers together showing that the new appointment had been confirmed by the church council.

Then I received the following email from ABN. At first I thought it was a spam mail, but no – it came from ABN in Zwolle:



Dear mister Waters.

A few weeks ago we have spoken about an appointment for your company.

You ask me if I can make an appointment for Friday the 10 of July at 14:00 hours.

I sorry to tell you that we have some problems whit our system and that the appointment is not be confirm.

By this mail I want to ask you to call us for a new appointment.

Kind regards

Met vriendelijke groet,


ABN AMRO | Businesslijn Kleinbedrijf ASC
Grote Voort 247 | 8041BL Zwolle | PAC TM2200
Tel. 088 – 226 26 26


Needless to say I didn’t call back, and we are now considering whether to remove our business from ABN entirely.