Legal Recruitment from Ten-Percent Legal

Thursday, April 14, 2016

▪ The Cooperative Bank & Legal Services and a slick sales demo

The Co-operative Bank, Co-operative Legal Services - an amazing demonstration of subliminal referrals

An elderly relative has recently died in our family and I rang the Co-operative Bank to ask them what information they required from the family in order to remove a name from a joint account.

I called the main bank number and explained I was simply making an enquiry about name removal. The operative asked me for the bank account number in question and a bit more information about the deceased. I gave them this and was advised that I would be put through to the probate team who would be able to advise me.

After waiting for about 5 minutes I spoke to someone I thought was in the bank's probate department who advised me that I simply needed to take a certified copy of the death certificate into a local branch or post it to head office. He then advised me that he just needed to take a few more details from me for their "Bank Notification Scheme" and that it shouldn't take more than a few minutes. I agreed to this, but suddenly remembered a letter in the Law Society Gazette some time ago from a solicitor who had experienced something similar and asked who I was speaking to. A referral presumably had occurred because I was informed that no longer was I speaking to the Cooperative Bank but instead I was communicating with the Cooperative Legal Services.

This was of course the standalone Cooperative Legal Services ABS and I had been referred to it! I hung up immediately, fairly shocked that in such a delicate time the Cooperative, an organisation priding itself on its ethical approach to customers, had attempted this subterfuge on me.

I really had no idea that this had happened - neither operative indicated that my query was being handed over to a separate law firm (which is in essence what the Cooperative Legal Services is) and I can only presume that after about 10 minutes of taking information from me the operative would have finally advised me that I was speaking to him about using their probate service and provided me with a quote for this. As it happened I already knew that probate was not required - the elderly relative in question had no assets - and I had not at any time been asked to consent to being transferred through the law firm or indeed asked a question about probate.

It is a good example of how referrals can be made. So many marketing gurus go on and on about cross-referrals within organisations - highlighting the services of a litigation department to wealthy property purchasers with senior positions in business is but one example.

The Cooperative, it appears, have taken this approach to another level... Very cynical marketing I think - well below the level one would expect from an ethical business..

Jonathan Fagan is Managing Director of Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment and a non-practising Solicitor. Ten-Percent Legal Recruitment provides online Legal Recruitment for Solicitors, Legal Executives, Fee Earners, Support Staff, Managers and Paralegals. Visit our Website to search our Vacancy Database. 

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