Customer Experience

Why banks need a customer-first strategy

I got an email today from Bank of America stating that my debit card may have been compromised. Great way to start an already busy morning but happy to know they are looking out for me. So, I call and talk to a service rep who reviews the potentially fraudulent charges (which they were) and she tells me she needs to cancel my card and issue a new one. Okay, I get it. So, of course, my question at this point is: When can I get my new card? Her answer: 7-10 business days. I pause to collect my thoughts because I’m not sure on what planet a human being can live without their debit card for close to two weeks. At this point, I plead my case as to why I need it sooner and she still says no way. I pull out all the stops and she finally says she can expedite it but that I’ll have to pay $25.

Hang on a sec. So, I did nothing to cause my card to be compromised, I now have no bank card and you’re telling me you want me to pay to get my bank card faster? And, this is why Bank of America sucks. When it comes right down to it, it’s all about the service you provide your customers and their service couldn’t be any worse. So, I ask to speak someone who can waive the fee. I get transferred to the supervisor. She apparently cannot waive the fee either and said I have to pay it. So I ask her if there is any person among the 200k+ employees at BofA who can waive the rush fee. She then tells me I need to speak with Customer Service (I thought I was talking to Customer Service all along) as they are the only ones who can waive the fee. I’ve now been on the phone for over 30 minutes and my board meeting is in an hour. After being transferred twice, I finally get the fee waived only to find out that “expedited” = 2-3 business days which still equates to almost a week given they can’t ship the card till tomorrow. The whole way around, this was a big bowl of fail. Oh and I get charged a monthly service fee for this amazing service too. Blech.

Big banks are like the computers that were built back in the 80s. Big, clunky, expensive, not user-friendly, not easy to adapt. The difference is that computers evolved into the sleeker, cheaper, easier to use laptops and tablets we use today. But the banks are still the same as they ever were except more expensive and even slower and less focused on the customer. It is amazing to me that the banking model has still not really evolved and there aren’t tons of choices for a new way to bank. When I Googled “bank of america sucks” I was faced with hundreds of entries of angry customers, including this one from John Galt who seems to second my emotion. (This key word phrase seems like a ripe Google Adwords campaign for ING Direct.) It made me wonder if BofA even listens to what people on the interwebs are saying? Seems like a big opportunity to connect with the people who buy your service but that requires expending time and resources and dollars to actually care.

So if I say to hell with big banks, where do I turn? From what I read, ING Direct seems to be the best option and Bob Griggs did a great write-up of the advantages (including great service and paper checks if you need them). It’s a pain in the ass to move your bank accounts but I am seriously considering doing it as I am sick of dealing with big banking and their complete inability to make it easy to be a customer.

Have you switched your bank account to an alternative to the big banks? Would love to hear your experience as I consider this move.

Tags: bank of america sucks, banking, customer service, online banking, rants, service
Previous Post
The power of voice and social media
Next Post
Be Epic: What I learned from Boston Girls In Tech