Banks Need More Competition

April 19, 2015

For all the years I have been with my bank, the one thing I have always liked about it is that there was always a live customer service representative to talk to and, whenever I called, I was either connected immediately or put on hold for two minutes, rarely longer. This superior customer service has kept me from going elsewhere all these years.

A couple of years ago, I was in for an unwelcome surprise. When I called, the outgoing message said that I had connected to their automated customer service center. I didn’t want their automated customer service center; I wanted to speak to a live representative. Thinking I dialed the wrong number, I dialed it again a few more times.

Then I Googled them and it said to dial their toll-free number but that I could no longer press zero to get past the automated customer service center. There was a drop down menu that asked how many minutes I had to wait to be connected and I typed in 36 minutes. Then it asked if I was satisfied with the service and to rate it. I rated it as horrible. Then it asked if I wanted to leave a message, and yes, I did.

I said that this was terrible customer service and that the only reason I have stayed with the bank up until now has been because of their great customer service. I also said that I was wondering how many of their customers they were going to lose as a result of this new way of handling their customers.

Thirty-six minutes later, after finally getting connected to a live person, she didn’t give me the proper information but she confirmed the fact that I could no longer dial zero to get past the outgoing message.

I called again and waited another thirty-eight minutes to get through, When I finally got through, this representative gave me the correct information for my account as well as telling me that when I get the automated message, I can still dial zero and it will take me directly to a representative.

And now it has changed again. For the past several months, whenever I’ve called, I’m put on hold for thirty to sixty minutes with frequent announcements that they are sorry for the long delay but due to increased calls, etc., etc.

I’m ready to switch banks. I’ve had enough of businesses that don’t hire enough employees to handle their increased volume of business. My concern is that eventually these poorly managed banks will go belly-up and be bought out by just a few banks and there will be so little competition, that we’ll be back to square one but this time, we won’t have anywhere else to go.

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