Monday, February 02, 2015

1441 Bank in Training

1441 Bank in Training

You hear this often:  “When I grow up, I want to be a…” (insert occupation.)

Well, it’s not only true of little kids who want to be a cop or a firefighter or a doctor or a lawyer or a pilot. It’s true of companies, too.

One in particular, The Mini-Megabank down the street. Basically a small bank of the kind you’d find on Victorian era streets of London or in the middle of an Iowa cornfield or in a suburban strip mall.

Mini-Mega is practicing to be Chase.  But they have yet to complete the degree program at Megabank University.  So they’re only doing some of the bad stuff.  Guessing they haven’t gotten to the “good” part yet.

They know about mortgage bundling, peddling non-bank financial products, peddling auto and home equity loans to the three customers who have credit ratings above 740, overpaying executives and underpaying branch managers and tellers.

But they haven’t gotten the customer service right yet.
You have an account at Chase or Wells Fargo or Bank of America or Citi, and you can reach real people at any hour of the day or night.  In English, Spanish, Korean, Chinese, Transylvanian-accented Esperanto, and TTY.

You can reach them by phone, by fax, by email, by Internet, by smoke signals, telegram, semaphore and sometimes by seance.

Mini-Mega just chugs along singing the national anthem of customer service “Your call is very important to us.” Or the national anthem of the e-bank: “Website is down for maintenance until 4/23/2017. Sorry for the inconvenience. Please visit the nearest branch any Monday through Friday between 9 am and 3 pm.

Of course, 9 really means “ninish” and 3 pm really means 2:45.

Mini doesn’t update its website on weekends.  Its 17-thousand word “privacy policy” can be summarized by three words, “we have none.”  The interest it pays can’t be seen without an electron microscope.

And if your direct deposit paycheck is scheduled to arrive on a Saturday or Sunday, it ain’t gonna be there until the next business day.  Unless the next business day is a holiday.

Holidays include New Year’s Day, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, President’s (presidents’ presidents) Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day.

Also, JP Morgan’s birthday, the Feast of St. Barnabas, Lunar New Year, Groundhog Day (PA,) Pioneer Day (UT,) Rosh Hashanah (Lower East Side,)  Al Capone Day (Chicago and Brooklyn,) Miley Cyrus Day (TN,) Skin Cancer Day (FL, AZ,) Babe Ruth Day (Bronx,) Suge Sharpton Day (57th - 140th St.,) Elvis Day (MS, TN.)

Customer service on a Sunday?  Forget about it.  But if you owe them money and it’s due on a Sunday and you haven’t paid, you better believe they’ll be at you with notices and fees.  Instantly.

For that, they work holidays.


--Okay, Stuporbowl is over and we can all go back to sleep now, those few who managed to waken to begin with.  The game got faintly interesting, briefly,  because all of the balls were properly inflated and the team from Foxborough MA came from behind to win, which was almost as exciting as Katy Perry’s new tattoo.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
Please address comments to
© WJR 2015

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