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Good Customer Service Really Pays Off

I once thought I could invest in CDs without worrying about a bank’s customer service operations.

I figured you just open your account, sit back and let the interest pour in.

But proliferating CDs have disabused me of this notion.

So has advancing age.

Most often, I need customer service assistance to chase down interest payments gone awry.

For example, after recently renewing a CD, Bank of Internet failed to transfer the initial post-renewal interest payment to my checking account, as I’d originally arranged.

Promptly after I emailed the bank, I got a call apologizing, saying BOI was mailing a check for the interest and paying me a $10 bonus to boot.

Now, I have another reason to like BOI.

At AIG Bank, bollixed-up CD interest payments are so common, I have a “go-to” customer service representative I use to fix things when required.

The problem’s always resolved promptly (no bonus, though).

My latest customer service encounter resulted from an error caused not by the institution, but by my less-than-perfect, 66-year-old eyesight.

Velocity Credit Union bounced an ACH (Automated Clearing House) transfer I’d initiated at Union Bank to withdraw CD interest paid into my Velocity savings account.

I’d mistakenly read “$926.31” as “$926.81.”

When Union Bank tried the transfer again, Velocity bounced it a second time.

And charged me $60.

Shortly after I faxed a letter explaining my mistake, a Velocity customer service representative called to say the charges had been waived.

That’s real customer service TLC!

Union Bank’s performance was something else again.

I’m a “priority banking” client there (because my deposits exceed $100,000), entitled to a personal banker and an online and telephone “client services team” that “understands (my) unique financial needs.”

But, after my local personal banker left last year, the bank didn’t bother replacing him, and I had no branch representative to talk to about my Velocity screw-up.

And my faceless client services team proved less than helpful.

They told me (erroneously) the second ACH attempt wouldn’t be made, then failed to follow up (despite assurances they would) when I inquired why I no longer had a personal banker.

I eventually talked to a supervisor, who apologized, offered to reimburse the since-waived Velocity charges and arranged for my local branch manager to contact me.

Whatever’s behind Union Bank’s subpar service, I hope it fixes the problem soon, because it looks like I’ll need a lot more attention in the future.

After all, I’m not getting any younger.

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  1. gerald said:
    on September 29th at 06:19 am

    funny i found same ..poor customer service ,at regions bank, woman i delt with left and moved to different bank,,now i hate to go there..they cut the payrol so much its actually depressing to enter the bank,,no help anymore!!