The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

Hall of Shame

An armless customer was not allowed to cash a cheque from a Bank of America branch in Florida because he was not able to provide a fingerprint for purposes of identification. This, despite the fact that he was a joint account holder with his wife as well as his providing two photo-IDs.

We are all aware of how banks can be sticklers for rules and procedures, and I would go as far as saying that we have all, at some time in our lives, had our blood pressure elevated by rude and difficult bank staff.

We wonder what special training is provided to bank staff that makes them so difficult to deal with. It can be annoying at times, and simply frustrating, on occasion. Its worse when, after navigating through a maddeningly elaborate interactive voice response system, you are finally directed to a “customer service” agent who leaves you with the impression that he is doing you a favour by responding to your call.

I do agree that adhering to rules is important so as to ensure that there is no fraud.

But, as in the case of the armless man in Florida, this was carrying beaurocracy beyond reasonable limits.

Bank of America has admitted that the matter perhaps went too far, and that the local manager should have exercised better judgment, but this episode has, for sure, not won them any friends.

Bank of America, the largest provider of consumer and small-business banking in the U.S., with over 6,000 centres and over 18,000 ATMs, has had a difficult year, having lost about two-thirds of its stock value, and accepting bailouts worth US$ 45 billion.

And, when it comes to customer service, it has rated as one of the worst, for three years running, in the MSN Money-Zogby poll, and shares a place in the Hall of Shame with organizations such as HSBC, AOL, and Citigroup.


BankAm might claim that 47.6% of respondents in the survey had rated it as “good” or “excellent”, but the fact remains that 28.5% of respondents called it “poor”, with another 23.9% rating it as “fair”. That’s over half of the respondents.

Does not make good reading, does it?



September 8, 2009 - Posted by | About this and that | , , , , ,

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