1/8/09

the bank account review (continued)


when we last left off, seven semi-finalist banks were vying for my new checking account.

technically, there was no previous round, so "semi-finalists" might be an overstatement. but if i've learned one thing during a career of account reviews (and i have - i've learned just one thing) it's that you have to keep competitors believing the odds of them winning are excellent. practically in the bag. theirs to lose, really. so, semi-finalists they all were.

the semi-finalists were Chase, Harris Bank, Bank of America, Corus Bank, Wells Fargo, Washington Mutual, and Citibank. seeing as how my bank account is, at its core, just a small business checking account, i was confident each had the capabilities to handle my business. what i was really needed to find was the right chemistry.

Bank of America came out of the gate strong. as i was filling out their online form, an IM window popped up, and an employee wanted to see if i had any questions RIGHT NOW. my own personal employee to speak with? there's NO WAY they could do that for everyone. talk about special treatment. i declined to chat, as i wanted to keep a level playing field to avoid any potential lawsuits from bitter banks that didn't win the review.

after i filled out the form, who did i hear from first? no peeking... it was BANK OF AMERICA! they said, "Thank you for contacting Bank of America." you're welcome! they also said, "Your message has been assigned case number 39485157" which didn't feel quite as special, but still. at least they wrote back quickly.

i wish i could continue this romantic fairy tale. but i just plum can't. by the time their response came, two full business days had passed. (we small businesses are in a hurry, you know.) the email reply read, "Thank you for contacting Bank of America." THEY SAID THAT LAST TIME! what was this, some sort of computer-generated response? then they said they really couldn't help me, and that i'd have to call them. no way was i entering that phone labyrinth. the worst part? it was signed, "N. Lee." no first name? what sort of customer service bots are they hiring over at BofA?

sorry, but the warm fuzzies i felt were gone, and there was no amount of groveling that was going to get me back.

i wrote an email informing n. lee that BofA was no longer in the review. i haven't heard back.

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