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  • I am the sort of person that lets a lot of things slide. I let people get away with things just because it is not worth the time or energy. When I do push an issue, I seldom end up with any result other than the one I want.

    I recently switched banks after being with one for years. Their customer service had gone down hill over the course of 6 months and I had given them every opportunity to correct the problem to include spending copious amounts of time documenting problems. When I finally left, I did so knowing I did everything I could to improve the situation.

    At the new bank, we didn't start off on the right foot. I had customer service problems in every department (it is a large bank) within 3 months. Every time I talked to a manager, they wanted to address the problem at hand even though I kept telling them it was a rampant problem that could not be fixed so easily if they looked at it holistically.

    Then there was a straw that broke the camel's back. I wrote a letter to the president of the bank along with any other high level executives I could find the email address for.

    What did it get me?
    1. Phone calls from heads of each department wanting to know more about what problems I experienced and what I thought could have been done better.

    2. Waiving of my home loan application fee ($300).

    3. A letter from the president signed in ink with a check for $250 apologizing for the problems.

    4. An open invitation to point out process (not personnel) problems that will be elevated straight to the top.

    Why did they do this? Here are the closing paragraphs of my email:

    I could leave BANK_NAME in a huff and I am sure that it would not hurt business in any significant way. I could speak vehemently about how poorly I have been treated to friends, family, and strangers. I could do lots of things, so why have I chosen to take the time to elevate things to this level? It is because I believe strongly in giving second chances even though as individuals, we seldom receive them. If I mail a check to BANK_NAME to pay a bill but forget to put on the stamp, will the Post Office forgive me my mistake and deliver it anyway? Will BANK_NAME waive the late fee because it didn’t arrive on time because everyone makes mistakes once in a while?

    I am giving you this opportunity to improve before I pass judgement and move on. This is your opportunity to show me that the past few months were a fluke and that you indeed know what good customer service is all about.