punkwalrus (punkwalrus) wrote,

Why do I hate banks again?

Oh, that's right... because they are run by incompetant ninnies. My bank, formerly Small Local Bank, got bought out by a larger fish, HugeMegaCorp Bank. I have chronicled my past issue with banks, and how I hated big-name corporations. Well, this buyout hasn't been without issues, and the transfer of everything has become enourmously complicated. So, there I was, trying to transfer money from my savings to my checking via ATM, like I have been doing for years. But now I get the message to call my bank. So I do.

I used to program for call centers, and I am betting that I was not really reaching HugeMegaCorp Bank, but a call center HugeMegaCorp Bank hires to answer their hotlines that's really in Minnesota. I spoke to a girl with a slightly northern country accent named Peggy, who to her credit, was very nice and polite in the face of adversity. She did everything she was probably trained to do as far as dealing with difficult situations. Her only fault was that she never heard the numbers I was speaking, and often narrated her own mistakes with a summary:

Punkie: My account number is 1234-58-1234-5190
CSRep: That's... 123... 4.... 98
Punkie: 58
CSRep: 98?
Punkie: Five. Five eight.
CSRep: Okay, begin again...
Punkie: My account number is 1234-58-1234-5190
CSRep: 9234...
Punkie: One. One two three four!
CSRep: There I go again with that nine! I don't know why I keep doing that... I am sorry, sir, I am having a bad day...

She thought she was having a bad day! She also told me I had no accounts. Then she said I had accounts, but with a different address. Then she said a lot of other stuff that contradicted what she had said earlier. Finally, she said to go to the bank in the morning and straighten this out. So I did, pretty much expecting a fight with someone who didn't speak English very well.

It started off bad. The rep who handled me at his desk spoke with a thick accent. I don't mind that immigrants come to this country not knowing English, my granparents came over with the same problems. But they didn't get customer service jobs right away. If I went to Pakistan, Sweden, or the Republic of Togo, I would expect that I would have to know Pakistani, Swedish, or French fluently before I was allowed to speak with the citizens about their money. This has been a worsening problem as of late, and it's very frustrating when you realize that the last few minutes you spent explaining something to someone has been wasted because they only nodded to be polite and only understood every third word you said. I can't claim to have any solutions, but I am very frustrated when I have to spell things like "Virginia" repeatedly to someone who works in that state.

Long story short: They had indexed my accounts wrong during the merger. I had three accounts. One was to my correct address, but listed as dormant (true). One was for an old address in Reston I haven't lived at for many years, and another was a Rural Route Box in West Virginia. Oddly enough, they mailed all my statements, ATM cards, and account number changes to the right (current) address. One was to a social security number I hadn't even heard of. Luckily, all the accounts had the correct names and balances on them. *Phew*! And I got money transferred with receipts, and all the neccessary corrections. And the guy did speak English well enough to get my points across.

But the manner in which he handled our security and ID? Sloppy. I saw at least six major flaws in what he did which I am not going to repeat because I don't want anyone hacking my bank, but suffice to say I knew more about his computer system, passwords, and software flaws than he did. In fact, when I wanted a receipt of my transactions, he just sent a screen shot to the printer. A black and white printer. On regular paper. Not like I could make a similar image and then later go back and claim I had $30,000 in my account, here's proof, now where is it...?

I'd leave this new bank, but where would I go? Other banks are just as bad if not worse. The real problem is they just don't give a damn about customers anymore. This is a problem with a lot of companies these days, true, but banks can hold you by the balls with your finances. If I had enough money to spread around, I'd have multiple banks to ensure odds, but with a lot of the buyouts these days, I might end up with one bank again.

This entry was originally posted at http://www.punkwalrus.com/blog/archives/00000273.html
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