World Class Bad Service


Okay, so it won’t surprise you that I get lousy service from the B of A.  If old Mr. Giannini were alive today, the incompetence and disinterest I regularly encounter there would make the top of his head fly off.

Today’s situation, though, was just more than I can stand without writing about it.

I don’t bank with the BofA, but Fat Slice Pizza does, so I have them set up on the computer so we can check balances and deposits and whatever else Gail needs.  In checking from my iPhone, I must have entered the password wrong, then tried something else, and they blocked the account.  I had to call them to get it straightened out.

First, I tried in the branch, thinking that the manager would have the secret phone numbers to get in quickly.  Wrong-o.  The voice system told her it would be a 7 minute wait, and after 20 minutes I gave up and left.

Tonight, I tried from home.  Put the headphones into the telephone so I would be able to do things, and prepared to wait.  I just wasn’t as prepared as I needed to be.

Call the number.  Go through the usual rigamarole, enter the account number, repeat “agent” seven or thirteen times and finally it stops asking stupid questions and tell me I’ll get the next available operator–in approximately 8 minutes.

Remember that this is the number on **their** web page, and they have my account number and can read my phone number.

After 11 minutes, I get someone.  He quickly figures out that this is a small business account (remembering that I got the phone number from their small business web page) , and tells me that he will have to transfer me.  Of course.

This goes quickly–a woman comes right on, no wait.  She need the account number again.  I tell her.  She can’t find it in her system, asks me what state I’m in–can’t they figure that out from the account number I’ve given them 3 times?  Nope.  So I tell her CA, and she says I need to talk to someone else, and she’ll transfer me.  Of course.

The next number promises to connect me to the first available operator, and it will be no more than 4 minutes.  TWENTY FIVE MINUTES LATER there is a real person on the line.  What can possibly be the point of lying to the customer like this?  They knew damned well how long the wait would be, do they think I’ll like them more if they lie?

The guy was helpful, but constrained by his stupid rules.  We started with my account number, for the fourth time.  I just love answering the same question over and over.  Trying to make sure I wasn’t scamming the system, he wanted to know the amount of our last deposit, which I made this afternoon.  I could remember that it was just over five grand, and that it ended in 4 cents, but he wanted the numbers in the middle.  Eventually I convinced him that a scammer wouldn’t know the 4 cents part, and we proceeded to reset my password.

The whole process took almost 50 minutes, I spoke to three people, gave my account number 4 times, and have absolutely no respect for the Bank of America.  It’s bad enough that they are so understaffed in their call centers that it takes forever to talk to anyone, but the incompetence displayed in the process of trying to talk to the right person compounded with the bald faced lying about the wait time is both dispiriting and insulting.

Then I had to call Mechanics Bank with a similar problem.  They answered, with a real person, immediately.  Took my account number ONCE and solved the problem in about 4 minutes.  If only they had a branch on Telegraph Avenue….

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