Monday, January 28, 2008

Bye Bye BOA

It's with surprising tinge of sadness that I closed our bank accounts at Bank Of America. For reasons that I'm sure I could have my CFO explain to me (if I had a Need To Know, that is) we moved our accounts elsewhere.

Opening our account in Charlotte, NC, was among the first things we did as a newly married couple, living in a new city, starting a new life together. It's where we got our first does of Southern Hospitality (the woman opening our account ending up calling her brother in law for us, for some random reason, like finding a good place to buy furniture or some other random reason). It brings back memories of the good old days.

And BOA has also been among the most customer service friendly organizations that I can think of. You'd think that a bank would have strict rules and that their staff would have to follow them. Yet, they would do things like throw in free checking for a year, and say "come in next year and ask for the same deal and we'll give it to you again." And the remarkable part is, it worked. You'd go in there, and they'd do just that. Amazing. Cell phone and airlines could learn a thing or two from these guys.

Even the last act they did for us was unusual - rather than closing down all our accounts, they left one open as a student checking account. That way, it would have no fees. Try getting that kind of extra from US Air or Verizon. Don't think so.

All of this service has had one effect on me - it makes me want to switch back if we can, or at least tell the world about my positive experience. Which means that their techniques are working. Again, why can't the Airlines and Cell Phone companies see this basic truth?

I guess this also proves Seth's point, the last interaction is the most important.

2 comments:

  1. I'd be curious to know what your (wife's) reasons where and what your new choice in banking is. I've been a BOA customer for about 11 years now, and really don't have anything good or bad to say about them. I have however played the interest chasing game for my money market savings among GiantBank, HSBC, ING Direct, and most recently GMAC Bank. Really the only reason I've held onto the BOA account is convenience. Pretty much anywhere that I go in the US, I can count on there being an ATM machine there. I guess many of the mega banks will reimburse you for a certain amount of ATM fees nowadays, but I guess I 'm just not comfortable with all the fine print.

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  2. We recently left Bank of America after nearly 6 years as well. We've never really had a good experience with them, but they are very convenient. Most recently when my identity was stolen, they made me get my own money back from each place the bank card was used rather than helping me to do it. There were a lot of charges. It was such a pain that after my protests of those business practices, we decided to take our business elsewhere. When we told BOA why we were closing our accounts, they didn't even seem concerned. I'd say your "CFO" was wise, but that's my biased opinion.

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