As a Bank of America (B of A) customer over the last 15 plus years, [and having arrived here more as the result of acquisition than by choice] I have been a loyal customer in the sense that I have stayed and have not migrated to another banking institution. Call me a creature of habit, but nothing has yet driven me to defect from B of A. Like Starbucks, my personal choice when I desire a cup of coffee, they are everywhere I go and they are consistent if nothing else.
No here’s where it gets interesting. My bank account with B of A includes a checking account, a savings, account and a line of credit account—covering me in the event I overdraw from my checking account. I have successfully managed to go paperless with both my checking and savings accounts—two out of three—so far so good. However, my poor little line of credit account must be an exceptional case because I cannot seem to find any way to make this account go paperless.
Most of the time, whenever I overdraw on my checking account, I replenish it within hours if not days and bring it back to a zero balance. Nonetheless, when any transaction occurs, I get a statement like the one shown below in Figure 1 with a zero balance and payment due of zero. I also get a coupon showing a minimum payment due of—you guessed it—zero.
After attempting to go paperless using the relevant features on the B of A on-line banking portal and calling them numerous times to ask for this to be set up as a paperless transaction, alas I must admit defeat. There’s nothing they can apparently do to prevent me from receiving these economically and ecologically wasteful monthly statements—each time arriving with a zero balance. I actually once sent them a check for $0.00 and signed it—seriously, and to see if might help. I don’t think B of A caught on to my frustration or my sense of humor. I wonder whether this is endemic to only large bureaucratic organizations where it is often impossible to connect with a live human being to discuss customer issues in a logical common sense manner. I can’t be the only B of A customer experiencing this.
For those of you working within large B2C organizations like B of A, does any of this begin to ring true?
· What channels of customer issue resolution do you have set up and offer your customers?
· Do they experience human avoidance by going though the looping phone tree that deposits you (pun intended in this case) right back where you started?
· Do your processes defy logic and common sense?
· Do you design your internal systems and processes around employee efficiency, organizational convenience, and workflow over customer expectations and ease of doing business?
· How does what I describe here help or hinder customer loyalty and customer advocacy?
I’d like to hear similar stories from those of you either in B2C or B2B organizations where issues like this seem to go un-resolvable for years. Just in case you might be wondering, I am not about to close my account with B of A and go elsewhere. The rest of the experience I have with them is generally good, so this isn’t what I’d consider a show-stopper. It would probably behoove B of A to save the costs of invoicing me and countless other customers for essentially nothing—not to mention the saving of few more precious trees in the process.