One For the Little Guy

What started out as an innocuous errand-filled lunch yesterday turned into a battle cry for liberty and justice. But that is not all that unusual for my wife. After picking up a small check from a consignment shop ($30), she decided to cash the check at the bank the store uses for its business account which was conveniently located two blocks from the store. In the drive-through line at the bank, she was informed by the teller in the booth that the new policy of the bank was to charge $5 to cash a check from a business account. My wife said, “no way” and asked for the check and her driver license to be returned via air tube. In most instances, that would have been the end of the situation. Read on.

As she pulled away from the bank, she realized that she was very angry about what had just transpired. How ridiculous was it that the bank holding the corporate account would charge some regular Joe off the street $5 to cash a check from that account. It made no sense. So she pulled into the parking lot and decided to speak to the teller in person, hoping to rectify the situation. The bank lobby was devoid of customers, only two tellers and a person sitting at a desk being the live bodies in sight. She walked up to a teller and asked that they cash her check and not charge her the fee. The teller explained that she couldn’t do that. My wife argued that she could. After being turned down again, my wife asked why they decided to change the policy. The teller said that it was a new policy from management. That was no answer so Hope asked again, “But why?” The teller looked over at the teller next to her for some help and she offered that if we walked into a Wachovia or Bank of America we would be faced with the same fees.

Incredulous, my wife responded forcefully that she could not believe they were comparing themselves to those two banks and that she considered (one of the banks) to be the most crooked bank in America! “Why would you even want to be compared to them?” Then she held up the check in question and asked, “Is this your logo on this check? Does this business have an account with you? Then why in the world do you not trust your own clients enough to cash a check from their account? What is that five dollars for?”

The response? “Well, ma'am, you can open a checking account with us and receive free checking.”

“There is no way I would EVER open an account with this bank. Ever!” With that she decided to leave, her work complete. Almost.

She got out the door but then turned and walked back in. She pointed to the man at the desk and said, “If you are a manager here, shame on you for letting me walk out of this bank unsatisfied.” And she left.

Is there a lesson here about customer service? Or is it a lesson on dealing with strong females who need their $30 for lunch money? I think it depends on which side of the debate you are residing. I know who I am defending. (Are you crazy?)

No comments: