My township moved its meager funds from the Bank of Peninsula to the Bank of Hudson, eight miles down the road. That was in the late twenties, just before the Bank of Peninsula closed its doors. Bank of Hudson has survived for close to a hundred years, under one name or another. Its iteration when I became my township’s clerk was First Merit Bank.
The second thing I did as clerk was go into First Merit and tell them I wanted to look at the township account on line and, gasp, glup, get monthly statements there. In 2004 this was a new concept to this bank, but the threat of moving our substantial cash flow to another bank got their attention, and they enrolled us.
Fast forward to last year, when First Merit had become a relatively weak bank. They faced down several takeover attempts during my terms of office, but last year Huntington Bank closed the deal. We received multiple warnings and instructions by mail; this transition would happen over President’s Day Weekend. Beginning last Tuesday, I could enroll our account again.
I made no enrollment progress by Wednesday evening, when I did report to the trustees that Huntington has achieved a new low in juvenile intelligence; the recorded voice on hold sooths me: “Thank you for your patience. The next available Customer Care Callee will be with you momentarily.”
I listened, mesmerized, trying to decipher and understand “callee.” It finally came to me. I was the caller, and the poor call center person is the callee.
When I finally got through, one time, that person could not help me because Huntington had directed me to the wrong department. I went back into the endless caller loop until I hung up and went home.
Thursday, I called the help line, put the phone on speaker and laid the receiver on my desk while I worked for the next three hours waiting for the next available Customer Care Callee. Friday, ditto.
Today I went to Huntington in Hudson. It is grass green, and every wall screams WELCOME. There is a white board that says, “Yep, you have come to the right bank.” I joined the end of the line of disgrunt-er’s waiting for a banker.
When my turn came, I told my disgruntee it was Huntington’s last opportunity to retain a hundred year old account that currently has a lot of money in it (real estate tax settlement I cannot access and move to investment!). When I left, I would have access to the account or it was adios to a lot of cash flow.
I stared over the desk for one hour as my disgruntee made phone call after phone call. She even put her phone on speaker and left the office to consult with another disgruntee. In the end, success.
I missed cards with the Methodists. I am not happy.