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Monday, February 27, 2017

It can’t be fixed


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.




28 comments:

  1. I was angry and frustrated just reading your post!! We have similar experiences with cell phone companies - waiting forever to speak to someone and finding out it's not the department you want. Oh joy. -Jenn

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  2. Ain't progress grand, sounds like you've ended up with a top notch do nothing bank.

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  3. Frustration is a big part of dealing with institutions these days. Getting a human on the phone is a chore. Then the routines they must follow preclude actual thought on their part when you have a slightly different question. More frustration ensues as you get passed down the line to another person with a slightly different routine...and so it goes.

    Glad you finally got some help though it took forever.

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  4. Joanne, sorry you had to go through that, but at least you came out successful. It does seem to be harder to find someone who knows what they're doing these days.

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  5. Callee! That's priceless! I like your creative extension of the concept...

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  6. And they wonder why people hold op banks...the only way to get your money out.

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  7. Geez! I went through this a number of years ago with my personal bank. Not fun!!

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  8. All talk and no action. It should be the other way around for those who serve the public! I'm glad you succeeded in the end, but holy cow, do they not realize the lack of actual service they are giving?

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  9. Well at least you finally have access to the account. I've often found going in person is more productive, or at least faster than trying to get things done over the phone. Too bad you had to miss cards though.

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  10. I'm hoping the eventual callee was at least in the United States and not India with an accent barely understood? So frustrating with what you had to go through!

    betty

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  11. Hari om
    Sorry, the giggling is outweighing the empathy over here... does that make you the giggleee??? YAMxx

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  12. I thought that only here in the" Levant" we have those problems,big suprise.

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  13. Once upon a time in the olden days when I was young -- much younger than now, I had a banker who knew my name. Now the bank has 'banks' of machines that have a human 'helper' to assist us poor peons to figure out which button to push. I suppose I should be grateful for the human helper ...

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  14. I spent 2 and 1/2 hours on the phone one day recently with the Earthlink support center. they not only did not fix my problem, they made it worse. I'd be pissed if I missed cards with the Methodists too.

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  15. I remember a lot more types of banks when I was little, now they were getting smaller in number but larger in size. Not very good

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  16. They'll be sued before long for causing a stroke from all the guff they dish out.

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  17. Not happy to hear this. I have a small account with what was the First Merit on route 18 in Montrose. I have the new debit card from Huntington, but not the checks yet. I think I am going to change to an account in a grocery store bank. Congratulations to you for your persistence.

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  18. You should have invited some of the disgruntees (I love that word) to join you with the Methodists. They might see things in s different light.

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  19. Good story, great ending image. I'm quite sure the Methodists missed you.

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    Replies
    1. They didn't have a quorum, so the two who came went home.

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  20. Great telling of truth! I have been waiting for a "callee" (really?) many times lately. In only the CEO was filling in that day.

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  21. Wow, they really gave you a hard time. Glad you got your way in the end.

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  22. You could have cleaned-up with those pesky Methodists.

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  23. Customer-we-don't-care departments all too often get the budget/planning leftovers. With an account as large as this I would expect an account representative to ASSIGNED to your account with a direct phone number.

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  24. I have to just sigh.... I know it doesn't really matter, but our experience opening (and maintaining) a checking account here in Mexico with a Mexican bank is just mind-boggling. First off.. you're totally out of luck if you don't have your passport and visa with you. It goes downhill from there. I'm glad you got your job done.... we're still trying to correct our address. And to do on-line banking requires a little gadget that looks like a car-key lock. And on... and on... and on. But still... any aggravation is just that.

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