This essay is one in a series written by GTA students for American Banker magazine’s Bank Think blog.
Unfortunately, I must admit I almost never get what I want from my bank.
For instance, a couple months ago, I received an email from my bank ostensibly notifying me about account changes. Only the message didn’t contain any details. I sent an email to the bank asking for specifics about what was changing and when these changes would go into effect. The response, again, from the bank was unclear, so I called the bank for more clarification.
A month later, a charge for that call appeared on my checking account statement. When I protested the charge, the bank removed it from my account. That was a good thing, but I’m still frustrated. Why is it hard to get the right information from your bank? The bad experience stuck in my head.
Similarly, I can still remember walking into a bank when my son was a baby. I was eager to save money for him. I thought talking to a bank teller about opening an account and how to save for him would be a positive experience. Instead, the teller brusquely said there were no saving options for kids that young. I guess she had never heard of custodial accounts. Nice way to cement those customer relationships.
I ended up having to find another bank for my son, which offended me in a way. I want good service, not just good prices. Many banks are deluging their customers with new fees and service changes. But customers have long memories for the bad stuff.
Banks should lower their fees because they are making more money off people than they are helping them. They should stop worrying about the latest and greatest exotic investments and focus on their customers.
Now I mainly go to the bank for ATM convenience or to transfer my savings. My bad experiences have made me reluctant to do more business with them.
Dominique Hall is a student in Oakland, California, and an alumna of Game Theory Academy.