In today's world, it really seems like speaking up is a pointless exercise of futility. We receive terrible customer service and we say nothing. A company cheats us or discriminates against us and we do nothing. We've become jaded about our world, feeling helpless when what feels like the inevitable injustice comes our way. Why speak up if nothing good can come of it.
Monday November 5th, I was in that position when a customer service representative with Bank of America made a sales pitch to me for a balance transfer with promises of an extended line of credit for being in the path of superstorm Sandy (thankfully my building only had some downed foliage and severe rain; other parts of Johnstown received much greater damage!). When I followed the specified steps, the next representative denied my request for credit line increase, cancelled my balance transfer request, and terminated my entire remaining line of credit carefully built through over ten years of perfect payment history in one fell swoop.
My FICO was ruined and all seemed lost. I had nothing to lose by posting here on blogher -- and contacting the new Consumer Protection Bureau created during President Barack Obama's first term.
Within 48 hours of filing the complaint and my post going live I received unexpected results.
This afternoon one of the vice presidents of Bank of America, a very nice fellow from Maine who worked his way through the ranks of MBNA Bank (which I also patronized before Bank of America acquired them) and throughout Bank of America's acquisition of MBNA, gave me a very unexpected call.
After all, why would anyone do anything about my grievance?
He listened carefully to what happened, then offered me the solution I asked for in the form I filled out with Consumer Affairs: to restore my account to what it was before my fateful phone call Monday to check on a payment I sent them.
In the same amount of time it took for the regular customer service person to destroy my account, he restored everything for me, making the sort of apologies to me that we tend to think financial service professionals incapable of.
This vice president treated me as a real human being -- and a valued customer.
Two hours after the call, I'm still a bit in shock -- but happy with the results. Now my credit won't be ruined over one person deciding that years of excellent payment history is less important than what I make today.
I cannot speak for the rest of Bank of America. But I can say that there is a very decent fellow there in charge up in Maine who still understands that happy customers are the ones you want!
This guy is what the rest of the financial services industry should be like!
Laurel A. Rockefeller, author
The Great Succession Crisis
E-Book ISBN: 9781476243344
Print book ISBN: 978-1479144808
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