Monday, September 04, 2006

Fifth Third was much nicer to me on my way OUT of their business

I wrote previously about how I got nowhere with Fifth Third on removing a fee because they had a "policy" against it and basically everything else. I forgot to mention that I was also pissed at them because Fifth Third runs a promotion for employee banking benefits for employees where I work. So, I should have had a free savings account (charged the $5 account fee at least three times) and should have had a free overdraft line (so I wouldn't have been charged these stupid things in the first place.) Even though I signed up for the savings account at the branch which is PHYSICALLY CONTAINED WITHIN MY PLACE OF WORK, I didn't get the employee program even on that savings account. So that was a big strike.

I tried to call and cancel my account over the phone but the CSR told me that I had to go into a branch to cancel it. You don't have to go into one to OPEN an account, but you do to close it. So I figured that closing it would be a lengthy process.

Nope, I walked in and the lady asked what I wanted, and I said I would like to close my account, and she said okay, and went about processing it as calmly as if I had asked for quarters. (Which they also wouldn't do for me previously - if I wanted $20 in quarters, I had to go to the ATM, withdraw a $20, and come back in with it. Literally what they told me to do.) She asked for my debit card, I gave it to her, and she started to slide it back to me, but then thought better and said, "I guess you don't really need that, huh?" By this point I was pretty much out of angry (maybe that was the tactic?) so by the time she actually asked me why I wanted to close my accounts, I was pretty neutral about it, and just said that I had been charged a fee for an overdraft that wouldn't have happened if not for Fifth Third's policies, and almost forgot to say how I didn't get the employee benefits on my account that was opened there. She was very nice and completely neutral through the whole process - evidently, they know that it is probably useless to try to retain a customer who has already decided against keeping the account, and who is already mad enough at them that they will be a problem customer in the future.

It's just sad that the phone CSRs couldn't have been as nice. I probably would still have my account there if they had just reversed that fee. I already had my credit union account up and operating, and now I have the Key account for bills and the Bank of America account for known upcoming expenses. But all this occurred only after the conversations with the CSRs made me feel really like just a number to this bank. What cemented it was when I went to go open the account at the credit union, the lady was just so nice to me, and she recognized the other people in line, and was really helpful - I really felt very welcome there. I also feel like since there is more of a personal level to the transaction that I could come to the credit union lady and she would help me out if something happened like with Fifth Third. Score one for the Credit Union of Ohio - minus one for Fifth Third, giant conglomerate.

1 comment:

Ms. MiniDucky said...

Figures, doesn't it?