If you use a Big Bank, you deserve to be treated like crap
August 30th, 2012 - 73 Comments
Sorry guys, no more sympathy from me.
If you continue to use a Big Bank like Bank of America or Wells Fargo, you deserve to be treated like shit.
I hate them, but it’s not their fault. It’s your fault.
After I’ve warned you for years how duplicitous and scammy these banks are, you continue to use them because you’re too lazy to switch away (which takes approximately 1 week of your life). There are plenty of other options that offer better service, higher interest rates, and no fees. But no. Your indolence rules the day.
This article shows you precisely what I mean: For banks, being terrible to YOU…is great for their business.
“First came the unhelpful bank tellers. Then the unexplained monthly fees. Then the fumbled mortgage application.
When Richard X. Bove encountered this string of bad experiences at his Wells Fargo branch in suburban Tampa, he didn’t sit quietly and fume like other Americans who have grown frustrated with their banks. He began by moving his business to a bank down the street — then he used his platform as one of the nation’s most outspoken bank analysts to tell his story to thousands of clients.
But instead of trashing the bank and its stock, Mr. Bove in his Tuesday note shared his latest epiphany: catering to customers may actually distract from the pursuit of making money in the new world of finance. What really matters, he now believes, is pushing products and managing risk.
“I’m struck by the fact that the service is so bad, and yet the company is so good,” said Mr. Bove, an analyst with Rochdale Securities.”
Amazing. This is actually in print in the New York Times.
Do you guys get it? Banks are not governed by the same laws of customer service, supply, and demand that other companies are. It has to do with the multi-billion-dollar lobby they employ…andthe extraordinary capital required to become a nationally known bank (I’m looking at you, horribly marketed credit unions)…and the complicated regulatory environment.
It doesn’t matter!
You can try to change the banking system. And you will fail.
Or you can change your BANK…and you will live a life knowing they’re not trying to screw you at every turn.
By the way, if you look deeper, you realize that this odd paradox of treating customers horribly — and still growing — is common in other industries, too.
For historical reference, let’s look at airlines, one of our famed industries featuring legendary technology and safety. Yet as a business, airlines are truly dysfunctional. As Warren Buffett famously said, “…if a farsighted capitalist had been present at Kitty Hawk, he would have done his successors a huge favor by shooting Orville down.”
In the 90s, airlines began surveying customers to find out their biggest pain points. The response came back loud and clear: Customers were tired of being cramped into too-small seats. They wanted more legroom, damnit!
Like any rational business, airlines responded. In 2000, American Airlines rolled out a new initiative called “More Room Throughout Coach.” They heavily advertised their roomier planes and patted themselves on the back for listening to customers. Then they waited for the customers to come.
Revenue dropped like a rock. Customers claimed they were willing to pay for more legroom…but they weren’t.
Think about it: When we shop for an airline, what do we do? We shop almost exclusively on price: We go to Orbitz and scan down the left side of the page…for the cheapest fare.
Airlines have responded accordingly. No more frills. No more friendly attractive flight attendants. No more upgraded planes.
We deserve it.
Yes, there are regulatory issues and scammy lobbying at play here too…but at a fundamental level, if companies can get away with offering poor service and consumers don’t bolt, they will.
Like airlines, banks continue treating us like shit. We let them get away with it. They keep on doing it and making billions of dollars.
By the way, these Big Banks know I hate them. I have a friend who works at one Big Bank. She told me she saw a report outlining “Digital Influencers,” and I was on it. Pretty cool, I said. Then she told me I was considered a “Negative Influencer.” PERHAPS IT’S BECAUSE I CALL THEIR FAT ASSES OUT BY NAME FOR SCAMMING AMERICANS IN A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING BOOK AND A BLOG WITH 350,000+ MONTHLY READERS.
Oops. Looks like I won’t be doing any partnerships with these companies any time soon.
You have a choice.
You can sit around, bemoaning the state of banks and complaining about your airline. Or you can actually make a choice. Not to make a political statement. But simply to have a better life.
When you start using the right companies — companies you trust, companies that treat you with respect, and companies where it just works — there’s nothing like it.
It’s not just the money and time saved, although that’s reason enough to switch. It’s also the peace of mind knowing they’re not just waiting for an opportunity to screw you. They’re actually committing to taking care of you and your financial needs.
It’s rare having even a few trusted companies on our side. For example, when I order from Amazon, I know it’ll come on time or earlier. And if something’s wrong, I know I can get it fixed instantly.
I’ve found a few companies that I do business with for my banking and credit cards.
Here today are my recommended companies. After an exhaustive search, these are the actual accounts I decided to personally use. They let me spend less than 1 hour/month on my finances.
These are affiliate links because I trust and recommend the products.
- My favorite savings account — no fees, no scammy upsells
- My favorite checking account — 100% ATM refunds, no fees, interest
- My favorite credit card — best travel rewards of any card
If you’re new to this site and want to get my other recommendations for the best accounts, sign up (free) here.
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