(530) 467-5690 Chris@TeachU.com

Don’t cry, Heather.
 
Customer service. I continue to beat the drum but the message falls on deaf ears. Customer service is so in the past that people can’t even define what it is. Can you?
 
That’s my ATM card. Was my ATM card. There are two dates on that card worth noting. Member Since 1979. Good Thru (too lazy to spell through?) 7/09
 
Eight weeks ago I’m at the post office buying stamps and my ATM card is rejected. Huh? Well, the Post Office has a lousy system so it’s probably a problem with their system. I used American Express.
 
I then went to an ATM machine to withdraw some $$$ and my card was rejected. I rushed home wondering what was wrong…identity theft? Did I screw up an online payment? (I once left the . out of $129.00 payment rendering it a $12900.00 payment causing me to over draw) 
 
Nope, none of the above. Wells Fargo did it. They “upgraded” me. Without telling me, they killed my ATM card—of 30 years—and sent out a fake Visa. They didn’t tell me my card was killed. They just killed it.
 
I hate fake Visa cards. The fake Visa means anyone who gets your card can use it like a Visa card without the PIN. The money comes right out of your account. Neat. The bank will tell you about the great protection you have in that you can dispute the charges if you’re willing to spend a few season changes on the telephone explaining your financial life to Brittney. Fun.
 
Ok. I called Wells Fargo and asked them to replace my ATM card. I live in an area where there is no branch. They actually closed the branch soon after I transferred my account up here to Siberia. I’m stuck with only an ATM machine. In other words, I have no way to make deposits except through the ATM machine.
 
So the “personal business banker”, Heather, told me they would send a new card right out—and then she practically cried in sympathy with my inability to make deposits and the embarrassment Wells Fargo had caused me at the post office.  Sympathy is not customer service Heather.
 
2 weeks pass. No card. I call the bank. Troy tells me that Heather must have missed a step because he sees no order for a replacement card. Troy is really sorry. He feels awful. He’ll put another order in for a card and he tells me how really, truly sorry he is. He keeps me on hold for thirty minutes while goes off to regain his composure. That’s not customer service, Troy. Who is training these people?
 
Another two weeks pass. No card. I call the bank—now I’m upset. I haven’t been able to make a deposit for 6 weeks—my world is getting stressful. Things are piling up. Jamie is going to help me this time. Help me? Wells Fargo needs the help. I need an ATM card, NOW.
 
Jamie tells me that because I got upgraded, whenever a standard ATM card is ordered for me the “computer” automatically cancels the order.  Because I’m upgraded I can now only get the fake Visa card. Ok, Jamie, let me tell you something. To me, the “computer” is Wells Fargo. It’s not some cosmic force over which Wells Fargo has no control. It’s a machine that Wells Fargo owns, operates and instructs. Jamie “understands” my frustration but Jamie doesn’t understand that I don’t want Jamie’s understanding or Troy’s sympathy or Heather’s tears or the supervisor’s outrage at the poor treatment a thirty year customer is receiving. I really do not want nor care about the sympathy or feelings of anyone at Wells Fargo. I want a piece of plastic that will allow me to put money into their damn bank.
 
I still don’t have a card. I’m going to change banks this week. There are so many choices available that I do not need Wells Fargo. Nobody does.
 
30 years. Poof.
 
If I lost my American Express card, they would FEDEX a new card to me—wherever I might be—overnight. I know this because they’ve offered to do it when I misplaced my card on a business trip. I found the card in my briefcase 15 minutes after I called them. Wells Fargo can’t replace a card in two months.
 
If you think customer service is about being nice, you don’t know anything about customer service.
 
Did you know you could be mean as hell and give better service than 90% of most businesses?
 
Chris Reich, Author of TeachU’s Business Talk Blog