Everyone is incompetent at everything

How can companies continue to function in this day while being so customer-hostile? First I had a whole fiasco of stupidity with regard to my Verizon FiOS installation. After I got that sorted over the phone, they proceeded to cancel my service and schedule a new installation without telling me. For no reason. Because there was nothing a person actually had to do here, it was all controlled at their “central office.” But because activations and deactivations occur in “batches” and only during certain hours, I had to miss a day of work so a tech could come out, unplug my current cable box, and plug in an identical one with a different serial number. Even he couldn’t explain why. But I had to do it, because I need internet service to do my job.

That pales in comparison to my treatment by Bank of America. That company is generally quite pleasant at the branch level, but at the corporate level, I’ve experienced a pattern of customer abuse and apathy that is unparalleled. They don’t seem to understand the basic fact that putting a $666,666.66 overdraft/hold on one’s account on a Saturday is terrifying. Apparently all that means is there is a fraud concern, but how am I to know that? It doesn’t help that the fraud office isn’t open over the weekend, and I am locked out of all my money for two days. They have no idea how paralyzing that is. They don’t care.

It doesn’t help that, when you change your address, they no longer trust you, no matter how many times you verify your identity with social security numbers, birthdates, and passcodes. They will call you again and again and make you verify the same charges. Yes, I really paid $30 for a subscription to Consumer Reports, thanks for checking on that. Yes, I really did try to have my car serviced, thanks for declining that one. Thanks for the embarrassment. Thanks for not clearing it up after the first, second, third call. Thanks for having an automated call followed by a human caller reading the same script. Thanks for locking me out of online banking. Thanks for not following up. Thanks for getting mad at me for being mad, because you’re just doing your job.

Meghan will attest that I’m super calm on the phone. I don’t yell at the poor abused customer service people. I’m probably the nicest call they receive all day. I respect the difficult predicament they are in. But today I just couldn’t take it. The Bank of America fraud department is tremendously incompetent, and someone needs to tell them that. Every person, every call should tell them how incompetent they are, not thank them for ferreting out that suspicious $25 charge for Angie’s List.

Suggestions for new banks welcomed.

One reply on “Everyone is incompetent at everything”

  1. I left Bank of America last year for EXACTLY this reason. They locked me out of *my* account and no one was on the job to field my frantic calls about being unable to access my money. I switched to Citibank and have never looked back. Good luck!

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