Bank of America might have just pushed things a little too far. They recently announced that they were going to begin charging a $60 a year fee for the priviledge of using a debit card. One of two things are going to happen now. Either their customers are going to just roll over and take it, or they are going to fight back by switching banks in droves. The implications are huge, because every other banker out thereis sitting up and watching and drooling.IfB of A’scustomers don’t fight back, we’re all going down the same path very soon. Let’s hope that their customers don’t roll over.
The head offices of most large banks suffer from a pretty hefty dose of arrogance.(I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some exceptions – but they are indeed exceptions). They really do think of themselves as pretty sophisticated, andspeak of the goings on at branch level as something beneath them. When you walk the halls, you’ll hear all the current business buzz-words and MBA-speak, but what you will rarely hear are the real-life stories from the street. Customers are not people to them, but account numbers, segmented into demographic, psychographic and economic pigeonholes.
In the past,the giant disconnectwith customers created by this arrogance wasn’t much of an issue. They could be as abusive as they wanted without much repercussion. Customers were generally too lazy or afraid to switch banks, and in truth, there wasn’t much point since all the banks were doing the same things.
But times have changed. Customers everywhere are getting tired of receiving less service for more money, they are beginning to express this in a louder and louder voice,and they are less afraid to switch loyalties. So here’s hoping the Bank of America’s customers can stand up and speak for all of us.