Leaders vs. Losers: “Wached” out Wachovia, Loser of the Month

This one is almost too hard to believe. If it hadn’t happened to me, I would think it was a fabricated story.

After two days of “harassing” phone calls to clear up a business loan payment (that had been made). I had had enough. Here’s the pattern: my phone rings. I answer. It takes three times saying “Hello” before the person on the other end says, “Uh, hello” every time. Each time they ask for someone else in my organization without giving their name or who they are calling for. But when I insist, they give their name and say, “Wachovia Bank.”  So I called Wachovia Friday to ask why their people call you to discuss your account, but they don’t identify themselves by name or company. I finally after repeated requests was connected with a supervisor, Patrick.

Patrick told me that it is a security matter so you won’t know their name or that they are calling from the bank, but if you ask who they are they will tell you. I asked what the difference is and why they had such an ambiguous unprofessional policy…ready? Quoting Patrick: “We don’t take suggestions…from people who call in, customers or not. We are very successful and don’t need advice on changing our policy.” I said, “Aren’t you afraid your customers will tell someone or blog about this?”  Then he hung up wishing me a “nice day.”

Oh really? Then why did Wells Fargo buy them out just ahead of bankruptcy? Does the federal government think they are successful? Honestly, I remember headlines that read Wachovia didn’t fare well in the recent recession. Did they take any bailout money? Or were they so successful, they didn’t need assistance or someone to BUY THEM OUT?

More importantly, does Wachovia train their customer service supervisors to justify their poor quality service with phrases like, “We are successful so we must be right.” I worked in churches for years that used this explanation: if they had many members and money was coming in that MUST be God blessing them. Apparently, Wachovia subscribes to the same logic – big means infallible.

Second, is Wachovia really considered successful in 2009? Does Wells Fargo know this is what the new kids they are taking in are telling their future customers?

To compound the insanity, I went to my local branch and asked the manager about this response. Here is  the answer I recieved: “We don’t really know what they teach these people, but I guarantee they aren’t putting money into customer service training with the merger going on.”

So while Wells Fargo is slowly taking over, Wachovia is quickly burning the house. Losers.

So who is doing well? Independent community banks. Yes, your local community bank that didn’t make as many bad loans and wasn’t heavily invested in big businesses that were overextended. People are moving from the big interstate boys to the local independents. Not saying that the large banks have seen their day, but the movement and trend in 2009 is community and independent.

More as this trend develops.

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