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post #16 of Old 03-15-2007
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Citibank's web site was just fine. It was their people, in three different "offices", that couldn't correct their own error in processing.
Somehow you missed Chase. They were around six years ago, full online whatever too, heavy base in NYS. Not that they are perfect, but when they have made mistakes I've always been able to either pick up a phone, or walk into the branch, and get them fixed without argument.
The corporate culture is different from Citibank's.

What SD says about customer service is almost right. Except, customer service isn't "dying" out, it has DIED OUT. No big secret, there have been a number of articles done on this in the last couple/five years. Customer service costs money, even when it is someone the tigers should have eaten in Bangalor. (Hey, tigers are entitled to lunch too.) Most major corps are run by MBA's, the curse of the 70's, and answer to stockholders, and everyone wants to know how to push the year, quarter, week, and daily stock prices. Since that's the paradigm that American Corporate Business has adopted, and the one sanctioned by our culture and courts and Congress....that's where reality is for most of them. That means screw the customer, service costs money, answering the phone costs money, correcting mistakes costs money. Easier to churn the rubes and abuse them, because most of the public is too stressed out and busy to complain. Case in point, AOL, who were churning one million new accounts every month (1 million customers quitting and being replaced by new ones) for several years at their peak. They are now down from 22 million to 7 million--the result of pissing off too many customers for too many years, among other things. But, the old bosses got their stock money, they don't care.

All the more reason I give credit to the few companies that really do understand the phrase "lifetime value of customer" and that keeping a customer happy, keeps their business for fifty years. Instead of spending money every year, fifty times, trying to replace the ones they po and burn.

Five mistakes on my cell phone bill last month including "teehee, I guess we forgot to put the bonus airtime on your contract" when the bonus was 50% more airtime and part of their offering plan--nothing special for me. Hmmm.... But who else do you go to? Citibank?
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