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Go Back   SailNet Community > Out There > Cruising & Liveaboard Forum > Living Aboard
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  #11  
Old 03-15-2007
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Cam, with Citibank it helps to have a real account at a real physical branch where you can see a real branch manager. Because when Citi makes mistakes (not if, but when) no one else will admit a mistake could have been made, and they can be real hard to fix. Last time I tried to deal with Citi they told me my SSN was invalid for the year of my birth, and they refused to do anything further. The fact that the SSA itself says my numbers are correct didn't impress them, they couldn't admit they'd made a mistake. I finally gave up and took my business elsewhere.
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  #12  
Old 03-15-2007
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Do the Post Office in NZ have a bank? The POB's seem to have a good agreement between each other across the world. Their charges are about the lowest too. The snag is, it's difficult to open an account with them, they are fussy about foreigners, so get one in NZ and cancel later if you find something better.
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Old 03-15-2007
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HelloS...funny...I found just the opposite...great website and idiot people. Problem for me was one place that did EVERYTHING (savings,checking, multiple accounts with family members, brokerage, auto bill pay, electronic checking and credit card payments with imagng on line etc) and linked it all together on line and provided support for large transactions on-line as well.
Six years ago they were the ONLY bank I could find that did all this AND had offices in NY state for access by my family members. So my needs were somewhat broader than average I guess and other banks may now have caught up by now. Nevertheless I remain satisfied with their on-line services and much less so with their personnel.
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Old 03-15-2007
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Unfortunately, good customer service seems to be dying out. Banks are getting just as bad as the grocery stores, BestBuy or Home Depot. When was the last time you were able to find a knowledgeable person at a Home Depot... or a West Marine. It seems like competence and knowledge about the goods being sold is getting to be less and less a requirement.

For example, I recently had a guy at Best Buy tell me that I needed a WiFi 802.11n router to work with my friend's laptop... too bad it only has an 802.11b card in it... which means she'd be spending money on features she doesn't need and can't use.

He was probably getting a SPIFF on it... and what would work best for my friend had little to do with what he wanted to sell. The router my friend finally bought was a third of the price of the one the salesperson was trying to sell.

Banking is getting to be that way... some banks have good customer service in some areas, others don't.
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Old 03-15-2007
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SD...the BBY guy ot no spiff...they are hourly grunts. He was just clueless which is what you get when you take out all costs to remain competitive AND profitable when your customers have made it clear they do not value service by buying from Wal-mart and making them your closest and closing in competitor. I imagine it is much he same in the banking world.
If you find a helpful and knowledgable person...it ain't because they are getting paid that way!
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Cam-
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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Thanks for the tip on Chase.

I happened to have some involvement with some of the AOL folks back in the hey-day...and your comments are SPOT ON! A great franchise sucked dry by greed at the top.
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BOA, and TD-BankNorth both have online banking as well..

I don't think that customer service has died out completely yet. When I was trying to get FiOS internet, the customer service rep I had went well above and beyond the call of duty to help me get it. From what I can tell, I was one of the first people to get FiOS internet in a multi-unit building. About four months later, Verizon announced that they were going to try and get permission to install in apartment and condo complexes... but still many can't get FiOS there.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 03-16-2007
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JakeLevi wrote:
Quote:
Barclays is about the most international boat that I know of, I know they are in OZ so probably your home grounds too.
HUH? I wanna cruise OZ too

Agree with Cam, Citibank is all over the place, allow you to manage everything online, AND, I believe it is the only card for the deposit that's accepted if transiting the Panama Canal
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  #20  
Old 03-16-2007
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Dang! You mean Citibank went out and bought up both China and Panama while no one was looking?! Wonders never cease.
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