Putting my bank on notice

Earlier this week I finally bit the bullet and decided to buy myself a 3D Printer. I have wanted one as long as I’ve known they existed and I saved up for a long time, shopped around, did my homework and finally on Friday night went online and bought it.  Then I went shopping for all the “extras” that you need to go with it, like the filament(s) and various tools that are needed to keep it working and functional. All was happy in my world.

Today I logged into my bank and saw some really weird activity… I decided to talk to  the vendor and clarify. After a very long and convoluted conversation with a rep that was probably very knowledgeable in their systems but horrible at communication. I found out that my bank declined the transaction. WHAT?!! So I log into my bank, I have more than enough funds to cover it… and find out from the vendor that the transactions were declined and that I need to talk to fraud prevention. My bank has (yet again) decided that my own transactions are fraudulent against me. (This is not the first time… but I’m hoping to make it the last)

I have decided to send the following notice to my bank, I think ALL banks need to see it. I am a hater of phone loops and unchecked automation. (FYI) I LOVE automation… so long as we can maintain and keep it in check/balance. But when people have NO say in it it is foolish and stupid. As a side note I build automation tools for a living… quite successfully. BUT it is NOT a replacement for intelligence, wit, or courtesy. It however can be an amazing tool for those who have them.

Notice to my bank:

You are losing my business. You have an opportunity to fix this, but I doubt you have the ability or desire to do so.

Here is my problem. I work during most of the times you are open, and I have a family with kids. So the time when I spend money is usually the time when {bank} is not open. {bank} seems to have a hyper sensitive fraud prevention unit. When said fraud prevention unit blocks a transaction… there is no way for me as a normal human being to fix the problem. There is no one i can call. There is nothing I can do. I just have to sit there and pray that what I needed was not life critical, and that I can get a hold of a living breathing person during my working hours to fix the situation. The fact that I don’t even get notified is even worse. (The last time this happened I THOUGHT I turned this on..)

Points:

1. You live in a world where most people and businesses do business 24/7 now. People expect, I expect, the ability to do the same.

2. There is nothing wrong with a hyper-vigilant fraud prevention department… SO LONG AS there is a way to fix the situation quickly. By quickly I mean in under 15 minutes. No computer, no AI, no phone tree will be smart enough. I like the fact that you care… but I don’t like the fact that you stop my being able to do business until you decide to get into work… when ever that happens to be.

3. The fact that I can almost NEVER get a hold of a living breathing person is infuriating. I don’t need a brick and mortar office to “meet” someone, I do need the ability to speak to a person and solve a problems intelligently. I don’t usually need to do so, but when I do they almost always are complex and require understanding of what I’m saying and what I’m trying to do, and how banking works. IF I want to do impersonal banking I can easily switch to a purely online bank. If I just wanted to talk to an automated phone loop, I’d… just call you guys.

4. Why are you blocking transactions to established vendors that I regularly do business with? I do business with {vendor} at least on a weekly basis, sometimes almost daily. Why would it come as a surprise that I place an order with them? They split their order into separate “chunks” by vendor and bills them separately causing multiple transactions. I can’t be the ONLY person who has this happen?

So, in short. If you want to KEEP me as a client. Present me with a solution that works for people like me. I like {bank}, but this has happened enough times and at critical times. (Like when buying tires on a car at a garage… for one…) This last transaction has now been held up by more than a week because of the delay, and I was NEVER notified by {bank}, I had to be notified by the vendor that I was declined for the transaction.

You have your mission, if I don’t hear back. Or I don’t hear a good answer I will be posting this notice online and moving on to other business. I’m tired of fighting with my own bank, to get money I’ve already worked for.

The transactions in question (according to {vendor}) are:
Settlement Verification Code: xxx
Settlement Verification Code: xxx
They attempted to charge once and were declined, then tried again the next day. I was told they were declined again. I was also told that I need to ask you why funds were not released.

I await your message or call.
{my_name}

 

If you are a banker or work in the banking industry. Please take note. automation is NOT the key, a call center is NOT the key. People like me want the ability to do business safely, but we want the ability to talk to a SMART person to fix it when something goes wrong, or we need help with something. In general the only reason your average consumer looks for outside help is they can’t do something (like fix a problem), they don’t know how to do something (lack of experience or knowledge, sometimes to even explain the problem), or are investigating before doing something.  These are things MOST banks make difficult if not impossible to get those 3 things easily. IF banks could they would find a new level of efficiency. Those are things that can’t be answered by an online FAQ, automated phone loop, someone who barely speaks your language, or someone who does not really understand the industry.

Just my 2 cents.

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