A Lesson in Customer Service

Sadly I can say with absolute certainty that I am very seldom wowed by a business’ customer service. In most instances you are lucky to get someone to pick up the phone let alone actually help you with your problem. Even when you get the help you need they certainly aren’t going to compensate you for whatever inconvenience you suffered. Or will they???

Lets go back in time, you may have caught my review of my new Ally checking account. I mentioned their customer service was pretty good during the account setup process but I wasn’t prepared for what happened last night.

When I opened the account they were pretty speedy about getting me my ATM card. I got it in the next week and then a few days later I got the PIN letter in the mail. My biggest reason for getting the Ally account was that they will reimburse you for all of your ATM fees. You can imagine my chagrin when I hit the ATM at work and was denied access to my cash. It was the first time I tried to use the card so I figured I just didn’t get the PIN right, seemed reasonable so I didn’t think anything of it.

I got home that day and called the automated number to change my pin but the machine and I didn’t agree. I finally decided I wouldn’t have a problem remembering the pin so I forgot about it until yesterday. I went to the grocery store to pick up some things and the guy forgot to ring up a drink so instead of throwing another $1.85 on our joint account so I paid with Ally card. I rang it as an ATM transaction just to check and low and behold SUCCESS. It was obviously a problem between the keypad and me. Or was it.

As I was making dinner last night my phone rang with a strange 877 number. I am usually reluctant to answer but I did. It was a representative from Ally, they called me to apologize for the problems I was having with my ATM card. I was pretty taken aback as I had never had someone call me about a problem before. Honestly that would have been enough for me to call it stellar but then they told me they would be depositing $25 in my account for my trouble.

Like I said in the beginning of this article, I do not regularly end up having a good experience when I deal with customer service. In fact I count the good experiences on one hand, and honestly on two fingers. I was amazed that they would not only call me to apologize but then offer me something to compensate me for my trouble. I must say I am more impressed in these few weeks with my Ally checking account then I have been with my iGobanking account in over a year.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Matt Jabs March 11, 2010 at 9:25 am

Wow, that is pretty impressive. I used to use Ally, but only for savings and back when they were still named GMAC. I have been wanting to diversify my banking again and will probably go with them. Congrats… isn’t it nice to be surprised by your bank? :)
.-= Matt Jabs´s last blog ..Refinance Home Loans – How One Call Saved Us $41,123.16 =-.

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2 Kyle March 11, 2010 at 9:26 am

It is nice to be surprised by good customer service from anyone. I am honestly blown away by them taking the time to call me and apologize, it really goes a long way to building a good relationship and referral base.

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3 Money Beagle March 11, 2010 at 9:36 am

That’s cool and I think it’s great that you posted this. I think all too often many PF bloggers (myself included) will post more about negative experiences and not so much on the positive ones. Great job keeping the balance!
.-= Money Beagle´s last blog ..Paying Down A Chunk Of Student Loans =-.

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4 Peter March 11, 2010 at 9:54 am

It’s always nice to be surprised by a good customer service story with a big bank like that! I think they did themselves a service by being so proactive like that.
.-= Peter´s last blog ..Ways To Make Extra Money Series: 20 More Income Generating Ideas From Our Readers =-.

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5 LeanLifeCoach March 11, 2010 at 6:27 pm

Its amazing when you think about how happy customers get when their difficulties are addressed, yet how little most companies are willing to work to make customers happy.

Thanks for sharing a feel good story.
.-= LeanLifeCoach´s last blog ..What’s your magic number? The (literally) million-dollar question =-.

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6 Forest March 13, 2010 at 3:41 am

Wow!! I was convinced this would be a bad article about CS…… Retweeting this right now!
.-= Forest´s last blog ..Trade in Your Car for a Horse, Would It Be Cheaper? =-.

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7 Wojciech Kulicki March 13, 2010 at 1:14 pm

Hmm…the bank calling is not such a big deal for me, since I’ve gotten those types of calls before (still, it shows excellent customer service on their part). The $25, on the other hand, is just stellar. They are working hard to get your business and it shows. :)
.-= Wojciech Kulicki´s last blog ..It’s Okay to Pay for Value =-.

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8 Ted March 13, 2010 at 8:34 pm

That is an awesome story. I can’t tell you the amount of hours I have spent on the phone with all our different companies (CC, phone, cell, utilities, etc) in order to get things reduced because of their mistakes. They call you! wow. Awesome. Outstanding customer service will lift companies above the economic craziness.
.-= Ted´s last blog ..Oh, I have no money either- lets go shopping! =-.

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