Dave, the Bank of America Twitter guy, was really helpful on the phone. He not only arranged for a provisional credit of my deposit (remember the three checks that were eaten by the ATM?), but he also explained that the clerk with whom I talked really was obliged under federal electronic banking laws to take my claim -- even though she refused to because I was not able to tell her exactly how much each check was written for. He also confirmed the point I had made with her that there must certainly be a reconciliation by the bank of the checks in the ATM and the total deposits made that day -- and so my three checks would show up in that daily audit. And, since the checks have my name and address on them, tracking them back to me shouldn't be that hard.
While I was walking in NYC today, (see post below) I was relating all of this while phoning my friend Lisa in Boston. Further, I mentioned that I was lucky to have had cash in my wallet for my day trip to the City, because the new debit card was going to take five days to arrive. "Oh," she said, "They didn't tell you that they could produce a new one immediately for you if you had gone to a teller at the bank?" Er, no, in fact, the first clerk I talked to made no mention of that option.
Dear readers, I report all this to you not to cast aspersions on this bank or the people working there. I understand, from my own organization, that the provision of consistently high service quality can be difficult. But the problem I encountered at the bank is not unique or even unusual. Both people with whom I talked had a clear view of all of my account information and could see that my account was in good order and that I was a long-term customer of the bank. Both were also extremely pleasant and polite. But neither one helped me to the extent they might have, and, in fact, both led me astray and left me dissatisfied with the experience -- even to the point of wondering whether I should switch my banking to one of those local community banks where they promise to know you personally.
But the main reason I am writing this is to provide a reminder to our staff here at the hospital and to those of you in other places like ours. When a patient presents you with a problem or concern, "Tag, you're it!" Listen closely, and then do what it takes to satisfy that person's issues or complaint. Each of us is an ambassador for our institution. It can take only one bad experience to sour a person's view of the place, even after years of positive treatment.