[linux-elitists] Bank of America doesn't want our business?

Karsten M. Self kmself@ix.netcom.com
Sun Dec 2 18:41:22 PST 2001

on Sun, Dec 02, 2001 at 03:09:29PM -0800, Jeremy Zawodny (Jeremy@Zawodny.com) wrote:
> On Sun, Dec 02, 2001 at 03:24:20AM -0800, Karsten M. Self wrote:
> > on Sun, Dec 02, 2001 at 12:59:17AM -0800, Jeremy Zawodny (Jeremy@Zawodny.com) wrote:
> > > On Sat, Nov 24, 2001 at 09:07:22AM -0800, Ben Woodard wrote:
> > > >
> > > > So what do you guys think of this should we make a stink about it?
> > > 
> > > Just use Yahoo! BillPay.  You can link it with your BofA account and
> > > not have to deal with their site. :-)
> > > 
> > > That's what I do.  (Of course, I work at Yahoo...)
> > 
> > Aquiesence makes for poor advocacy.
> Acquiescence, you mean? :-)

Porr spelling makes for poor advocacy ;-)

> You can waste time fighting with your bank, or you can use a service
> that works.  

I'm advocating the latter.  What I'm saying is don't go quietly.

> I've switched banks, credit cards, and ISPs in the past because they
> appeared not to care about letting my at the services I wanted.  I'd
> contact them and either get a form letter response "thanks for your
> feedback, we value our customers" or no reply at all--and I was giving
> them my money.
> Screw that.

Coming from the other side -- I've been involved in campaign evaluations
and the like.

Yes, you get the form letter and all that.  For the most part it really
doesn't matter.

But businesses track their retention rates, and look to data which might
indicate what they're doing wrong.  Banks (and in particular large
banks) were getting significant defections in the mid-late 1990s, I know
that Wells Fargo in particular was hit (I'm still with them, and still
feel like they're screwing me over, but that's laziness, and I don't use
online banking).

There was some serious effort that went into looking at the reasons for
same.  At the same time, smaller banks and in particular credit unions
picked up a lot of business.

The point:  these things may or may not matter at the individual level,
but in aggregate they can have cumulative effect.

Related:  you don't just have to deal with a closed, silent,
communication with your bank.  Send them your letter.  But also post it
someplace public:  a message board, Usenet, your personal website.  I've
had some problems with laptop service recently from ARM Computer --
(http://www.armcomputer.com/).  Their service, simply, sucks.  If I'd
had a clue about this (I bought through a reseller, but service is
through ARM), I'd have checked in advance.  And their track record
through Internet and Usenet searches is uniformly negative, through 1996
and earlier.  

Take a look at The Cluetrain Manifesto.  Companies are facing customer
feedback in ways they've never had to deal with before, many still don't
get it.  Contrast my own story with Don Marti's: cracked display,
called, was given a FedEx number, pickup at the door, delivery of a
repaired unit (new display -- actually, likely new case with old guts),
two days later.  The actual repair turnaround was < 8 hours.  I haven't
seen my laptop since Nov 2.

> Perhaps I should have mentioned that we bother to check and see how
> our stuff works on the less common browsers (Konquerer, Mozilla,
> Netscape) and on the less common platforms (Mac, Linux, FreeBSD).
> BofA (and other banks) just don't seem to care.
> Maybe we need to advertise and target disgruntled Linux users...  I
> could just see "Tired of dealing with your Linux-hating bank's web
> site?" banners on slashdot[1]. :-)


Those banners are probably damned cheap ;-)

> [1] Of course, a LOT of slashdot traffic is from IE users, so maybe
> that's not the smartest way to go about it.

But they're also already quasi-aware, coming to Slashdot as they are.
Might be considering that jump to GNU/Linux but are concerned that their
bank won't support them.

Karsten M. Self <kmself@ix.netcom.com>       http://kmself.home.netcom.com/
 What part of "Gestalt" don't you understand?             Home of the brave
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Geek for Hire                     http://kmself.home.netcom.com/resume.html
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