Bank Customer Service -- Oxymoron That

Consumers are five times more likely to switch banks because of hidden fees than security concerns, according to the survey conducted by the Gartner consulting firm. And one in six U.S. adult consumers -- an estimated 28 million people -- said unexpected fees make them more upset or aggravated than having their financial accounts taken over or used by a thief.
The survey also found that 1 in 4 U.S. adults – an estimated 42 million people -- have been hit with a bank overdraft charge in the past 12 months. Gartner banking consultant Avivah Litan will publish the results soon as part of a larger study about consumer attitudes toward banks and security.
"The surprising thing is that (some consumers) were more upset about the fees than they are about the crooks," Litan said. "… Banks make the biggest deal about security and how they protect your accounts and spend a lot of money advertising that ... but what people really care about is fees."
She said she was stunned by the frequency of overdraft fees that showed up in her survey.
"Twenty-five percent was way more than I expected," she said. Also surprising: the customer churn these fees generate. "When you have one in five customers leaving a bank because of excessive fees, that's a huge customer service cost. They must be making a lot of money from excessive fees."

It's the last line in the quote that really hits home --- we don't care if our customers leave, as long as we rip them off first.

More: http://redtape.msnbc.com/2007/10/a-new-survey-in.html

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