I recently stumbled upon this email written by an angry customer to his bank on reddit. The reason for the customer’s displeasure was over an event that had occurred years before! This customer doesn’t forget, and he doesn’t forgive easily.
To whom it may concern:
My name is Justin ********, if you look at your records, you will notice I used to be a customer of yours. I dare say for a few years, I was a very happy customer of yours. That was until a few years ago, when after a string of banking errors and a couple of mistakes on my part, forced me to discontinue our previously well established relationship.
This was due to a number of factors, but primarily the unwillingness of your company to correct what were bank errors due to one of your managers notes. I opened my account with you when I was 15, when I was 16, I had two overdraft charges that were reversed (they were mistakes on my part). One of your managers though put a note on my account stating that no more overdraft charges were to be reversed. This became an issue when a number of years later, a banking error caused 14 overdraft charges to occur on a single day. I appealed as high as the regional manager, but was told nothing could be done. The total overdrawn was less than $80 but resulted in $500 in overdraft charges. I refused to pay, and for good reason, as my deposit slip clearly showed which account my deposit was supposed to go in (i.e. the account it DID NOT go into, and was subsequently overdrawn.) I wonder now if you’ll see this as big of a mistake as I did at the time.
The result of this banking error was my name being sent to collections, and after all was settled, it cost me around $900. That was my cost. It brings me great personal satisfaction to write this letter to you, and announce what I estimate the current cost of your practices has been to you, thus far. It has been my goal, over the last few years to ensure that all persons in my social network are aware of just how awful you treat your customers. I’m happy to announce that since this occurrence, I’ve successfully persuaded 11 people to leave ***** bank, 2 others to refinance home mortgages with other institutions, and prevented 22 people from either switching to your bank or opening an account with you, simply by truthfully going over what occurred in my experience with you.
I write today as I’ve hit one of my 5 bench marks. I’m happy to announce (while clearly these can only be soft numbers), that by my estimation, this weekend the amount of business I’ve driven away from ***** in interest, hit $100,000. It really wasn’t that difficult either, all I had to do was explain what my experience was, and ask others as my friend to switch banks. What I found, that wasn’t so surprising, was that many had already been considering it after working with you. So here’s to hitting $100k. My next target is $1 million, and don’t worry, I’ll keep you in the loop and posted when it occurs.
While I certainly have enjoyed writing you to make you aware of what’s going on, I also thought maybe this could give you a little insight on the “true cost” of screwing loyal customers over. Have a nice day, I’ll be in touch.
Customers would share their bad experience with 9-15 people, but when they are as angry and motivated as Justin, they will tell thousands of people.
Businesses must strive to improve their customer’s experience (Read: Giving Customers An Extraordinary Experience) to avoid having to deal with a serious brand reputation nightmare such as this.
How do would you react to this If you were the Chief Customer Officer of this bank? Comment below