Dear President Brian Monaghan,
I have been a Bank of America customer since I got married almost 9 years ago. My husband has been a customer much longer than that. I didn't regret my decision to switch banks for very long, and I quickly sank into a groove with the company. The only bump in the road I've had with Bank of America was a couple years ago when I decided to cut debt out of my life and get rid of my credit card--your customer service department couldn't make the experience clean and easy. It turned into an extreme hassle to close the card. But other than that I've been happy, and mostly because I do happen to like my local bank tellers. I especially enjoy visiting with them at my favorite branch where they know me by name at the DRIVE THROUGH WINDOW. My regular order goes something like this: "I need to make a deposit, and may I have 3 suckers, please?" My kids LIVE for this drive through experience, and they know they have to be good while we sit in line if they're going to actually enjoy those suckers.
Recently, with my kids in tow, I ran a deposit through the drive through, and I couldn't miss the extremely large sign on the window announcing that on Sept. 9th, Bank of America will no longer be offering drive-through services.
Do you realize that I go to this branch specifically, because the other two closer to my home DON'T offer drive thru services EVEN THOUGH THEY HAVE THE WINDOW & CAPABILITY? Do you realize that it's SUMMER TIME, and it's BLAZING HOT outside? I'm not afraid of walking inside the bank. I think it's good exercise to walk as much as possible. But I'm telling you, when there are 3 little kids in the car, the amount of time it takes to do ANYTHING is multiplied by exponents!!! In the amount of time it takes to unload 3 kids from 3 car seats, make sure they still have their shoes on so they don't burn their feet on the sizzling asphalt, look both ways, cross the parking lot safely, and open the door to the bank, I could have had the deposit done in the drive through. But then we still have to brave the internal bank experience. It sounds like this: "Please don't run around. Don't pull on the polls while we wait in line. Oh, no, sorry, Baby! I left your sippy in the van. Be happy, be happy! Here's a fruit snack. No, Buddy, you can't have a sucker, yet, we have to wait for 5 more people before it's our turn; be good, or you won't be able to get one. You're right--that person DOES have tattoos on his arm. Try not to stare. We should probably be a little more quiet in here, too. Don't pick your nose; that's gross. Oh, it's our turn! Oh, no! Where's my deposit? I thought I put it in my purse! Okay, here it is. (To the teller:) I'm doing great, thank you! (Back to the kids:) Why are your shoes off? Put them on again, so you don't burn your feet going back to our car! Ak! Please don't lay on the ground. Let's GO!"
You don't even want to imagine the horror when one or more of my kids (sometimes even ALL THREE) have fallen asleep on the car ride, and I have to wake them up to haul them inside the bank. Your other customers DO NOT want a wailing, tired kid--or THREE--in line as we wait to make a transaction!
When I asked why the branch was closing down their drive thru, they said it's because ATM's are showing a higher rate of activity. Well, let's think about this: ATM's are open 24/7. Of course they're going to show activity--you can use them any time of night or day. When the bank closes, customers have NO OTHER CHOICE. But let me tell you what ATM's DON'T DO. They don't offer service with a smile. They don't care about me or ask me how I'm doing. When I'm the one making deposits for a Small Business during business hours with all my kids in tow, ATM's are not helpful to me because I don't carry a card for the company. And most importantly to my kids, ATM's DO NOT hand out courtesy suckers for good little boys & girls.
At this present point in time, Brian Monaghan, I am being reminded that the Big-Ol'-Corporate side of Bank of America does not care about its customers on a personal level. What do you want from me? I've given you a phone call, you just got a blog post, you'll be getting a letter from me in a few days. Would you like a petition? Would you like a newspaper article? Would you like me to schedule a mass-drive-thru-day to prove that I am NOT the only one of your customers that feels this way? What do you want? My business?
I'll tell you what I want: I want Bank of America to prove me wrong. Show me that you care about your customers on a personal level, and please keep drive thru windows open at the locations that currently still have drive thru capabilities.