I believe that the consumer is more to blame for problems in our economy and business and is not realizing that they are the culprit. We hear of the loss of American jobs, unemployment, and other economic political baloney being flung at both our Government and business alike. The problem, I'm here to tell you, is not the fault of the Government or business. Plain and simple it is the consumers' fault! Despite what any person or political party or anything else has told you, the consumer is the supreme watchdog of business today, period. When the consumer allows unacceptable performance in products or services it is they alone (the consumer) who must be blamed for this happening. The consumer has also lost much of their sense of responsibility for this reporting and it must be reaffirmed here and now. When the unacceptable is not reported, you are guilty. Even more important than reporting unacceptability is the reporting of exceptional performance in products, services, attitude and morals. To this I am performing my duty, as a consumer, to inform and make the world a better place.
I had a friend recently express disappointment in his financial institution and the following is a response where I had recently experienced a negative situation and felt the need to relay. This is my response to him relaying my experience as a frustrated customer , nothing else!
That type of service is what made us switch financial institutions
a while back. I had been using Washington Mutual, because my
mortgage is through them, and became tired of the lines. I still
have my mortgage through them and I pay additional principle on
my loan each month.
This seems to screw them up because in
September I received the October payment, which I promptly paid.
In December I felt like it had been a while since I had received a
payment notification from them (I have a variable rate loan and like
to see each month what is happening). I called and asked why I
was no longer receiving my statements. I was told that it was because
I had not been making payments. I asked when the last statement
was sent out, they said that it was in September. I asked when they
received my last payment, they said that it was about two weeks
after the statement. I asked, "So, you sent me the October payment
to which I paid, is that correct?", "Yes Sir, that is correct".
I was then bold enough to ask the question again, "So, why is it now
December and I have not received a statement since September, going
by your own records"? Again I was told that it was because I was not
making my payments! At this point I became rather loud, rude, and
using colorful language, I was promptly hung up on! I was furious now.
I drove to the local branch to find out what was up, how could this
The poor soul at the branch looked at me, she smiled and
said that she would call the home loan department (where I had just
called) and would speak to someone. She got the same story, and
told me that if I would just make my payments everything would be
ok. (I'm trying to do that you stupid f&$*ing moron, no I didn't say this
but it was on my tongue). I was ready to go completely berserk and
since they have an armed guard at the bank I figured that I would
leave before there was a death to explain.
Two days later I called again
and went through the same ordeal only I got them to issue a duplicate
payment statement, solved right? Not hardly! Two weeks go by and
no statement, I go back to the branch, this time I'm armed with my
wife. I wanted to make sure that it wasn't just me and my hot temper
that was clouding my judgment. The same circle, why no statement?
because no payment, did we pay, yes, then why no statement, because
no payment! By now I'm ready for them to jump out of the corners and
yell surprise, you're on candid camera. They didn't, this was real, my wife
and I just looked at each other dumbfounded, Washington Mutual is staffed
by absolute zombies, how can they continue to exist? The TV commercials
are absolute hogwash, why don't they spend more money on customer
service than airtime? I made a payment at this time, for fear that they
would start foreclosure on me, and just made the basic payment amount
and was afraid of paying any extra, they told me that they were not able
to ensure that the extra would go to principle reduction. They also gave me
a special customer service phone number to complain to.
I called the phone
number a few days later, after the smoke quit billowing out my ears. The
person who I spoke to mentioned that they had been hearing of this problem
about when people pay ahead (or pay down principle, and are really good
customers) the computer doesn't know how to quite handle things. I found this
rather odd as this is my sixteenth year for this loan and I have been doing
this since day one (maybe a new system, or billing service). Anyway, no apologies, what can we do to make this right, just an awe shucks
another computer thing!
The moral of this story?
I'm sick and tired of hearing people whine about America loosing jobs, there is
not work available, wages being too low, etc. The whining is happening on
both the employer and employee side. Business, in general, has a hap-hazard
way of treating customers and employees think that if they just show up the company
should bow at their feet and take any amount of shoddy performance.
The consumer is the only one who is able to fix this problem!
You are not being
singled out, unfortunately, they are offering poor products and services. You need
to reaffirm your "I'm mad as hell and not going to take it any more" attitude and
take your business elsewhere. Let those who you come in contact with know about
businesses that do NOT deserved to be patronized. Most important of all is to do
your business with those who want your business and tell as many people as you
can about the GOOD!