It seems that personalized service is the first thing a consumer has to trade in order to get any of the "benefits" touted by the market monarchs.
We were repeatedly told last year that institutions like General Motors, AIG, and the big banks were "too big to fail." As my tax dollars went to reinforce that philosophy, I had to wonder why we let any institution get that big – and how any of us benefit from it. The plunderbund approach might seem worthwhile if you’re in the market for a $9 pair of jeans or a restaurant-size tub of ranch dressing. But should consumers really be expecting a Wal-Mart deal from their financial services provider?
It seems that personalized service is the first thing a consumer has to trade in order to get any of the "benefits" touted by the market monarchs. Massive banks like Bank of America and Wells Fargo have so many departments in so many different locations that effective communication is near impossible. It leads to tangles of red tape that result in parrots being held hostage, being stranded near the Great Salt Lake, and the occasional foreclosure of homes for which they don’t even have a mortgage.
Nobody's perfect. All institutions make mistakes (but rarely are mistakes quite as odd as that bird nuttiness in Pennsylvania). What boggles my mind, though, is how ridiculously difficult it is to get things straightened out when something does go awry. There's not much luster in having access to an ATM on every corner and a market-leading interest rate when you cannot get two people at the same bank to give you assistance – or even consistent advice on how to solve a problem!
An individual credit union might not always be able to compete on size and scale. But our cooperative nature has led to partnerships that rival even the largest banks. But the big banks have yet to develop any means to match us in terms of top quality service.
Biggest and best – two words that don't go together quite as often as we've been told.