Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Volunteering for Trouble

Got to be the shoes.
Today I’d like to tell you how my renegade wife got dismissed from her volunteer job.

Kim and my son sometimes work a concession stand at the KFC Yum! Center to raise money for his high school band. Volunteers are supposed to wear a white shirt, black pants and black shoes. Note there is no mention of neon pink.

My wife, the rebel band mom, showed up for volunteer duty wearing black shoes with a small, but pronounced pink stripe across the bottom. Although this may be trendy, it’s apparently very distracting to the paying public. (I still haven’t figured out why the paying public has such an obsession with people’s feet). Because of this, the supervisor of volunteers asked my wife to leave the booth while it was inspected. Aggravated but committed, Kim returned later, covered the pink stripe and dished out concessions.

This is proof positive that my wife is a better person than me. If I had been in the same situation, the supervisor likely would have gotten an earful as he saw my pink feet beat a path out of there.

Thankfully, there is a happy ending to this sad shoe story. Several days later, Kim wore the same shoes to the grocery store where a woman stopped her to applaud her bold choice in footwear. That’s one nice lady, but she’ll never make it as a volunteer.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Questionable Customer Service

Sometimes people ask you a question when they really don’t care to hear the answer.

Let me explain. I’m not much of a customer survey kind of guy. But when a Fifth Third Bank representative recently called me, I couldn’t wait to give her my opinion about “dormancy fees” charged on my checking account.

She listened dutifully, typing every answer without a hint of emotion. If I had told her I’d rather do business with al-Qaeda than Fifth Third, she would have recorded it without so much as blinking an eye.

I scored Fifth Third as low as possible on the survey. She seemed neither surprised nor alarmed. Then came the payoff question like a big softball right over the plate: “Did Fifth Third solve my problem?” Despite several calls to customer service, calls to the branch, talking to a supervisor and repeated e-mails, they had never even come close. When I informed her of this, she typed in my response and went to the next question on her list. I guess she’s just the person who records problems. Someone who I haven't met yet must fix them.

It seems odd to me though that you’d go to the trouble of calling me for my opinion without having the ability – or intention– of addressing my concerns.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Ridiculous Fees? You Can Bank On It

If you don’t spend your money, then your bank might just take it away from you. At least that’s the case with me and Fifth Third Bank. 

I have a checking account at Fifth Third that I don’t regularly use. I only opened the account at Fifth Third’s suggestion. I figured it couldn’t hurt to have another checking account in addition to my primary one. I was wrong. 

I recently discovered Fifth Third has been deducting a $5 “dormant account” fee from this account for months without my knowledge. I would have discovered this sooner, but I get only quarterly statements. 

I called Fifth Third, asking them to waive the fees. They refused. When I complained and threatened to close the account, their customer service expert told me, “I was costing them money anyway.” Back in the early days of our relationship, Fifth Third used to court my money, Now, like a scorned lover, it isn’t welcome there anymore. 

No problem. My money knows when it’s time to move on. It prefers a partner with old-fashioned values anyway. 

In the meantime, let this be a lesson to all of you. You have to watch your money closely or you’ll lose it … even when it’s in the bank.