About a week ago I had a good laugh about Chris Brogan's experiences with The Bank of America . Whatever Credit Crisis, no lessons learned on customer service.
I've a similar story, I live in the Netherlands and use 2 banks, the Rabobank, for my daily banking, that offers me great service and a personal touch and the ABN-AMRO Bank just because I happen to have some stock managed by them. I've actually been too lazy to ever transfer them.
Both Banks offer Internet banking based on a little device that uses the chip in my debit card to deal with secure authentication. The system works fine, but after a while the battery on those devices run out. A few months ago this happened for my Rabobank device and with a quick phone call I learned I could pick up a new one from any of their offices. Excellent service!
Today I walked into the office of an ABN-AMRO bank to ask for a new device, because also that battery had run out. Expecting to get a new one, but the very friendly staff only answered: I can order one for you, it will be send to your home, but it will cost you 15 Euro. I was in shock, I wasn't sure if I understand well. I asked, do you mean I've to pay 15 Euro (20$) to get access to my own money? Yes, I'm sorry about that..
Of course I will not pay! I rather open a new account and let the bank go through all the additional paper work and administration and give me a new one for free. Back in the Office I filed a question, because I was actually thinking that the Bank employee wanted to rip me off! The turn around of the Internet question was reasonable, but again the message was: You can order one for 15 Euro. Some more research let me to the knowledge base of the bank told me the reason for the 15 Euro: It's a complex device with many more features... I don't want features! I want the bank to give me access to MY money!
I guess the banks get now so much government support that they start behaving like the government. Policies and Procedures, no more customer support...