do you think banks care about customers? PNC doesn’t. not really.

Customer service in the financial services industry is paramount.  Not so many years ago, I actually received national corporate honors on more than one occasion for my attention to detail and for going above and beyond for customers and finding solutions.

I here to find out from my readers today what banks you think provide excellent customer service and which banks should be skipped.

I am also  here to tell you I think PNC is one of those banks which should be skipped. Unless of course they can correct their inconsistency from branch to branch in customer service.

Without going into details, I have been trying to help someone navigate a banking issue at PNC.  It has involved multiple phone calls, multiple e-mails, and research on my part.

Last week I plopped something on a PNC Facebook page and a very nice woman named Jessica called me back.  She found me the name and number of someone to speak with at the branch giving an older person I know the run-around.

The name I was given was Steve Curry.  So I called this Steve Curry late last week after jessica gave me his name and number and told me his work hours so I could reach him and not experience further frustration.  Amazingly enough when I called there was a pause and you could imagine in the background whomever answered the phone was having an “oh crap, she actually called us” moment.  So although it was well beyond the imagination of corporate lunch hours, this Steve was “out of the office….errr getting lunch.” (Translated: he/they did not want to deal with me.)

So then a while later this guy calls me back from the same branch.  Was all sugar and spice and big banking words until I did not accept his answer as the oracle from above.  (When you spend enough time in financial services you know that often there is something more that can be done, a one time exception, a move that is pure discretion on the part of the branch manager.)

Dude’s name this time was Don Singh.  And well, I asked Banker Charming (do you sense heavy sarcasm? I found him incredibly rude after he was finished giving me the overly syrupy condescending little woman treatment) who was above him in the food chain because he did not get where I was going and I needed to discuss this with someone who actually knew what I was speaking about, he told me TFB in essence he was king of his branch and I could call Pittsburgh. His supervisor was not located in his branch.   But he did not offer me a number.  That’s o.k., I am resourceful that way, I found the number to the Chairman’s Office in Pittsburgh, PA and called.

Next a very nice lady in Pittsburgh transferred me to “Dan” in customer service.  Dan was very polite and professional and said he would have a regional manager above Banker Charming call me on Monday.

It’s now Tuesday.  No call.  No e-mail.

In the interim, I think I found as a now non-financial services industry professional a solution to this problem.  Something that this bank should help their  client with.  Did I mention the client is a senior citizen? Customer service? Well, it’s their job after all  and PNC collects enough fees and what not off of customers that these people should not only be more respectful in some of these branches (the offending branch here is in Philadelphia, PA at 1511 Walnut Street, Philadelphia and I will note I found a website specifically reviewing PNC Bank and 92 reviews give this institution 2.5 out of 5 stars so I must be onto something). I found reviews that lined up nicely with what I experienced at this Walnut Street branch.  And while the other people were pleasant enough to me and this older person I am attempting to assist, there is also the issue with the misinformation that was also provided to this customer.

Now because I have not heard back from anyone, I am swiftly reaching the conclusion that PNC does NOT in fact really care about its customers, especially small deposit ones.  It used to be that bankers tried to accommodate customers, and bank managers actually did their jobs and extended themselves towards solutions – let us not forget bank branch managers have a fair amount of discretion that they can choose to use.

Have any of you out there had any negative PNC issues you would like to share?  Any horror stories with any other banks?  If you were going to switch banks, what bank would you choose today?

I also discovered PNC including this branch was the subject of a protest this past November.

The bottom line here is customer service:  what banks actually offer consistent, honest to goodness customer service?  PNC has had in my experience very good telephone based customer service reps.  But as for the rest of it, it depends on the branch as it is all inconsistent.  Bank branch managers are not God and without deposit accounts they would have no salary and benefits.

In banking is good customer service just a thing of the past?  What do you think? And while you are at it, tell me what banks in Chester County you think are worth it and where they are located.