For the twenty years I worked in credit unions I was never a member. I was an employee with my account where I worked. I LOVED the convenience of banking. I never had to call the phone center, endure the list of “options” that at their core seek to confuse and lose me. I never had to stand in line for a teller on my lunch hour. I’d just see when there was no line and bop on up.

I never had to go through the humiliation of the loan application process. Sign in. Have a seat. Wait for the loan officer to come out, look me up on the clipboard, call my name and take me to the back. (feels eerily the same as my doctor’s office). I knew what they looked for. I could calculate my own debt ratio, get the Blue Book value on my own car, I knew my credit history. When I was ready I would approach my friendly loan officer/friend and tell THEM when I wanted it. Never a problem. Let’s move these member loans over here and get this done for you. I LOVED my credit union.

I never ever would have to worry about overdraft protection – that was my friend Dawnita who worked the NSF list. If I forgot to make a transfer, no problem. She’s not gonna let Courtesy Pay kick in…..

Today I am a member of your credit union. And I have to admit — what you represent to me is just another errand. I don’t GET to go to the credit union I HAVE to. When I opened my new account you didn’t set it up correctly and my joint owner never got his debit card. You also didn’t get me anything that has my account number on it (I was even told that I don’t need to know) so I can’t use Shared Branching. This morning I went in to your branch to make a deposit, order another VISA debit card and find out what my account number is. I did this on my way to my office. It was 9:15 am.

You don’t open until 10:00 am!!! You are a fairly large credit union in Seattle. The branch I bank at is located at your corporate office. I know there are people in that building. The people that make the decisions at my credit union. Maybe this is your strategy to “migrate” me to electronic services. The ATM can’t tell me what my member number is! Don’t MAKE me call your phone center. I haven’t the time or the patience for it today.

Those hours are WORSE than banker’s hours. And banker’s hours are a joke. Am I not your target audience? I use shared branching, bill pay, ATMS, online banking. But sometimes I need to see a person. Don’t you get that?

You have no idea what it’s like to be a member of your credit union.

I think I speak for all of us when I say – we are social creatures. Technology does not replace our need to interact with humans, it just gives us another option. ATMs did not replace tellers. Online banking did not stop your phones from ringing. And even your crappy hours won’t keep me out. I’m going to take off early today just to come in and see you. I hope you’re ready.

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